Whitecaps fall down the rabbit hole

“The time has come, the Walrus said,

      To talk of many things:

Of shoes — and ships — and sealing-wax —

      Of cabbages — and kings —

And why the sea is boiling hot —

      And whether pigs have wings.”

There have been times this season when it really has felt as though we were through the looking glass when it came to Carl Robinson’s team selections but Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to the Colorado Rapids was probably the peak of Mad Hatterism.

Yes, yes I get that the heat and the travel and the altitude play havoc with the players but we watch football games not weather reports, arrival boards and barometers and anyway there’s a world of difference between losing games and losing them the way the Whitecaps have lost in both Dallas and Colorado.

Barely a shot in anger in either game (or the previous one in Houston to be fair) is hardly the stuff to inspire much hope in fans but, instead of pouring over the minutiae of a dreadful night in Denver, let’s just sit down and think of a number of impossible things that should never ever be tried again.

Pedro Morales as a number ten- By the twentieth minute Morales was already dropping deep to get the ball and so leaving Giles Barnes isolated up front. Maybe this was a poignant tribute to the Rivero era but it’s unclear what Robinson has disliked about the pairing of Kudo and Mezquida in attack.

Even without those two it must surely have been obvious that having a number ten who closed down the opposition defence and stayed in touch with the centre forward was preferable to one who does neither of those things.

In a recent interview the coach said that there were “no stars in his team” but it sure feels as though Morales is being accommodated no matter how he performs whereas others are shunted in and out of the team no matter how well they do

New players should fit into the team not the other way around-  I doubt anybody thinks that the signings of Edgar and Barnes are anything but good things, but the decision to throw them both into the deep end against one of the toughest teams to play on the road seemed overly optimistic of their attributes.

Even stranger given that playing Barnes meant that the whole forward line was revamped and even more strange given that playing Edgar completely rearranged an already uncertain backline.

And I refer you to the “no stars in the team” remark to try to explain why Kendall Waston stayed in his regular position whereas Tim Parker (who has been the better central defender this season) got shunted to the right back role where he struggled all evening.

Was it really an surprise to see that back four constantly confused about who should be where and when and why? (That’s a rhetorical question by the way).

If it’s not working make a change- Seriously.

The Whitecaps never once looked like scoring throughout the whole of the first half so why give the same lineup and the same tactics fifteen minutes to make thing better in the second? (Another  rhetorical question).

It was somewhat ironic to see the Rapids score within seconds of the obligatory sixtieth minute substitution but, once again, fifteen minutes had been wasted hoping that the thing that didn’t work for forty five minutes suddenly would.

Two defensive midfielders- Just move on from it. It’s clearly not helping the defence and the inclusion of both Laba and Jacobson means that at least three or four other players have to be shifted to their les optimal positions.

Other than that things went quite well and I’m sure the Whitecaps can put themselves back together (Humpty Dumpty style) in time for the tough looking run in to the end of the season.

Time then for the Soccer Shorts Player Ratings (sigh).

Ousted-5, Parker-4, Edgar-4, Waston-4, De Jong-4, Laba-5 Jacobson-5*, Bolaños-4, Morales-4, Techera-4, Barnes-4  (Mezquida-5, Davies-5)

4 thoughts on “Whitecaps fall down the rabbit hole”

  1. This is absolutely a case of round-peg-square-hole-itis. Parker as fb instead of Aird? He had to think too much moving forward that the offense ended up dying on the vine (aka ball played backwards repeatedly). Morales as a ten? His play forced Barnes to come back instead of attack.
    Robbo has done some good things, but my head is starting to really hurt from all the scratching lately


  2. OK I guess you are all not really familiar with what a “#10” is responsible for and should be used as so lets try it from the beginning.

    1) Playmaker: Creating plays and channels for striker/s other forward players to run onto and get opps on net.

    2) Playing in a advanced central role so as to succeed at number 1 above.

    What the 10 should not be doing (especially with a 6 man defence is pressing and tracking back to create turn overs. Thats the role of a CDM.

    Im sick of Morales getting shit on because he always has to come back deep to get the ball, thats the stupidest thing I keep reading. He must get the ball, the whole system is built around him having the ball, whether he sucks with the ball is another story. He did not get the ball yesterday until around the 17th minute when he had to drop back and get it. That is not his fault!

    Mezquida on the other hand does not have the passing and vision of Morales but he rarely leaves his spot to get the ball so he will sit up top twiddling his boots until someone from the backline or a CDM wishes to connect with him.

    The two central defenders and the CDM’s are responsible for cleaning up and finding a way to get him the ball. You all just think that because he’s playing as a 10 the ball will magically appear before him and he can run the offence.

    This is where the problem is and always has been.

    With Beita and Koffie in the lineup this would not be a discussion especially now with Barnes in the picture as a number 9.


    1. You are right in saying that Morales wasn’t fed the ball. Some of that was his DM’s fault and some was his for not being available.
      Yes, the 10 needs to be a playmaker. But lately Morales has not done that. If he is to play higher up to be a traditional 10, then he has to create space for himself to be available for the pass higher up, not a few meters from his DM’s.
      I think Morales is a very talented player. But in this system/team he’s a round peg in a square hole, just as I stated before.


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