the great thing about the timbers continued poor performances is as the number increases so does the threshold of acceptance. i can shake off a loss in a matter of minutes where it used to require several days of gestalt therapy assisted by cold compresses, a cocktail of ibuprofen and sodium naproxin, and a bowl of jellied pears. during those incipient days of humbling my expectations, mrs sunshine was forced to listen to the continued discussion of how i was feeling about football at any particular moment and what attitudes were needed to accomplish anything worthwhile following a loss. but with the help of the timbers, i can safely say that i am ok with losing and i have no further expectations for this year.
i think the cocktail has eaten away my stomach lining and i am suffering from bleeding ulcers, because that last paragraph is a load of hooey. personally, i believe i would not be a football supporter, a timber supporter, if i did not care about failure and defeat. i can think of few things that hurt more, perhaps driving a nail through my foot or eyeball, but very few other things, indeed. which is why i do not accept the current rationale that consistency is the issue. the timbers are consistent, just not good. which suggests the issues are threefold: lack of talent, poor discipline and absent leadership in certain areas.
while you cannot reasonably expect your captain to be the best player on the pitch (often that does not work out) , you can expect your captain to do the hard work, to pick players up when they are not pulling their weight, to lead, whether by cussing and yelling or by example, and to say the hard things when it is necessary. cue the typical, vacuous captain jack quote:
I think consistency has been an issue for us on the road. We came out last week again Kansas City, at home, we were winning second balls and had a great game. It’s just a matter of finding that consistency on the road now.
did you learn anything there? yeah, neither did i. neither did jack, otherwise he would understand that the team is consistent on the road–consistently poor. i get the need to remain upbeat, semi-positive, but why not take some responsibility? why not do something novel rather than press the rewind and replay buttons? why not look geoffrey c. arnold in the eye and say, hey, i stunk it up and so did the team–you know, something similar to what boyd did.
Montreal played better than us, they worked harder than us, so they deserved the victory. I think the penalty decision changed the game. But we need to look at our performance. It wasn’t good enough on the road.
there you go, jackie boy, a substantial quote that considers the possibility of personal and group stinkitude. unfortunately, you have been indoctrinated into the ostrich school of media interaction.
i have been thinking of all the famous captains throughout history and fiction. there was captain horatio hornblower, captain kirk, followed up by captain picard, captain america, captain bligh, captain cook, captain hook, and captain francesco schettino. yes, that is the guy i am thinking of…the one who excused his abandonment of his multi-million dollar, luxury cruise liner in the mediterranean on the fact he tripped and fell into the life raft. the lack of consistency response is as absurd and insulting as the “i left my sinking ship and the hundreds of passengers aboard because i am a clutz” response. we get that the side cannot put two games together that are worthy of a winning team, but inconsistency expresses an unpredictible nature of play–5 loses out of 8, a -4 goal differential, and the inability to find the back of the net in the last two games, suggests something more than inconsistent play is at the heart of the issues. jack is there in the side, boyd is there also, why minimize the problem when punching it in the mouth is often the better approach.
merritt paulson tweeted for the umpteenth time that the side does have issues, but talent is not the issue and they will be working on righting the ship. whether it is talent, an unbalanced side, or players who have limited to no footballing intelligence, the one thing i have seen to be consistent other than the timbers poor play is the inability of the manager, gavin, and the front office to address the ballasts and the issues. it is comforting to know the owner recognizes there are issues pervasive within the side, but when, and more importantly, how will he address them?
an option would be to dismantle the underperforming and ill-disciplined central midfield. after contemplating the contributions of certain players, i would like to officially announce that the lovel palmer experiment has failed. i know i handed him a get out of jail free card for his performance against sporting, but that was more due to a fine collective, defensive effort than to the fact he was outstanding. against the impact he suffered from the same issues of hesitation and wanderlust that plagued his days at right back, which either forced him to make ill-advised passes or to chase players rather than crunch their nuts when first confronting them, which is the job of a defensive midfielder. while i can sacrifice palmer for the good of the team, and would do so yesterday, his play against the impact characterized the disciplinary problems abounding the timbers in general–players either do not have a distinct idea of their position or they just do not care. i would suggest it is the former, not the later.
our poster child for on-field, disciplinary problems, diego chara, is an enigma. my initial evaluation of diego against the impact was unkind, to say the least. i have been unable to determine whether he is an important figure for the side, or just fouls so often that we are led to believe he is an important figure for the side. early on, he committed some fouls against the impact but then decided to go to recess as all good twelve-year olds do. i know i was bored enough during the match to contemplate sleeping, but i did not sleep, and, honestly, i cannot remember him playing aside from the fouls he committed. however, his increasingly enigmatic play coincides with the change in positions on the field. placing him on the wing does provide the team a defensive barrier, but is that not what jack and palmer are required to provide? when diego was placed in the creative role, and captain jack in the defensive role, we actually scored goals. the last two games where jack has been given freedom to get forward, diego has been marginalized and we have scored 0 goals. zilch. zero.
two games may not be a trend, but it does indicate where the imbalance in the side resides. maybe, but unlikely, that is the issue merritt indicates he will correct–the removal of jack from the side. there have been enough changes in formation and tactics to suggest it is personnel issues. clearly, when the changes have been made to pander to a particular player’s opinion of his own talents, the common denominator is easily observable.
with that, have a great day.