Now Is The Time For The Excuses To Stop

As regular readers of AFTN will have noticed, we’ve been awfully quiet of late.

Some computer problems kept us a little bit out of it for a few days and then I just felt a little break was good to help keep us fresh, eager and full of the vitriol you’ve come to know and love/hate (delete as applicable!).

The last few Whitecaps games have been a hard watch.

As we’ve said in our columns and articles elsewhere, it is far too early to start pressing any sort of panic buttons about the season, but the concerns and the potential warning signs are clearly already there.

The Club and Teitur have clearly nailed their colours to the Voyaguers Cup mast. With the players we had on the bench for Saturday’s loss in New England, the focus certainly looks to be our two legged final against Toronto FC.

I’m all for this being our key focus at this stage of the season. Winning the Canadian Championship and qualifying for the CONCACAF Champions League for the first time is what us long term fans have wanted for the past three seasons.

Would I take winning the Voyageurs Cup and a Champions League run over making the MLS playoffs? Undoubtedly yes. Would I like both? Yes, even more so. That may not be possible, so I definitely wanted the former.

Now though is the time to show the fans and the Canadian public what we’re made of. There will be no second chances and no excuses will be tolerated.

We’ve set our stall out to win this match up with TFC, so that’s what we better damn well do.

Failure will not be tolerated and some serious questions will need to be asked if that was to happen. I personally don’t think it will come to this. I have faith, hope and expectation in my Blue and White heroes.

If it wasn’t for Ali Gerba’s shit heading abilities, we may not even be at this stage. Crashing out to Montreal and we’d have a whole different situation on our hands.

It may be a bit over dramatic to say that our season depends on these two TFC games, but honestly, it’s not far off it.

We’ve made a big play in the run up to this season about how we are no ordinary expansion club. Quite frankly, that’s not what we’ve shown on the pitch and off it, we’ve looked amateurish in a number of areas. Yes, it’s a learning curve and a somewhat steep one at times for some aspects of the Club, but Whitecaps fans expect success because we are used to success.

Some of Teitur’s team selections, substitutions and tactics in recent games have baffled me. I’m not a MLS coach though. He is. Let’s just hope he hasn’t been as baffled because they clearly haven’t worked.

I’m already sick to the back teeth at hearing about players being “tired” and “rested”.

These are professional football players we’re talking about here. They’re paid to play football.

I’m sure we would all love our bosses to say “you know what, you seem a little tired today, take tomorrow off”. Doesn’t happen. Why should we accept this from paid professional footballers?

My football team in Scotland, East Fife, is part time. All the players have day jobs. Some of them have jobs starting at 7 and 8 in the morning, then they turn out and play a game at night and have to get up the next morning for work again.

In the last three months, East Fife have played pretty much every Tuesday and Saturday. With pretty much the same starting eleven too. These guys haven’t complained about tiredness. They played through it and you know what? They also won a ton of fucking games and climbed the table, just missing out on the promotion playoffs.

These guys also get paid a pittance. Not some of the six figure sums we’ve seen our guys are getting.

I fully understand so many games in so many days is draining. Travelling is draining. Playing is draining. This is what you’re paid to do though guys and pretty much every other team is in the same boat. They’ve also been picking up more than the odd point here and there.

If we’ve been resting our players to win the Voyaguers Cup then great. Fantastic strategy.

Let’s just hope we reap the benefits of what’s caused our stuttering league campaign with a comfortable win tonight and an overall victory next Wednesday.

Nothing else will be acceptable.

Mon the Caps.

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