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nolando

Final thoughts: WCQ 2008

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Well... improvements needed across the board. Coaching this team in this group was always going to be tough job. That being said the coaching was poor, the performance of the players was poor also. The degree of blame i'd assign increases the further you go up the ladder all the way to the top. Dominic Maestracci wants to play puppet, he should be the one feeling the heat.

Positives: It was nice to see WCQ garner a slight increased rate of attention in the media and having a vocal section in toronto.

ps. can we quit giving a home to trash who have nothing to do but post sarcastic comments and lower the discusion level? It's been metioned before, (Canadian supporters forum) anyone who doesn't fit that description or fails to act diplomatically should be shown the door. These guys go un-checked all the time, it's like we have no mods.

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You call yourself Supporters? Do any of our National Team players (all ages -U17 to Senior Men"s) actually listen to our banter? I know for a fact that some do. They question, "This is our SUPPORT CLUB"? You actually want them to run to our little V's section and celebrate with us when they actually do start winning? I don't think so! ---

Bye the way, I watched my first Canadian International match back in Victoria in April 04,1985. We beat Guatemala 2-1 in World Cup qualifier. Were you even born yet? I wore #4 all my sporting days (if you even know who Bobby Orr is). I am and always was an avid Canucks fan and you talk about garbage ? I guess I'm just a fan ( gee-- a Supporter) PS: I bet my Canadian ass is older than YOUR Canadian ass!

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quote:Originally posted by Free kick

Sweeping changing will do ABOLUTELY NOTHING in the short and medium term to improve our int'l results. Maybe in the long term, it might yield positives. But you need good players to win in soccer. If you dont produce good players, what difference does it make who sits in the CSa offices.

Ok but we will never know how much a team can achieve if we don't get friendlies or a coach who has a brain that functions.

Maybe if the CSA were a little more professional we would be able to at least hold on to our best players??? And sweeping changes to the CSA should help to lead the development of quality players as well by implementing a better scouting system and getting better training for coaches nationwide.

**********, Deguzman Fernandes are 3 of our best talents we have ever produced and they will never suit up for us, not saying tehy whould'nt have split if the CSA was run a little better but still I'm sure it plays a large enough roll. And if we don't make changes we will continue to lose many of our talented players, so sure we may not get.

Im just trying to salvage some hope because right now, I have nothing we supposedly had our best team ever and shat the bed with 2 points, our coach is'nt looking like giving up and the CSA is a joke. If there is not some changes made or some sort of progress at least attempted I'm sorry but I am done following and supporting this team, why the great should I??? I have enough disapointment and frustration in my life.

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quote:Originally posted by Gian-Luca

Come on now, according to those standings El Salvador is a better team than Mexico - do you really think that's the case? I haven't seen too many people blame the group for our problems (in fact, refreshingly very few have done so) but to suggest that being in one of the weaker groups wouldn't have helped or made a difference is just deceiving yourself.

If we look at that table, I think that we can all agree that we are a stronger side in every respect than Haiti and Cuba. We just need to look at their squads, our head to head results against those two, and the overall state of their program/ international results. But what about Guatemala? We split two games against them in 2004 and our win against them was in a totally meaningless game for them.

So yes, if we look at it in that sense, the group draw, has a lot to do with it. But still, that table and RJB's point still tells us something. Its best to ignore whether we make to hex or not to pass judgment and focus instead on who we are winning against and who we are not winning against. That's the point I was making earlier about 1997 ( when we played in Hex) whereby I thought that performance was perhaps the weakest of the last four WCQ cycles. Our matches against Mexico present a contraction. We played them in 3 of the four WCQ cycles. We have looked better against them each progressive time but our results against the the other sides have not improved.

Therefore, you wouldn't be far off by stating that right now, based on results and personnel we rank ninth ( or at best eighth) in the region. If we did a similar table, going back to 1997, to what RJB did there would be pattern to support the 8th to 9th rank. That's not strong when you consider that something like 75% of Concacaf is made up of very tiny nations that are by nature ( population-size, socio-economic) at a disadvantage in international sports competitions. I dont know of a single other sport where we can say that we rank as low as 8th or 9th in the region.

Bottom line, we need to develop better players. If France can have some success with Raymond Domeneqc at the helm, then that tells you something about where the ultimate blame lies ( that's not meant to excuse Mitchell coaching this year). You can say the same about the national associations. They can be a factor, but mostly, they have become wipping boys for poor results. Ultimately results are earned on pitch.

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quote:Originally posted by Free kick

[ But what about Guatemala? We split two games against them in 2004 and our win against them was in a totally meaningless game for them.

But it was also a totally meaningless game for us too......and they were at home and at least motivated to play well for the next round, unlike us. And we still beat them. More importantly the last time we played them in a competitive game (2007 Gold Cup) we whipped them 3-0 and even then only because Gerba & DeRo missed easy chances to make it 5-0. And we had more players missing from our line-up than they did that day.

I'm not one of these people that thinks we should just toss out Gold Cup matches as being completely meaningless and worthless (unlike last night's World Cup Qualifying match, which was). They are an idea of the potential we can reach. The problem in translating them to World Cup matches is two-fold:

1.the Gold Cup can show us what our team is like when they are together for a long period of time, even if it isn't our full squad (and it never has been). However our World Cup Qualifying team never has this advantage. Even last night's 3rd string team had the additional disadvantage of not being fully together until the day before the game.

2.The Gold Cup games are played at a neutral site and our team isn't affected by the adverse away conditions, travel from Europe before the match or large opposition support at home games, etc.

This is basically why we have performed better at the Gold Cup since 2000 than we have done in WCQ (well that and the fact that the WCQ group we were in this year was a million times tougher than any Gold Cup group we might end up in). Until we can solve some of the problems mentioned above for WCQ, we should not be expecting that Gold Cup success will automatically be translating into WCQ success. But in terms of evaluating our team overall in comparison to others like Guatemala, I'm not seeing the "Gold Cup doesn't count" argument. Particularly for the editions of the tournament which are not in the midst of WCQ (like in 2007) and teams bring what is close to their full squad. It would be tantamount to saying "Euro2008 doesn't count" for European teams.

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quote:Originally posted by Alex

I'm going to finally talk about how this campaign has personally affected my life. For the last year my fiancee and I were planning our wedding for this fall. We had dates in mind, originally it was placed for sometime in October, the 25th I think, (or around there) and at the time the schedule wasnt out but I was hoping the date wouldnt conflict with the games Ive been waiting for since I remember waking up at 3am to watch a tape delay of Canada vs Costa Rica at Saprissa in 2004. Moving on, after several issues the date was changed and set. It was moved up to September. I realized soon after that this was a bad choice for my wedding day but I didnt know the heartbreak that would ensue.

You could probably guess the date by this point, the 6th it was. The day I will celebrate for the rest of my life was the beginning of the end for "the best Canadian national team ever assembled." You would think a guy that getting married would be nervous, I was, but for my country not my life!!!! I was a nervous wreck, how could I be doing this? miss a game??? danng it. I NEVER miss a game.

It was killing me, I even designated my best man to be my update guy, he encorporated this designation into his speech for crying out loud. I made the banquet hall manager go downstairs and tell me whos ahead (we were at the time) and that he did. HE proclaimed we were up 1-0, I was in a state of euphoria, my bride thought it was for her, but no, I had a hard on for you Canada. Was I celebrating prematurely? surely not, there was no way in my mind on this great day that we could lose. No way. I had a plan by 10 pm to stand up grab the mic and just yell WE WON!!! then sit back down, but I soon learned it was all for not. I snuck out went to the pub downstairs and asked anyone who was listening if the rumoured 2-1 loss was true. It was.

After being at the Jamaica game in Toronto and coming up short with the 1-1 draw, September 6th, 2008 sucked balls. and I got married that day. I think some greater being planned it that way so that I wouldnt go F C UKING insane with anger. Instead I was on my way to Cancun which I must admit helped to dull the pain, but that same pain reappeared the following Wednesday.

WAY TO RUIN MY HONEYMOON DALE MITCHELL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you.

That is all.

Good story.

As for me, I tried to convince my wife that we should skip her father's funeral and still go to the Honduras game in Montreal, as the change of scenery might lead her to a better understanding and acceptance of the situation.

...didn't work.

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Final thoughts?

When times are good we overrate our team. We take too much stock in losing results that were near misses, as evidence i submit the GC SF loss to the US and the Brasil friendly. Fact is, a truly good team would have sealed the deal in each case, so we still have a long way to go.

When times are bad we underrate our team. We assume because we tied on points with Suriname and had less points then Haiti or Cuba that we don't produce decent players and we have to reinvent the wheel. If we had fired Dale Mitchell back in September things might have been different down in Honduras and at home to Mexico, but we'll never know.

As an aside; does anyone really believe that El Salvador is a better team than us? I don't.

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Honestly, Mr. Mitchell has to go. His tactics didn't work at all. More than that, it seems the players didn't respect him. If the coach doesn't have the trust and respect of his players they will go nowhere very fast. Hell, West Ham got relegated a few years back and most felt they were a top 7 team!

We had the players, and the group to prove our quality. On the pitch, man for man, we have it. Off the pitch we are lesser lights than the UAE or Madagascar. It makes a massive difference to players who feel secure in their surroundings and those who don't.

0-3 is not a surprise.

What I'd very much like is a break down of performances from some of the youngsters called up - if any! I never got to see the match.

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Guest Ed
quote:Originally posted by jpg75

Final thoughts?

When times are good we overrate our team. We take too much stock in losing results that were near misses, as evidence i submit the GC SF loss to the US and the Brasil friendly. Fact is, a truly good team would have sealed the deal in each case, so we still have a long way to go.

When times are bad we underrate our team. We assume because we tied on points with Suriname and had less points then Haiti or Cuba that we don't produce decent players and we have to reinvent the wheel. If we had fired Dale Mitchell back in September things might have been different down in Honduras and at home to Mexico, but we'll never know.

As an aside; does anyone really believe that El Salvador is a better team than us? I don't.

I don't think so either. But I do think that we are not top 6 in Concacaf by any means of the imagination. The Gold Cup is the Gold Cup. It is not WCQ and yet we naively continue to think we are better than clubs such as CR, Honduras, etc based on our biannual mixed bag of results at a tournament that noone really takes seriously. We are **** compared to the top 4 in CONCACAF and what is most worrisome is that we continue to fall in power in the region.

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What I saw was that Canada can play with the ball WHEN the other team lets them. When the opposition decides to apply some pressure we inevitable give up the ball with a bad pass. Until Canada has enough skilled players to advance the ball even under pressure, we will not go very far in qualifying. We end up chasing the ball again.

Will the next set of players be more adept at keeping the ball? Perhaps, but it may take more than 4 years to get things right. It starts with the coach. Please leave, Dale.

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In all seriousness, WCQ has only showed that we are not as good as Honduras when we are missing a couple role players, and when we have a fool for a coach. We did fine against Mexico and Jamaica. We are probably a step behind Costa Rica as well. So I'd place us 5th in the region, tied with Jamaica and TnT.

I believe a new coach would have us contending with Honduras and Costa Rica immediately and on a good day, against Mex and USA as we have already shown can happen.

My final thought is that we should all book our tickets to WC 2014 in Brazil now.

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quote:Originally posted by BrennanFan

In all seriousness, WCQ has only showed that we are not as good as Honduras when we are missing a couple role players, and when we have a fool for a coach. We did fine against Mexico and Jamaica. We are probably a step behind Costa Rica as well. So I'd place us 5th in the region, tied with Jamaica and TnT.

I believe a new coach would have us contending with Honduras and Costa Rica immediately and on a good day, against Mex and USA as we have already shown can happen.

My final thought is that we should all book our tickets to WC 2014 in Brazil now.

That could be categorized as falling into the category of excuses. In their home game against Canada, they ( Honduras ) were missing several key players. I run into regularly ( at a grocery/convenience store I freqeunt) a clerk who is of Honduran background. He a very asture follower of Honduras soccer and extremely knowledgable about international soccer in Concacaf. Outside the soccer forums, I would rate this individual at the very top in terms of views that I respect in regards to int'l soccer in this region.

You want know to what he kept telling me in the lead up to that Hon-Can game in San Pedro Sula? He said that the pessimism was rampant amongst the fans and the media in Honduras. And it was specifically because they were missing too many players. To them, they took the view that they had no chance in that game and the hope was that they would gte results in other games inspite of losing to Canada in that game.

There is two sides to the coin and you can miss the bigger picture by just focusing little tidbits here and there about who was missing from the lineup.

PS.; incidently, you might be interested to know that this guy flew to Mexico and got tickets to see the Hon-Mex but couldn't get tickets to the game in Montreal because ( as he stated) the scalpers on-line wanted 500$!

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quote:Originally posted by jpg75

Final thoughts?

When times are good we overrate our team. We take too much stock in losing results that were near misses, as evidence i submit the GC SF loss to the US and the Brasil friendly. Fact is, a truly good team would have sealed the deal in each case, so we still have a long way to go.

When times are bad we underrate our team. We assume because we tied on points with Suriname and had less points then Haiti or Cuba that we don't produce decent players and we have to reinvent the wheel. If we had fired Dale Mitchell back in September things might have been different down in Honduras and at home to Mexico, but we'll never know.

As an aside; does anyone really believe that El Salvador is a better team than us? I don't.

This sums things up nicely for me.

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If Onstad didn't bat the equalizer into our own net vs. Jamaica and if Gerba's header fell a couple inches to the left in Montreal, we would have been 6 points to the good after the first two games.

Suddenly:

- we wouldn't have had to go to Azteca and play like we did in the 90's

- we wouldn't have had the same mutiny within our team

- we would be looking at a draw at home to Mexico and a win away to Jamaica to qualify (with out A-Team on the pitch)

But, football is a game of inches. The reality is that we have failed and the deconstruction of our squad was the greatest embarassment of all. Dale Mitchell has failed, and subsuquently those responsible for the hiring of Mitchell and the organisation of the campaign have failed.

The players have failed as well, but I believe there will be no one more gutted by this result than them.

This campaign really took a lot out of my courgae for our beloved game in this country. I will never give up, but this is another bitter pill to swallow.

Heads up lads, keep the pride, for Canada.

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^ Well said. I wonder... does the fact that we were mere inches away from this all turning out so much differently making it easier or more difficult to accept? It's all a pointless hypothetical now, and all we can do is hope that this campaign serves as the swift kick in the ass that this country's soccer community has needed in order to finally get its act together.

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The majority of us are all depressed and angry, and it's definitely excusable to rant. I'm sure we'll all be back supporting our team in full spirit over the next cycle of qualifying.

We have just cause to complain about the coach and the CSA. We can rant on the players but that won't do any good. The association is responsible for the leadership and overall culture of the program and game in this country. Only they can affect real change in this respect. Unfortunately the leadership has completely failed in all respects.

The coach is the supreme motivator. Look at what Rehhagel did with the Greeks in 04, taking one of the worst teams on paper to the cup. Although I don't think we have the highest talent level, we are about on par with everyone under Mexico and the US so we should have enough to make it out of Concacaf with the right motivation and tactics.

We need to keep lobbying for a new structure and new head coach. We also need to stay 100% behind anyone who puts on the jersey, no matter the outcome.

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