one of the benefits of having a writing partner is the break between posts. and today i could certainly use a break from writing after having composed yesterday’s monolithic piece. unfortunately, magadh is on some hush-hush operation for the bundesnachrichtendienst as they look to prevent covert movements of spanish and italian nationals looking to free themselves and their countrymen from the economic dependence on the eurozone. from what i have been informed, and i am rarely informed of anything regarding his international intrigues, angela merkel personally requested professor magadh to head a one man operation intended to introduce some slackerdom to the spanish population. evidently his past efforts have been so succesful the current 40% unemployment rate is attributable to magadh’s wonderbong techniques.
these are the things i must accept as normal when sharing duties with an herb-friendly savant, who is well schooled in modern german history and politics. how can he refuse angela merkel, really? offer the man a couple brownies, a few free pints of spaten, a couple rare bootlegs of some nordic death metal band, and he is as defenseless as the timbers were against david beckham’s right foot, or his left foot (to mis-quote hugh grant).
clearly some things need to still be addressed a week on since gavin undertook a percopious effort to usurp the coaching position. as strong as the timbers came out against the gals, it really cannot be a surprise that they lost. these are the same players who played underneath spencer, and the same players brought in by gavin. and gavin is the key. as contrite as he may be, and he should be because the tactics were his as much as the players were his, he still failed to see the overreaching issues before the match began.
if after watching the first 17 matches of the season he did not realize playing jewsbury or palmer in front of the defense would not work, he certainly did not realize playing them together would fail as miserably as it did. 45 minutes into the match was the recognition we all wish had occurred 50 minutes prior to the end of the first half. pulling palmer was an acknowledgement, but it was too late. though it did not require an explanation from gavin, we understand where the finger was pointed when in his post-game presser he said:
There’s no way we should be walking out of here having given up five goals at home. It’s just not right. I think we had some key players not play as well as they could. In individual areas we got stretched. The lines between the back line and the midfield allowed Donovan and Keane to drop off and pick up the ball and cause us tremendous problems.
throughout the season i have placed great emphasis on the poor play of palmer. i have been unforgiving of his near guaranteed position in the starting eleven. but to write any further on the subject would be redundant. instead i am going to direct you to the exceptional post and analysis of saturday’s match written by the scotsman over there at slide rule pass. i think that post finely reiterates every thought i have had on the palmer dilemma. which really is not a dilemma.
while his post-match assessment of blameworthy individuals was crystal clear, gavin still used the difficult week excuse. whether an attempt to gain sympathy or another week of “good will” in the court of public opinion, gavin said that he will “take the blame for [the loss], there’s been a lot happening in the last week.” which is all well and good, but he should have instructed his captain of the party-line jingoism. because when jack was asked about the lingering spencer effect he was candid that it had limited to no effect on the outcome of the game.
The reality is the majority of the guys in this locker room have been through changes before. Obviously it’s difficult the first two days, but then you get on with it. I thought we came out and played pretty well and then the key guys that we talked about before the game, Landon and Keane and obviously Beckham, when you give them space and free kicks it’s going to be dangerous. And they took advantage of them tonight.
oops! in black and white, audio, and likely visual, the answers are there and they are painful. jack acknowledged the midfield failed to close down the key players. and he acknowledged that their failure was the cause of the loss, not john spencer’s ghost. i think gavin is going to have to find a new party-line, because that excuse is as dead as the day is long. even jack, a member of the midfield that gave too much space and time on the ball to beckham and landycakes, recognized the issues were defensive, not emotional. though emotions do cause some people to be defensive…
the question is whether or not gavin will make the adjustments, or be as reluctant as his predecessor was to remove certain players from the side. yes, he pulled palmer–but he also started palmer. of the two defensive midfielders available to him, jack was the better option. had palmer remained on the bench, or at home, gavin could have pushed alexander into the middle of the formation. this would have invigorated his creative talents, given kalif more support, and allowed for another attacking player to be positioned on the left. instead, gavin opted for palmer and anti-player anti-football. after the match, i was left to wonder whether gavin would make that choice in the future.
for his sake, that decision may have been made for him once the final whistle was blown. that moment meant the miniature, colombian attack-dog will be back in the side, bossing all people, places, things and ideas. i believe there are two positions that need immediate attention in the off-season (no, not spencer’s and gavin’s, but that would be great). the timbers still need a creative midfielder, but in addition to that player they also need a reliable deputy for chara. without one, the timbers are limited in their choices of no and no.
all right. ok. that is the post. i hope you all have a great monday.