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Final thoughts: WCQ 2008


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quote:Originally posted by Toronto MB

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.

"If 'ifs' and 'buts' were candy and nuts ...."

I know where you are coming from, but "it is what it is" (to use a more recent popular cliche). I'm not sure what the immediate future holds for the MNT if Mitchell remains in charge. His most recent additions to his coaching CV can be best described as face plants.

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To sum it up in one word: disaster

CSA & Mitchell should consider themselves lucky that a lot of people in Canada don’t take Canadian soccer seriously. If this was hockey, there will be blood on our streets! If Mitchell had any honour and respect for Canadian soccer fans, then he would have resigned a long time ago and let someone else (Hart?) run men’s team. But he didn’t, which speaks volume of what type of person he really is. The same can be said about CSA. These people either don’t care about winning or they’re too dumb to run an organization. Lastly, players should get some of the blame as well. They didn’t play well at all. The only positive I can think of this campaign was fans in Toronto who showed and outnumbered Jamaican fans at BMO field. Hopefully more games will be played in Toronto (maybe Edmonton as well?) in the future.

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Yes, our expectations were inflated, but we also had decent reason to expect more. Sure, the Gold Cup is not a great indicator of how teams will peform during WCQ, but we had a decent team and some better quality players than we've had in the past. The good news is that we actually had hope for our team DESPITE being stuck in by far the toughest group. Higher expectations are a good thing.

Still, the fact of the matter is that until we can field a team--in every position--with players playing (actually playing) in one of the top 5 or 6 leagues in the world, we will have a bloody difficult time even making it to the hex.

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quote:Originally posted by The Beaver

Still, the fact of the matter is that until we can field a team--in every position--with players playing (actually playing) in one of the top 5 or 6 leagues in the world, we will have a bloody difficult time even making it to the hex.

Disappointing. Everyone's looking for a "solution" to get Canada into the WC; and it's natural to look for 1 or 2 big things to blame - CSA, coach, players etc.

Sad to say our entire system doesn't measure up in loads of ways (it would take a whole thread to count them); CONCACAF is a scary system (I'd challenge many of the european teams to qualify, playing in central america); AND our best players are trying to advance professionally a third of the way around the world.

Our NT players aren't making the zillions, and neither are our coaches/staff, that their competitors are. We don't have the infrastructure to be competitive at the highest level. For players on the verge of a breakthrough to the highest levels, which means in europe, it IS a sacrifice to play for Canada, sad to say.

The players deserve the thanks of the supporters for doing their best to represent their country, with woefully inadequate resources.

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^ You missed the mark there bud. Our competitors are in CONCACAF, and aside from the Mexican roster and a handful of players spotted throughout the various other CONCACAF nations, they are not making 'zillions' and I doubt many coaches are making much (other than SGE).

The players underperformed terribly. They pooped the bed AT HOME. You can't let them off the hook because CONCACAF qualifying is 'difficult'.

The coaching was atrocious to say the least. CSA practically gave away home field advantage in both Toronto and Montreal, but due to the efforts of the Voyageurs, the crowd wasn't totally an away crowd in BMO.

I feel quite confident in blaming the CSA, coach and players for this utterly hopeless WCQ campaign.

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Final Thoughts?

For me during the campaign, this being my first I pushed myself all in for, it was a great disappointment, but not all that surprising.

We are a third world football nation.

It is not solely the CSA, Mitchell, or the players fault.

Joe Sixpack in Canada generally doesn't care about football, and as such nothing radical will happen that needs to happen, and we small percentage of the Populace of Canada will just have to suck it up and face the reality that we aren't ever going to be very good on the international scene in our lifetime.

We are niche, and that is fine with me, now.

defeatist? Yes, but definitely grounded in reality.

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Honestly, I think less went wrong than most believe. We had one nightmare play followed by one nightmare match and, for all intents and purposes, it was over. Nothing after the Honduras match in Montreal mattered a wit, it was already gone.

Please feel free to read the 800 word version of this opinion here:

http://untothedogs.blogspot.com/2008/11/so-how-bad-was-it.html

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quote:Originally posted by gkhs

Honestly, I think less went wrong than most believe. We had one nightmare play followed by one nightmare match and, for all intents and purposes, it was over. Nothing after the Honduras match in Montreal mattered a wit, it was already gone.

Please feel free to read the 800 word version of this opinion here:

http://untothedogs.blogspot.com/2008/11/so-how-bad-was-it.html

I have read your article and there are a number of points on which I agree. Certainly DM's tactics in the second half of the absolutely crucial home match vs Honduras after they took the lead should be questioned. I felt half of the back line was pretty solid: Klukowski was our best defender and Serioux did well. Hastings didn't look comfortable nor convincing in his early starts and was particularly poor against Vela in the first Mexico match but redeemed himself in the Edmonton game and Stalteri looked like a guy who hadn't been playing first team football, so I agree that perhaps competition for those spots needed to be better addressed.

Prior to this campaign, I and others posted (at least, I think I posted[?]) that how well our midfield played would dictate how things would turn out for us. In the end I have to conclude that we underachieved in that area of the field: we failed to provide enough attacking support and consistent wide play to fortify the (longe ranger) striker, yet nor did we close down opponents effectively and thus prevent counter attacks from taking place (at least four goals were conceded in such a manner). So I think that aspect of the performance warrants critique as well.

Thanks for the thoughtful blog, gkhs!:)

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There were several moments where I was just dying to see Friend and Gerba on the field at the same time, but that never happened. A tactical shift to a 4-4-2 with two natural strikers might have made a difference, particularly in the second half of the honduras game in montreal.

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quote:Originally posted by Scottie

There were several moments where I was just dying to see Friend and Gerba on the field at the same time, but that never happened. A tactical shift to a 4-4-2 with two natural strikers might have made a difference, particularly in the second half of the honduras game in montreal.

You never know. It would at least have made dead ball situations more threatening (especially if we had better utilized the weapon of Serioux's long throw).

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quote:Originally posted by Ed

^ You missed the mark there bud. Our competitors are in CONCACAF, and aside from the Mexican roster and a handful of players spotted throughout the various other CONCACAF nations, they are not making 'zillions' and I doubt many coaches are making much (other than SGE).

The players underperformed terribly. They pooped the bed AT HOME. You can't let them off the hook because CONCACAF qualifying is 'difficult'.

The coaching was atrocious to say the least. CSA practically gave away home field advantage in both Toronto and Montreal, but due to the efforts of the Voyageurs, the crowd wasn't totally an away crowd in BMO.

I feel quite confident in blaming the CSA, coach and players for this utterly hopeless WCQ campaign.

I agree 100%, Ed. We have to look at ourselves and rebuild from

the coaching down. IMO, they were prepared to play but not compete.

You get players that play domestic football in Honduras that

outperformed their expectations. The only player that met/exceeded

my expectations is Tomasz Radzinski.

Coaching? Are we serious?!

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quote:Originally posted by BrennanFan

So I'd place us 5th in the region, tied with Jamaica and TnT.

No the Reggae Boyz are clearly better than us because they have an organization that cares enough to make changes. They missed the hex on goal diff to Mexico, we missed it by a country mile.

For now we are 6th at best.

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I realized through this 2008 campaign that the CSA r a bunch of amateurs.

We have the players...but we failed to coach them and to make sure that they played in the best possible environment.

Blame the CSA and Mitchell....there are the joke of the town....and i really believe that most of the players think the same thing.

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quote:Originally posted by wildguy27

It is a shame to read such negativety in this thread. Such bitterness and griping, rather then happiness and positive thoughts.

On the bright side, unlike in the U-20 World Cup, we did score a goal.

On the bright side, we discovered that a few of our players can play this game. Hirschfeld, de Jong, Bernier, and Klukowski in particular probably answered quite a few questions.

On the bright side, Tomasz Radzinski gave himself a hell of a sendoff, even if some of our other veterans didn't stand up.

On the bright side, now we know Dale Mitchell is useless, instead of merely suspecting he is, and there won't be any false hopes in the Gold Cup.

On the bright side, lots of great efforts from some of the players. Players like Kevin Harmse and Adrian Serioux may not be the most talented guys, but they put it all on the line to make sure the team won. There's very few guys we can condemn for lack of effort, even if the execution was lacking.

That's about all I've got, though...

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Nice to see Mazha totally ignored :D Even though I do support the nation of my father (England) I would like to see Canada do well. I would do the following:

1 - Hire some old head ie) Sir Bobby Robson to run the CSA (too old and not likely I know)

2 - Hire a new coach who runs the program properly (and knows tactics)

3 - Play the likes of Suriname, Guadaloupe et al to increase the coeficient. (higher # = easier group)

4 - Play these games around the country trying to find a city where we have an advantage. Ecuador plays at altitude because they can. Play in Iqualiut if the Mexicans can't handle the cold. If Montreal is going to be pro Honduras then don't bloody play there. Surely we can find a stadium somewhere in the huge country where we can create a hostile environment through weather, fans or what have you.

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To answer the question...this might be the most negatively impactful WCQ in memory. Expectations were high, people started to pay attention, and even became emotionally involved and then...crash boom bang. Complete and utter ineptitude from all parties involved. The organization...crap. The team...crap. The coach...crap. The results...crap. Montreal as a venue...crap. Once bitten twice shy...will they come back???

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quote:Originally posted by Lord Bob

On the bright side, lots of great efforts from some of the players. Players like Kevin Harmse and Adrian Serioux may not be the most talented guys, but they put it all on the line to make sure the team won. There's very few guys we can condemn for lack of effort, even if the execution was lacking.

So, in the opinions of you and others out there, which guys didn't "put it all on the line"? Did anybody stand out as a real dogf*cker out there?

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quote:Originally posted by Lord Bob

On the bright side, unlike in the U-20 World Cup, we did score a goal.

On the bright side, we discovered that a few of our players can play this game. Hirschfeld, de Jong, Bernier, and Klukowski in particular probably answered quite a few questions.

On the bright side, Tomasz Radzinski gave himself a hell of a sendoff, even if some of our other veterans didn't stand up.

On the bright side, now we know Dale Mitchell is useless, instead of merely suspecting he is, and there won't be any false hopes in the Gold Cup.

On the bright side, lots of great efforts from some of the players. Players like Kevin Harmse and Adrian Serioux may not be the most talented guys, but they put it all on the line to make sure the team won. There's very few guys we can condemn for lack of effort, even if the execution was lacking.

That's about all I've got, though...

See there are alot of positives. :D

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quote:Originally posted by Lord Bob

On the bright side, unlike in the U-20 World Cup, we did score a goal.

On the bright side, we discovered that a few of our players can play this game. Hirschfeld, de Jong, Bernier, and Klukowski in particular probably answered quite a few questions.

On the bright side, Tomasz Radzinski gave himself a hell of a sendoff, even if some of our other veterans didn't stand up.

On the bright side, now we know Dale Mitchell is useless, instead of merely suspecting he is, and there won't be any false hopes in the Gold Cup.

On the bright side, lots of great efforts from some of the players. Players like Kevin Harmse and Adrian Serioux may not be the most talented guys, but they put it all on the line to make sure the team won. There's very few guys we can condemn for lack of effort, even if the execution was lacking.

That's about all I've got, though...

See there are alot of positives. :D

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quote:Originally posted by BearcatSA

So, in the opinions of you and others out there, which guys didn't "put it all on the line"? Did anybody stand out as a real dogf*cker out there?

I wasn't specific in the post because I didn't want to sound like I was trying to give any particular players the gears. But since you asked: in particular off the top of my head, de Guzman, de Rosario, Stalteri in every match before Edmonton, Friend, and Hume in Montreal were particularly egregious.

Not coincidentally, I'm sure, we see quite a few names of guys pissed off at Dale Mitchell on that list.

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quote:Originally posted by BrennanFan

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.

You tried to skip a funeral for a football match? That's amazing.

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