Sunday, August 9, 2015

Well at least we know we have hit our lowest point? Where to now? (Indy Eleven V Ottawa Fury 8/8/2015 Review)

Duke not good enough to start, really?
After the shenanigans that went on in Edmonton on Wednesday, I knew this was going to be an important game for Tim Regan. Had we won after making 8 changes in a midweek game he may have been hailed a genius. 

Had we drawn maybe people would have said ho-hum and moved on. Had we narrowly lost people might have said "oh... so close!" In the end we were completely blown out of the water and looked ridiculous.

So what do we do now? We have done just about every naive thing we can possibly do to make the team look worse other than perhaps starting Charlie Rugg in goal?

Indy Eleven perhaps once again started with a confusing lineup, no doubt like myself many others were expecting to see a good strong starting eleven, unfortunately Brad Ring was a late omission due to injury. But still there was a few head scratchers in there.

It took Ottawa less than ten minutes to expose Indy at the back. Greg Janicki was easily fooled by 
Heinemann who brushed past him into the box and squared a pass into the feet of Ubiparipović who easily slotted home. Erick Norales who may have been ring rusty after a couple games out was right there but could do little to stop the shot. He certainly looked jaded for most of the game.

Indy held on for the rest of the first half, but again it took less than ten minutes for Ottawa to expose our defense again in the second. Ottawa's Richter sent in a ball from wide right to the center of the box, again Janicki was the closest defender, in the ensuing scramble is was Wiedeman who controlled the ball and managed to slip it between Janicki and Nicht and into the net.

Duke Lacroix, who was arguably one of the better players on Wednesday night failed to make the starting lineup, but did not fail to make an impact in the game when he came on. Entered the field in the 57th minute and scored a beautiful goal in the 60th. Duke picked up a pass from Stojkov about 35 yards out and dribbled past two defenders and slotted the ball home to give Indy a glimmer of hope.

Any chance of a comeback for Indy was squashed within a minute. Almost like the first goal for Ottawa, Janicki was completely ineffective at stopping the run and cross of Heinemann and again the ball came in front of the defense into Norales area who was not keeping up with the play and Mauro Eustaquio slotted the ball home all too easily. That was game over for Indy Eleven.

Ottawa were not done having fun at our expense, again a goal scored by defensive suicide, Janicki with a chance to get the ball up in the aire and away from defense, headered the ball down into the path of an oncoming Ottawa player. To be fair what happened next probably should have been called a fouled by the ref as Norales who was attempting to recover the ball was deliberately knocked off the ball. it wasn't called and Wiedeman easily wrong footed Kristian Nicht and Ottawa went 4-1 up.

And that is how it ended, Indy Eleven totally exposed and demoralized, without any game plan, without ideas and seemingly without any plan at all on the evidence of the last two games?

Things that must be looked at by the club and the coaches right now.....

1. We said before the Edmonton game we were resting players (we all know that is not true) the only players we did not rest were Steinberger, Janicki and Miller. Considering Janicki is 31 and Cory Miller is 27, why did we elect to start Janicki alongside Erick who has missed the last two games. Of course we want Norales back in the team, but the most logical starting centers would have been Norales and Miller, they have proved over this year and last they are our best defensive pairing. Cory Miller from my point of view has done nothing to deserve being benched, once again we are messing with the psyche of our players. Not starting Miller was mistake number one?

2. In the two games that we have started Brown and Richards in attack they have provided nothing, not a goal, not even an assist. Again we saw from Richards last night he is more concerned about trying tricks and flicks. Why are we persisting in a front pairing that has provided nothing? Why are we playing Dane Richards as a center forward when he is not one and obviously is wasted there. Duke Lacroix is probably the best attacking option we have, never gets enough time to prove it, in a terrible midweek game he was one of the only player's that stood out and was dumped again? He came on and scored in THREE MINUTES!! Had he been on at the start and did that in the first few minutes it changes the game, it puts the other side on the back foot and gets them rattled??

3. Once again we bought a player and put him straight into the team. When are we going to stop being so bloody stupid. Players must come here and think they are the mutts nuts and don't have to prove themselves. Walk right in, get on the field, what does that say to them about our team? Marvin Ceballos did look dangerous, he made a couple interesting runs and had a shot or two. But the only way he was going to provide something was by doing it himself, he doesn't know the team and our players don't know him. We have done this with Richards, Steinberger and Ceballos now, and it has given us no advantage. it makes us look like a club that has no clue what it is doing?

4. Considering the selection issue we had with Brad Ring not being available, why did we not elect to just put Steinberger at central defensive mid and pull Dane back into attacking mid and pair Lacroix and brown up front? I mean this would just seem so obvious to me rather than keep putting in new players. Seems however we don't do obvious? This continual selection shambles is going to disrupt the mood of the players and lead to us to never being able to find a steady starting line up because players never know what they will be doing from one game to the next? Also if we continue to not utilize players like Lacroix who is obviously brimming with talent, we will lose those players, someone will come knocking on his door, he is undoubtedly going to become one of the best players in this league, or possibly a higher league if we won't play him.

5. I think the ridiculous decision to make eight changes for our game at Edmonton and alluding to some excuse about resting players which led to us being hammered at home by Ottawa has to be questioned by our administration. I know Tim is the interim coach, and I love the guy, but I think these two games have blown his chances of becoming a permanent head coach, and that needs to be looked at. We could have got 3 pts from these two games and we did not, we cut our nose off to spite our face and totally blew the game in Edmonton only to get destroyed in the following game. Simply not good enough and given the disruption this has caused it may now be irreparable by our current head coach. I think our owner and GM need to be seriously concerned about this situation now, it at least needs to be discussed this week with the current coaching team. If we have a decision to make to bring someone else in to fix this, it needs to be done sooner rather than later. Allowing a situation like this to run out for the rest of the season could be disastrous for the reputation of the club and for the attendances this year and future ticket sales for 2016.

Bloody Shambles MVP: Congrats to Duke Lacroix, two games running I am giving it to you because you stood out as something incredibly exciting in a puddle of sludge. great solo effort to bring the goal, always exciting to watch. 


  1. What's your starting 11 Mr. Shambles?

    I'd be interested to see this:

    Stojkov Ceballos LaCroix Richards
    Franco Norales Miller Hyland

    I think Richards can be more effective on the outside where his speed can be better used. I also think the attacking speed of Ceballos, LaCroix, Richards and Brown could create opportunities. Seeing Ceballos run to take the throw-in's was awesome - very up-tempo player who showed a lot of promise. I think those four could launch some lightning counter-attacks.

    I could also see Woj playing at Brown's place in that line-up, but Brown is simply too athletic to leave out of the line-up. He does well chasing and apply pressure up top, something few of our forwards seem to enjoy doing.

  2. Richards is supposed to be on the right wing, the problem with that is Stojkov has been playing very well there, so if you drop him we are back in the position of dropping players who are playing well. Richards is not a forward he is a winger, so for me he would have to play his way into the team rather than just be shoved in. I also still think he is trying too hard to showboat and not hard enough at playing a simple game. If you move him to the other side you lose Pineda, maybe not as fast but definitely more creative when it comes to shooting and passing.

    If you put Cardona in and drop Nicht, you gain youth but lose a lot of experience and communication, Nicht is constantly communicating to the team which is important. I think Nicht sometimes can play badly when the team is playing badly. He does make mistakes and he is sometimes slow, but more often than not he is good enough.

    I also would like us to play Lacroix where he is supposed to be, center forward, but even when we put him in midfield he still produces. I would like to see us train for two formations, a regular 4-4-2 diamond and a 4-5-1 (4-1-4-1) that way if the way we start does not work against another team we can switch easily without confusion.

    In the 4-4-2 diamond right now I would start Nicht. Franco, Miller, Norales and Hyland. Stojkov, Ring, Ceballos and Pineda. Wojcik and Lacroix. If we have to alter our style up against a 4-3-3 or 3-5-2 for instance then I would ask Lacroix to come back into the CAM position alongside Ceballos and in front of Ring. If Ring is not available I would play Steinberger there and not Keller. Also I am not discounting Mares, trouble is he is out. So let Ceballos show what he can do. Until Dane Richards shows a better work ethic and Brown I would leave them on the bench. I don;t see the same athleticism in brown you do I think, over short distances maybe, but Wojcik is better I think, he will run box to box when needed, trouble is he has been made to look bad in two really stupid games now. Brown could be better up front with a different partner though, I don't think he and Richards are really on the same page. Also Brown is not the best at positioning himself for opportunities.

  3. Woj gives us a presence in the air. Outside of Norales and Miller, he's probably our presence in the air. That's invaluable on both ends of the pitch. But he also seems really streaky - almost like He Who Shall Not Be Named (but rhymes with Marley Shrugg) - in that he can completely disappear for a 10-15 minute spell.

    Brown provides good pressure up top. He's also got the stamina to track back if necessary. Give him another opportunity with Ceballos and LaCroix supporting behind him and Richards and Dragan on the wings. If we force a turnover in the midfield, that line-up can turn the ball around so quickly the other team won't have a chance to set up their defense. Brown, Ceballos, and LaCroix will get a lot of 1-on-1 with the last defender opportunities. Each of those players has the skill to win that situation.

    I'd recommend we play a quick counter-attack with that line-up. Our back line is solid - we just need to put some more goals in the net and do it EARLY. It seems we're always playing from behind.

    Give 'em a shot!

  4. Yeah I think Woj was slow to mature, but up until the game in Ottawa he improved each game and hit his peak right before that game, then got asked to play out of position in a really bad game and got dropped. That's what we do and it messes with the psyche of the players, drop them when they are bad not when they are good. We really need to get some consistency in our lineup. The injuries didn't help over the last half dozen or so games though. Like Miller this week, did nothing wrong, dropped?

  5. I completely agree with your questioning of the starting 11. IMO (and from an Edmonton fan) you would want to start a stronger side vs FCEd, a side that you have a higher chance of beating, rather than "saving" your starters for Ottawa, THE HOTTEST CLUB right now. Also, this is professional sports. Players should be able play several times in a week IMO. Good luck in the rest of the season guys!

    1. Very true, and thank you! Good luck to the Eddies too, get a good fall run like last year!