Whitecaps looking awful in Texas and 2016

July 31, 2016 at 10:17 pm | Posted in Vancouver Whitecaps, Vancouver Whitecaps 2016, Whitecaps Season 2016 | 2 Comments
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What happened to all of the fun of Whitecaps 2015?  Where did all of that great  squad harmony go?  Last year the Whitecaps were highly motivated and the players were playing for each other in what was one big Robbo love-in.  The recent indifferent back-to-back  performances in Texas were enough to get even the best Whitecaps fans questioning whether it was worth it to spend four hours watching the Whitecaps play really awful football.

The Whitecaps have always struggled in Texas.  In the last two weeks they have picked up a 0-0 tie in Houston and a 2-0 loss to Dallas.  While it would be easy to say this is just more of the same, the Whitecaps have looked very poor recently and the team and squad have grown very stale.

One of the reasons for our poor performance in 2016 is that key players in our squad have gone downhill in their performances since last year.

The biggest disappointment is Pedro Morales, who shuffled around the pitch against both Dallas and Houston looking like an old man who would rather be doing something else. Coach Robinson is trying in vain to find a place for Morales to be effective since he no longer has the fitness and stamina to play anywhere close to 90 minutes in the number 10 role.  Effectively Morales has become a passenger who plays for his free kick ability and nothing more.  His performance against Dallas was truly pathetic. How many balls did he pass to the other team?

Morales is not the only player who is playing worse than last year.  Other key players such as Laba, Waston, Parker, and Manneh have either plateaued or gone backwards in their quality.  The only player in the squad who has improved is Mezquida, who rarely gets a start.

Sadly, it looks like complacency has crept into the squad.  Parker, Waston, and Ousted have become the leagues’ leakiest defensive partnership.

Even David Ousted, who has made some very spectacular saves, has let the team down with some very basic goalkeeping errors this season as he did today in Dallas, where he just failed to get down to a routine save.    One such basic error cost us the 2016 Canadian Championship.

While last year’s highly motivated team was characterized by their fun-loving character, this year’s team just seems bored and complacent. The players have hit some kind of ceiling and don’t show any sign of wanting to get better as players or as a team.

While Coach Carl Robinson has been a very popular manager he and his coaching staff must take their share of blame.  The players seem to be just malingering with no real drive to become better.  Are Robinson and his coaches losing their  grip on the team?

Perhaps  we need a more discipline oriented coach who is willing to really punish players for underperforming.  Morales needs a real tongue lashing but instead he gets the Captain’s arm band.  I don’t think there is any captain in the entire MLS who underperforms like Morales.

The Whitecaps ownership also seems to be disengaged and lacking in ambition.  The recent Fabian Espindola farce shows that players really don’t want to be in Vancouver.  Teams like Dallas and LA seem to have mastered the art of maximizing MLS rules in order to build solid squads.  I would say that the Whitecaps are using MLS rules well below their potential.  The team is suffering and has had a major setback since last season, as our huge goals against number demonstrates.

Perhaps there is some Cascadia virus going around; all three teams in Cascadia seem to have caught colds.  This is unfortunate, since the support they get from their fans is the envy of most MLS clubs.  Cascadia teams don’t do themselves any favours by playing on plastic grass, the one thing that holds all three clubs back from being regarded as serious football clubs.

I think it is time we stopped being Mr. nice guys.  This Whitecaps team needs a shake-up because players are just not performing on the pitch.  Robbo’s love-in is over and it is time heads started to roll both in the squad and outside it.

 

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2 Comments »

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  1. Robbo has been a coach with no tactics for three years. Where he excelled was in his people management and ability to get blood from stone-like players. Unfortunately his ability to select and build a squad looks more and more like a rock garden…no more blood to give…unless he can pull off a Timbers like rally he needs to go.

    But what real difference maker type manager would come work for tweedle cheap (Kerfoot) and tweedle cheaper (Mallet), and report to a an ex-jock still reliving his 1986 youth while he gets played for as a chump by agents and other teams….no one would in 2013, no one will now.

    As TFC and Montreal start to show their stuff we look ready to rejoin the USL

  2. Excellent blog, again! The ‘Caps have been but a shadow of their former selves this season. They are not playing as a team, and they are devoid of attacking skills. Break out from their own penalty area, get to the half-way line and what do they do? Pass it back or across the field. Time for a shake-up methinks. And, as I have said before, let’ s play on real grass!


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