|I'm like a large tornado of anger, swirling about.|
Indy Eleven went to Edmonton with a deliberate plan to confuse and baffle their opponents by playing our least expected lineup.
We made eight changes to the starting eleven, something I would expect in a pre-season friendly against a minor division college team.
The whole idea of resting players so we can have a stronger team for Saturday does not sit with me at all. If you want to rest some players you rest one or two, possibly three. If you seriously want a chance of at least a point, you don't make eight changes.
Even if by some kind of wonderful miracle we had managed to win last night, I still would not agree with what we did or how we lined up. It was totally illogical. I have ran through my head the different scenarios or reasons we might have had and none of them make sense.
For the record.......
I made a ton of notes during the game, but I don't see the point in relaying those. The starting lineup surprised a lot of people I guess, I was not surprised because I had heard 24 hours earlier what was going to happen and was honestly expecting us to get beat by three or four goals to zero!
We made 8 changes to the lineup, it confused the Edmonton TV crew and the NASL website, neither of them have the lineup correct. From my eyes it was Cardona in goal, McKinney, Janicki, Miller and Frias across the back. Smart, Keller, Steinberger and Lacroix aross the midfield with Wojcik and Rugg up front.
Our subs bench was Nicht, Ring, Hyland, Franco, Brown, Richards and Pineda. Dragan Stojkov did not travel, and I am surprised looking around social media that very few people have questioned that.
Throughout the game we pretty much failed at doing anything coherent or creative, we resorted to long ball again, we probably made more passes or shots into blue shirts than we did to our own players.
We lost a goal in each half, although the game probably could have ended 6-2. We possibly had at least one good penalty claim, some may say two, I feel though had we got them we probably would have missed them.
Albert Watson collected a goal from a corner, unmarked and unchallenged he rose and headed in between McKinney who had the back post and Cardona who was in the center of goal. Ameobi missed a golden chance in front of goal as well that could have put the home side 2-0 in the first half.
There were several penalty looks for both sides throughout the game, most of them were light or debatable, some not. The referee finally gave one against McKinney for a handball in the second half and Ameobi secured the insurance goal for Edmonton.
In between there was some very poor football from both sides, some niggling fights and arguments, crankiness, bad passing and lots of guesswork from a lineup that had hardly played in a competitive game together this season.
At half time Tim Regan was asked if there was anything he can do to change things in the second half and he said NO! And then proceeded to switch out Wojcik for Pineda at the start of the second half. Duke Lacroix who arguably had looked like the biggest threat on the field was subbed out in the 54th minute for Brown and in the 73rd minute Dane Richards came on for Daniel Keller.
So what in the Sam Hill........?
I can't fathom the reasoning of resting so many players. We don't have to play three games every week of the season, our squad is large enough and should be fit enough to take both games seriously, they are paid athletes. I could see the reasoning of possibly resting a player who may still be carrying an injury like Ring or Pineda. I don't understand the logic of dropping eight from the previous week. I honestly thought if we just had Hyland and Franco on we may have drawn the game or possibly even have won it.
The other thing that bothers me about saying we are resting players because of three games in a week, why would we not go for the win in Edmonton and rest some players on Saturday. I mean if you look at the form of both you have to say Edmonton look like the best chance of getting three? We have taken 7 points from them in the last three meetings. And on the evidence of their performance last night, they were there for the taking?
Last week against Atlanta we played the best starting lineup we could, possibly with the exception of the front pairing and we got humiliated, defeated by a clumsy goal and we couldn't do anything in the game. Was this because players were tired? So what makes the coaches think we will do any better this Saturday? If this is the reason and we lose we will look even more stupid than we did last night.
Was the reason anger? Was Tim Regan so mad about the loss on Saturday he is sending out a message by saying I am just going to change the whole f**king team? Of course we only have two center backs so he had to leave them in, and why punish Zach when he just got here and only played 60 minutes. Outside of that he tried the best he could to change the whole team, which to me says there is more anger in this than tactics, and I kind of got a little bit of that from his half time interview.
So what will this achieve, other than letting Edmonton get a better standing than us whilst teams like Atlanta and New York won again gaining more points?
There are two ways this can go, the players get the message and realize if they play shit everyone will get dropped and they start to play much better as a result and we start to win and move up, Tim will be hailed a genius by deliberately throwing away three points in pursuit or wins down the road?
OR! We go back to a more recognizable line up against Ottawa on Saturday and we still get beat, maybe because we are just not good enough or maybe because the players don't react in the way that is expected. Then we look like a complete laughing stock and are on a run of three straight defeats, all because coach got mad? Well that and we are playing bad as well.
There is no way in hell you can tell me changing out every single player that could possibly be changed out is a plan to "rest players" ha ha whatever, if that is true then I am now extremely concerned for the rest of the season, because if this is the best ideas we have we're screwed!
I guess we may never really find out the story behind this game, or we may, somewhere down the line. Regardless, it wasn't clever, it wasn't pretty and it wasn't helpful.
Bloody Shambles MVP: I could go with Kristian Nicht or maybe Brad Ring, Hyland? None of them put a foot wrong the whole night. However, joking aside up until he got yanked out of the game, Duke Lacroix looked like our most effect threat on the field up to that point. So Duke it is!