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Final thoughts: WCQ 2008


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quote:Originally posted by Lord Bob

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.

But do you think that was down to lack of effort? When I think of lack of effort, I'm thinking of Robert's heartless TFC performances as my template. I'd argue that I saw little of that from these guys (though DeGuzman's body language away to Mexico was questionable). Lack of form and/or poor decision making causing ineffective play, I definitely saw that (including some dubious tactics used by the coach), but I guess I'll remain in disagreement with you and others on this one.

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I also disagree with the lack of the effort theories, because most of the really poor performances that have been pointed out occurred in the first two games, where Canada was still very much alive. Frankly, the best games this team played were @ Honduras and in Edmonton when they were knocked out.

Its too bad Stalteri couldn't have scored late there...could be Mexico with us on the sidelines.

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quote:Originally posted by theaub

Its too bad Stalteri couldn't have scored late there...could be Mexico with us on the sidelines.

So true, yet Mexico's goal off a free kick when it should have been

a call AGAINST Mexico was the killer. SGE even thought it should

have gone against them.

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quote:Originally posted by BearcatSA

But do you think that was down to lack of effort? When I think of lack of effort, I'm thinking of Robert's heartless TFC performances as my template. I'd argue that I saw little of that from these guys (though DeGuzman's body language away to Mexico was questionable). Lack of form and/or poor decision making causing ineffective play, I definitely saw that (including some dubious tactics used by the coach), but I guess I'll remain in disagreement with you and others on this one.

I don't think anybody aggressively dogged it, but I do think there wasn't a professional effort from those guys. I'm not referring to just jogging up and down the sideline and kicking the ball in any direction as soon as it comes to you. Just making a lot of lazy plays: Stalteri getting caught out of position because he couldn't watch the play, de Guzman taking the easy pass rather than trying to generate something and not marking as hard as we've seen in the past, Friend being reluctant to get back when it was clear his midfield was in trouble, things like that.

Nothing I'd drop a guy from a starting XI for, I'd like to make that clear. And it's hard to get yourself up for any job when you think the man bossing you around is an imbecile. But let's be clear on what was happening.

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quote:Originally posted by Lord Bob

I don't think anybody aggressively dogged it, but I do think there wasn't a professional effort from those guys. I'm not referring to just jogging up and down the sideline and kicking the ball in any direction as soon as it comes to you. Just making a lot of lazy plays: Stalteri getting caught out of position because he couldn't watch the play, de Guzman taking the easy pass rather than trying to generate something and not marking as hard as we've seen in the past, Friend being reluctant to get back when it was clear his midfield was in trouble, things like that.

Nothing I'd drop a guy from a starting XI for, I'd like to make that clear. And it's hard to get yourself up for any job when you think the man bossing you around is an imbecile. But let's be clear on what was happening.

Thanks for the clarification. Based on the criteria and examples you have used, I could see a few other guys making lazy and questionable plays: Hastings aimlessly thumping the ball up the field on many occasions, one giveaway starting the counterattack sequence which resulted in the Hondurans getting the go ahead goal in Montreal; Hutchinson not doing a good enough job closing down opponents (i.e. in conjunction with Harmse on Costly's long range winner in Honduras) or being in position to shield the defence on the two counterattack goals in Montreal, yet providing little if any attacking support when we had the ball. So there's two more you could add to the list.

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On a positive note, Klukowski was a great find for Canada. IMO he was consistently Canada's best player and one of the best wing backs on display in CONCACAF.

Serioux was also a pleasant surprise in the central defender role. I saw him against Brazil and was quite impressed and he's just gone on from there to be a solid presence at the back for Canada. Having seen him previously in midfield roles, I think he's found his niche. Good for him and good for Canada.

Ali Gerba was also a standout for me. He got just reward for some honest effort and to me established himself as Canada's #1 striker.

Pretty much everyone else were disappointing. DeRo was a non factor. DeGuzman tried but didn't have the effectiveness one was expecting him to have. On his day, he's an excellent player. Atiba was also disappointing. Not from lack of effort but more so from effectiveness.

Radzinski performed about as well as you could hope. He always gave his all although the cynic in me wonders if that yellow card against Mexico wasn't deliberate. Canada never played to Friend's strength which doesn't make sense when he's in the lineup. Hume for all his endeavour was found out at this level for me. He had practically zero effectiveness in the time he got. One just has to look at the Honduras game when Radzinski had to leave the game and Hume replaced him and Hume was so ineffective that Mitchell had to sub the sub.

Hirschfeld made some good saves against Mexico but gave up some soft one's as well. Onstad set the tone in Toronto against Jamaica and it was all downhill from there. Stalteri was Stalteri. Not very talented, but boy does he have an engine. I still don't know how he was a first choice wing back for Tottenham Hotspurs.

Canada won't progress at this level until they get some real goalscorers. When you look at the teams in the Hex, they all have firepower up front. Canada by contrast look like they're using a water pistol. When you look at the U 20 performance, there's no one coming up who even hints at being able to consistently do the job. When Ali Gerba is your top striker, that gives you some perspective. That's not going to cut it at this level and until that changes, the results will remain the same no matter who's the coach.

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quote:Originally posted by imusic

Hume for all his endeavour was found out at this level for me. He had practically zero effectiveness in the time he got. One just has to look at the Honduras game when Radzinski had to leave the game and Hume replaced him and Hume was so ineffective that Mitchell had to sub the sub.

Hume was playing his off side, and most pacey players look bad in that situation.

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quote:Originally posted by 20legend

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

You are so correct. We should be playing these other Concacaf nations every chance we get. During the winter months, when MLS, Scandinavia and the USL are in the off season, we should have a couple of games a month. There is no reason to play a Danish second division team in an exhibition in Miami in January when you would spend just as much money playing a real friendly against one of these minnow nations and improving your ranking.

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quote:Originally posted by 20legend

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???

You don't post much but I think I agree with everything you type!!

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In my mind, we blew what was our best chance in many years past and many years to come to qualify.

One of the most talented Canadian teams was poorly coached and also did not show up either.

All and all, it really and truly was terrible. The only good thing about it was the fan response. So many great fans in so many different cities. That's about it.

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