Craig Dalrymple wouldn’t be human if there wasn’t a small corner of his mind which thought “You know what? If I get this team to go on a run and sneak into the playoffs then this job just might be mine for the taking”.
That’s a long shot to be sure but not beyond the realms of possibility.
So what are his main challenges as the team fly to Los Angeles to take on the slightly bizarre Galaxy on Saturday?
Getting the mood right- Maybe dim the lights, put on Sinatra’s “Songs for Swingin’ Lovers” and spend a buck or two extra on that bottle of wine…
No wait, that’s for a different mood.
What Dalrymple needs to do is to make sure the players are in the right frame of mind following Carl Robinson’s departure and, in particular, that goes for Captain Kendall Waston.
The Costa Rican was noticeably angry about that departure earlier this week and a noticeably angry Waston is a red card waiting to happen.
Dropping the Captain would be a huge statement but it needs to be done if his head won’t be in the right place (which is on the end of set-pieces).
Change formation or change the eleven?- The Whitecaps were good against Seattle and okay against Dallas but it really does feel like they need a shake up if they are going to make that near impossible run to the post-season.
Three at the back? A genuine 4-3-3?
That’s probably asking too much in such a short space of time but if Dalrymple were to take my advice (Which Robinson very definitely refused to do and look what happened to him) he would stick with the 4-2-3-1 for now but play Felipe as the number ten behind Kamara and move Reyna wide in place of Techera.
Techera can drift in and out of effectiveness in any game but he drifts an awful lot more away from home and Reyna’s best position may well be out wide anyway.
I’ve not been impressed by Felipe at all this year but he seems like the kind of player/person who enjoys proving people wrong so he may be capable of turning in a performance after being left out of recent games by Robinson.
It’s a roll of the dice but it’s still a better option than the status quo (although their early singles were quite enjoyable to be fair).
Make a change when change is needed- Dalrymple could become a legend overnight if he just made a substitution in the first half (or even at half-time).
After watching Robinson make changes that were clearly based upon some kind of five year plan it would be nice to see a coach react spontaneously to the actual game situation.
Enjoy it- These might be his only five games in charge of a club at this level.
He should relish the opportunity and do anything he wants to do and to hell with the consequences (Within reason obviously. Don’t play Techera in goal for example).