Still Kicking is away this weekend, joining the jet set, skiing in Cortina d’ampezzo. Ok, not falling for that one? Would you believe he’s on the ski hill at Centennial Park? Thought as much. So, once again I find myself as a trialist in Stillkicking’s pre-season friendly. Maybe I’ll be signed, maybe not. Really, the best I can hope for is the odd performance off the bench when the main talent needs a rest!
One of the things I’ve noticed about the TFC chatrooms is their tendency to change rapidly. The latest case is the release of Robinson and Serioux. Fans call for blood, hangings, disembowelment and even worse. How could we release these wonderful, loyal players? Of course, the fire was fed by Serioux’s own comments. Wow! I was ready for Preki to be fired by the second or third match of the season. And then, Bang! Ibrahim Said shows up in camp and things change, people are happy again. Players want to come here! Maybe MLSE isn’t so bad after all! Then, we add in Zamperini, who looked composed and confident tonight in his half of central defence. We should be over the moon, right? Said and Zamperini, combined with Kayizzi and Gargan (should they still be in the picture) might just make us forget all about Carl Robinson (and Serioux, Guevara, Vitti, Falinga, and a host of others), right? I’m sure Mo thinks so.
The interesting thing for me tonight was the first half formation. I’m going to call it a 4-1-4-1, even though I heard people call it other things. I think the use of Sanyang as a defensive midfielder with JDG playing ahead of him in a distributing role is inspired, and DeGuzman became more comfortable with it as the game progressed. Sanyang was there to save Nick Garcia’s backside, and he did that at least once. It still seems that Nicky needs the help.
The frustrating thing is the lack of finish. Now, I know that lots of people think Ali Gerba is a ‘fat (insert expletive here)’, but I don’t think so. I just think he is being used wrong. In fact, I think we’re the wrong team for him. I do think he’s a pylon. And what do you do with a pylon in front of the net? You try to deflect the ball off it into the net. And that’s the kind of goals we’ve seen Gerba score for Canada, odd, back heel kind of stuff. TFC doesn’t put near enough pressure on the opposing team’s 18 yard box for Gerba to score goals. How many of our chances came within the penalty area? Very few is my answer. Gerba scores from chaos, and when he’s not supported by anyone creating chaos in the box, forget it. And, why was he taking free kicks from distance? Gerba is certainly not formed in the lone striker mould; White may be, but Gerba, not a chance.
Overall tonight, the passing and possession was good. There seemed to be some thought to the formation. Young guys and trialists were impressive. What happens now?
Well, for a large portion of the game we dominated a lower tier side who are early on in their training camp. Impressive, no. Positive, yes. It looks good for a start. But, it seems as if there might be a lot of low scoring drama in TFC’s future.
There are lots of pieces missing yet, and the puzzle could still fall apart. If Said and Zamperini are just looking for a Dickovesque free trip to gain interest from other clubs things could go downhill rather quickly. Not to mention the rather thin roster, the possibility for injury and the rumoured salary cap issue.
Personally, I think that Preki and Mo will not last long. Even though I try to be positive, I think they will have made a giant, nasty, mean-spirited mess out of our team and be quickly relieved of their duties. If things turn out for the good, we make a few signings, win a few games and fortunes turn around I am willing to forgive and forget. If we go the way I think we’re going to go, I’m just willing to forget. Forget about Mo, forget about Preki and look forward to TFC 2.0.