Yes, we are currently in the “at the time of writing” phase of the year in which there’s always the disconcerting sense that as soon as the hapless hack hits “publish” the Whitecaps announce an arrival or departure that nullifies just about everything written.
But, when you think about it, isn’t the whole of life lived through the “at the time of writing” lens?
Every choice we make, every decision we decide upon is subject to the constant flux of an ever-changing world.
And isn’t “constant flux of an ever-changing world” just a pretentious way of saying the same thing twice?
And isn’t asking rhetorical questions just a tedious way of padding out a post that actually has very little to say?
All points well worth considering.
But here’s where we stand with the Vancouver Whitecaps squad rebuild/rebrand right now.
Anthony Blondell will definitely arrive from Venezuela and extensive YouTube viewings imply he may be the kind of big and strong striker to suit Carl Robinson’s preferred style of play.
It was somewhat disconcerting to hear the coach comment that Blondell “can also play out wide” since it brought to mind visions of a misplaced centre-forward lumbering down the wing in the desperate hope of earning a set-piece opportunity.
But hopefully it won’t come to that and Blondell will be looking forward to really getting to know the underside of the giant video board at BC Place as he waits for yet another lofted clearance to finally drop.
Things don’t bode so well for Fredy Montero’s return since all public utterances from the club are somewhere along the lines of a shrug and a smile to indicate there is nothing they can do but sit and wait for a phone call from China.
That would be a shame for two reasons.
Firstly Montero pretty much guarantees goals and secondly because it would have been interesting to see him play in a slightly deeper role behind Blondell as the kind of genuine number ten that Yordy Reyna just isn’t.
The centre of midfield is the most baffling right now.
All the indications are that Nosa Igiebor won’t be back which would make his brief tenure at the club genuinely bizarre.
He was only really introduced to the team for the playoffs, was named the best player of the first half in Seattle by Robinson himself and then that would be that for his Whitecaps career.
It’s hard to believe there wasn’t an agreement in place for next season so either we have to believe the unbelievable or assume one or other of the parties have decided that the said agreement doesn’t look quite so tempting after all.
Russell Teibert might be back as the Whitecaps declined his option but are still in discussions with a player who didn’t even make the bench in either of the two final games against Seattle.
Why the club or Teibert would want that relationship to continue is a mystery.
If the squad improves then Teibert necessarily slips even further down the pecking order and the player himself must want more for his career than the occasional run out in games the coach has decided don’t really matter.
And the signing of David Norman Jr to an MLS contract means Teibert can’t even think of himself as the young Canadian hope in the centre of the pitch anymore.
There are some who argue that Teibert is an important part of the club’s public presence in the city but they are wrong.
It’s hard to see Matias Laba returning given his long-term injury and while Christian Bolaños may be tempted to take a lesser deal the chances are that at least one other MLS coach will fancy their chances to get more out of the Costa Rican international than Carl Robinson did.
That would make Brek Shea the current first choice on the left side and (assuming Montero and Laba do leave) the only Designated Player on the team.
That’s probably meaningless in real terms since Shea is very much at the lower level of the DP scale but it screams volumes about the ambition of the club.
So the plan has to be to move Shea on and invest serious money in at least two players of genuine quality.
That has to be the plan right?
One thought on “Vancouver Whitecaps: At the time of writing”
Mr. Berrisford, the only sport writer in Vancouver who knows anything about the game of football. Maybe not on the Whitecap’s Christmas card list.