Another Saturday. Another goalless draw. Maybe I should just start using a template for the blog.
I’m sure it’s not going to be like this for the rest of the season, but at the moment it’s hard to see this changing or where exactly our next goal is going to come from.
The Whitecaps recorded their third scoreless draw of the season yesterday, their second consecutive one, and their second less than inspiring match against Montreal in eleven days. Isn’t it great that Montreal are MLS bound now so that we can look forward to many more years of crap matches between the two sides.
The positive ones amongst us are taking solace in the fact that it wasn’t as bad as last week’s match against Baltimore. That wouldn’t be hard. I’ve seen impromptu games in the park that were better than that snoozefest.
This week was better. There were improvements, there were some good individual performances (Janicki, Akwari and Sanchez were my standouts) but we still have no real attacking threat. We looked more like a cohesive unit. We strung passes together, at times, and we did have the ball in the net twice, but both goals were ruled offside.
The signs are there that things are coming together and there’s a long way to go in the League season, but what we really want is for the magic wand to be waved to make everything perfect for this coming Wednesday’s crucial Nutrilite Championship game against Toronto. It’s not looking promising, let’s put it that way!
Defensively we’re looking strong. Two goals conceded in six league matches is phenomenal. Four goals scored on the other hand, not so much. It still sees us leading the NASL Conference, but when Austin Aztex can be leading the early single table standings, I think that shows you the quality of this year’s USSF D2.
I won’t go on yet again about how the attack is the area of concern etc etc. I’m sure you’re all sick of hearing about that by now. The most frustrating thing about Saturday’s game though was the constant punt, punt, punt.
Route one football isn’t the horrible stigma it’s made out to be you know. I’ve watched enough of it in my time. It has it’s place and when you have a tall man like Marcus Haber leading your attack, it can be a big boon to your chances.
When you are resorting to punting constant high balls up to 5 foot 5 tall Randy Edwini-Bonsu then perhaps it’s time to review the tactical aspect of the team a little bit. Either that or the quality and sensibilities of the players providing those balls.
Randy should be going wide, skinning the defender and delivering the cross to Marcus. Not the other way around.
Perception of how we played on Saturday is very interesting. Statistically it tells a different tale. We had 8 shots yesterday. That was actually three less than the week before against Baltimore. We did manage an extra shot on target though – a massive two in the game.
I can’t fault Marcus and the rest of the attack though. You can only piss with the cock you’ve got, as we say in Scotland. Possibly the fact that Montreal had a huge useless dick on the field in Peter Byers may have led to shrinkage.
The midfield is woeful at the moment when it comes to attacking flair. More importantly, we have no one who seems to get the creative juices of the team flowing.
We are in desperate need of an old fashioned half back (for those of a certain age!). A holding midfielder. Someone who can be a Billy Bremner/Norman Hunter style tackler. We need bite, we need hard challenges and someone who can put themselves about a bit. Johnny Steele could provide this if he can get himself fully match fit physically and mentally.
Looking ahead to Wednesday, if DeRo and de Guzman are carrying knocks, as is suggested, a couple of crunching early tackles should take care of those problems. Big Z could be just the man to leave that foot in just that little bit too long, but not long enough for the ref to see much wrong.
With Toronto starting to look better each week, and coming of what was a huge away draw for them down in LA, we need to get the advantage right away and being right dirty bastards from the off, but clever with it, should do the trick.
It might not be pretty, but after the last three matches, I don’t care how we get the win, we just need to get it.
Mon the Caps.