well, it is good to see that my threats have made an impression on magadh. it always seems his best writing comes under threat of pain, which may lead me to take unwise steps to ensure the quality of this blog. however, when it comes to the timbers, for magadh to entertain an idea that the german illuminati run this club overlooks the primary impact of their struggle--fighting for freedom and equality for all people. as dramatic as magadh may be in his descriptions of the timbers, equality does not exist within the team. admittedly, a stratified hierarcy where certain players are treated with greater if not undeserved respect than others has developed. which is the case with all sides--and if you think otherwise than i may have some land in oklahoma, it has oil underneath, and i am looking to offload it for a relatively good bargain in order to avoid tax issues. however, with the timbers that striation is more acute given the lack of depth in quality at almost every position and the unwillingness of the previous manager and the current interim ginger to reward successful play with minutes on the pitch and unsuccessful play with minutes on the bench.
here at the axe, we have been fairly consistent throughout the season in our assessment of the abilities of some of these favored players. concluding that they simply are not good enough to justify their continued presence on the side. captain forever is the paradigm of that unwarranted favoritism. whether for reasons of maintaining continuity within the squad after unceremoniously giving spencer his walking papers, or, as discussed by mags yesterday, selling off the one true leader the team had, the ginger interim has elected to retain captain forever through this season.
now, this may be a good idea. it may not. but what myself and many others witnessed in the match against seattle was a man incapable of leading the side forward. sure, he was hamstrung with another poster child for anabuse and favoritism, but even the rodwall cannot be blamed for jack's lack of conviction and commitment for the side that sunday. moreover, i refuse to discuss the rodwall today as the topic throws me into a peptic spasm and no amount of prylosec can reduce the duodenal inflammation. may i extend my apologies to jamie foxx and al pacino, but on that given sunday, or any given sunday, jack simply does not do the work of a captain.
sure, there are captains who lead by example and then there are captains who are vocal. jack is neither. you may recall my disgust last monday with captain forever when he pulled out of a 50-50 challenge, jumping over the opposition rather than sliding in to win the loose ball. there are countless examples of that style of leadership--his failure to sell everything for the side--which defines his captaincy and pollutes the culture of the team.
that is not to say i would have prefered lovel palmer at right back over jack. if the timbers were going to replace kimura for that match i could think of no better option within the side than jack. frankly, the timbers front office shot themselves in the foot when they brought in kimura and returned jack to the midfield. but taking the obvious route has never been the timbers way. and it has definitely never been gavin's way.
i am sure we will have plenty to discuss about the captaincy and who should receive the honor (if it is even someone on the current squad) as the off-season drives us mad with limited news bits and player acquisition rumours. until then, i think it is best to return to the culture of the timbers.
as i said earlier, i think the major issue with this club, aside from the current general manager and captain, is the lack of reasonable options to come off the bench. excluding danny mwanga, i have little faith in the capabilities of the reserve players to change the course of a match. this has two effects. first, it leaves the timbers in a pickle come the final 20 minutes when looking to either close down a game or find the equalizer. a spark is often needed, but mike fucito, kalif alhassan, and a few others who at this moment i cannot remember their names and it does not hurt me to say that i cannot be arsed to care, are not the type of players who can give that to the timbers.
which brings me to the second effect lack of depth has on a side. considering the limitations in the reserves, how can it be impressed upon our youngsters with actual promise that their place on the side is not assured by the simple fact of their draft position? again, as the season has worn on, i have come to question when darlington nagbe will make the transition from promise and potential to being a consistent danger on the pitch. by the providence of injury, zizzo replaced kalif in the side. and by his efforts on the pitch he has replaced kalif altogether. where is that player to push nagbe? where is that player to push songoo, or jack, or the entire defense?
as much as i hate to admit this it must be said that the current set of starters is about as good as the timbers have. i am not overly concerned with that fact given only two games remain within the season, but i am concerned with what will be done going forward. with gavin at the helm, personnel turnover has been the one and only consistent aspect of the timbers. while an alright david bowie tune, changes, especially the extensive changes that continue to occur within the timbers, have a mullering effect upon the essence of the club. which is the unstated premise of mags post yesterday: if changes are made, they need to be made with the idea of improvement in mind, not the smoke and mirrors sort of improvement we have seen with trades like the one for ricketts, but actual improvement. in the two years of mls play, i cannot name a single trade that has satisified the standard of improvement.
it is without doubt that in the off-season a cull is necessary to remove the deadwood, but if the timbers (in this instance when i say timbers i mean if gavin) continue to ship off their character players and bring in the dross and unwanted of other mls sides as they have been doing, conscription could not attract quality footballers to the team. this is something i hope does not occur, but is a possibility. players want to go where they can express themselves and where they can win. or even where they think they have the best opportunity to win. look at the timbers record this season and how ex-players have been treated once they are out the door and then describe to me how that is a magnet for talent.
so, i have rambled on enough and need to head off to work.