So, we are half way through a dismal 2012 Portland Timbers season, and my first as a season ticket holder. I am invested with my time, with my heart, and with my soul. I grieve, I cheer, I jump up and down, I scream, I sing. Yet with all that I do to support the team, I have found myself lowering my expectations to those I might have for an amateur team. I don’t mind watching my team lose, but the way I have seen them utterly defeated at the end of a match, and sometimes in the middle of a match, is almost too much. I want to see some drive, some passion, and some urgency. I haven’t seen that recently.
About a week ago, I began writing a post about why Spencer should be fired immediately. I told sunshine of my plan and he gave me a chuckle. A wry chuckle to be sure, but I take whatever I can get. However, with 3 matches in 8 days, my post was set to go up sometime this week. Then yesterday morning I get a text from sunshine that simply says “MP is having a presser this afternoon. Rumor has it your post is obsolete.” And so it is.
I mentioned in that obsolete post that I have no idea what should happen after Spencer was let go, or who should take his place. But that it is my job as a passionate noob to make broad and sweeping statements without anything like facts or knowledge of history to really back them up.
My reasons for letting Spenny go came from the gut and slowly worked their way to my brain. They were as follows, though in no particular order:
1-Our future former captain Jack. Unless Jack was traded, injured or worse Spenny was not about to take the captaincy from our inept on-field leader. Only a new guy could do that. Now that Wilkinson has taken over I’m not sure he is really in a position to take the armband away either, but I might be wrong. While a lot of complaining about Jack has occurred here at theaxe, little has been said about who should wear the rising sun. My noob suggestion would be to give it to Perkins for now. Kimura may be a good candidate in the long run, but it is too early to tell yet. Perkins is the man, and he certainly isn’t afraid to raise his voice on the pitch or talk straight off of it.
2-Tactics. It has only been the last few matches that my football vision has become less tunneled. No longer am I stuck following the ball with my eyes the way the halftime clump of children do with their feet. As a noob I may not know much, but I do know that my knowledge base has been confused by the constant rotation of players and formations employed by Spenny thus far this season. It seems continuity has been exacerbated by constant changes to the starting eleven (injuries and suspensions aside). Continuity would go a long way towards the team play that I believe any team needs to be successful, and that goes for any team in any sport, business or otherwise.
3-Why wait? Did anybody think that Spenny would be coaching the Timbers in 2013? Why not get the ball rolling in the right direction now. It became public and even international knowledge yesterday that there is a job opening at 1844 Southwest Morrison Street. After terrible losses against CalFC, Colorado and Salt Lake it doesn’t feel as if the Timbers could do much worse. As I have said many times (cause that’s what I do when I think I say something funny), there is only one way to go from the bottom of the table.
4-This team needed a scapegoat. The hangdog, beaten and utterly defeated look of the Timbers after, and sometimes during, a match is difficult to watch. Now that he is gone, Spencer can take the blame. or we can give it to him.
Gavin must now bring out the best in the players we have. I have seen some tremendous play this year. The first half of the match versus the Flounders (the second half we almost gave it all away, but the first 45 was awesome), and a lot of the SJ match last week. The potential for greatness is there.
There it is, a day late and a dollar short. As Sunshine wrote: I sing for the Timbers, not John Spencer. The match this weekend could be epic and wonderful and a great way for us all to move on. I enjoyed John Spencer being the Timbers coach very much and it pains me to see him go, but I think it was the right move at the right time. Paulson definitely bleeds green and is doing his best to keep PTFC from becoming PTSD, and so thank him for that the next time you see him. A thumbs up or a smile and a nod will do. He’s certainly not going anywhere.