“Today and tomorrow and yesterday too
The flowers are dying, like all things do“
I Contain Multitudes, Bob Dylan
As we get older Time ceases to seem as linear as it once did, less circular even. Time increasingly become like an Escher drawing, folding in and out of itself until every day is a doorway into a random set of events that seem increasingly disconnected from any kind of narrative function.
A fever dream of today, tomorrow and yesterday.
Superfluous then to write about what may be to come? Not really. Fooling our waking mind that the laws of physics still hold true is the only way we can cling on to our coherent vision of reality.
So, in that spirit, let’s examine five things we would like the Vancouver Whitecaps to do next season. You won’t believe number 4!!
Play the whole season- If the Whitecaps (and Vanni Sartini in particular) can be rid of the notion that the early games don’t really count it would go a long way to making the playoffs a more attainable target. The same goes for road games against Eastern Conference opponents. “There’s still points to be won!” I often scream angrily at the television as some representative or other of the team shrugs away a a defeat as a mere bagatelle rather than the three points that my cost the team post-season football.
Play the whole game- Last season (and for seasons before) the Whitecaps seem to have viewed the first-half of any game as an annoying distraction from the more important task of warming up for the real contest that occurs in the second half. Playing for the full ninety minutes is a much better proof of “character” than desperately chasing game after game.
Be less tactically “interesting”- Sartini’s low boredom threshold can lead to him trying things when they don’t need to be tried. Playing players in the right position might not be proof of tactical innovation, but it is proof that you want to win games. Less emphasis on trying numerous misfits at wing-back and more emphasis on playing wing-backs at wing-back would help a lot.
Complete the midfield- Andres Cubas was a great signing. Season changing in many ways. But now he needs somebody alongside him of equal quality. Maybe Alessandro Schöpf will turn out to be that guy? Although the coach was reluctant to play him there at the tail end of last season. But the team need more than the endless series of journeyman who chase aimlessly after the ball leaving more and more gaps for Cubas to fill.
Be fun- If the World Cup in Qatar taught us anything, it’s that soccer can transcend any circumstance or obstacle because, at it’s best, it’s the perfect mix of skill, stupidity and comedy. The Whitecaps will never attain the heights of Messi, Modric and the like, but they can be better than they have been in recent seasons. See above for how they can attain this. Being competent at football is a great way to keep the fan base engaged without the need for endless marketing gimmicks and picnic tables on the pitch.
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