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Canadians abroad: February 1-7, 2013


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By documented observation: Faking injuries, declining call-ups, ripping the manager in the media, leaving his club after promotion exchanging playing time for cash, taking stupid red cards, being lazy and ineffective when not scoring, etc.

Ok, let's try to be reasonable here.

First OO clearly has a big ego and quite the attitude and has his faults. But to say that he was lazy and ineffective during WCQ is quite ridiculous. He gased out in Cuba, against St-Kitt's at home and worked really hard to put pressure on the opposing team against Honduras and Panama at home.

Yes, he only scored one goal in the last round but apart from the Cuba game at home where he missed at least 2-3 good chances, I don't remember him missing clear chances against Panama and Honduras. But I remember him being open when DeRo was taking those long distances field goals against Honduras...

The faking injury came from Hart. Do we have another source confirming this? To me, this comment from SH sounds like sour grape that are no better than OO comments about him.

I still think Hart biggest mistake was not being able to recognized OO talent and not calling him for the GC. Yes, he was a B3 player at the time, but was going to transfer to a top B2 team and probably the best B3 player at that time. That's where it all started and with the little amount our NT players have together, the GC was probably the best time to get quality games to work with your best striker.

I won't defend OO for his comments about Hart, no argument from me here, but Hart showed his amateurishism in the way in handled our top striker at the time. And if OO was in fact faking an injury, have some balls SH and get him out of the team, no way you can get to the hex with that kind of player.

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I still think Hart biggest mistake was not being able to recognized OO talent and not calling him for the GC. Yes, he was a B3 player at the time, but was going to transfer to a top B2 team and probably the best B3 player at that time. That's where it all started and with the little amount our NT players have together, the GC was probably the best time to get quality games to work with your best striker.

I mostly agree with your points loyala, as most of this message will show, but on this point I slightly disagree.

I joined this forum board just under a year ago, when Occean was still in Bundesliga II. He was already scoring like crazy there. And oddly, even at that point half the people on this forum board who talk about him constantly now, they were talking about DeRo and JDG and Jackson for world cup qualifying. 75% of the people on this forum board, when creating their starting 12 for the next round of WCQ, left Occean out of the starting 12. And that was just last year, AFTER he wrecked the Bundesliga II.

I was on other soccer sites before that not having discovered this one yet, and during the first round Canada played in with all the minnows absolutely noone was talking about Occean. Most hadn't even heard of them. It would have been different if I was here, because the soccer knowledge here is WAY higher, but at that point he was considered on no higher of a level than Ricketts.

And a lot of this has to do with how much Occean improved over those few years. I remember, again on this forum board, when I was lauding Occean, others laughing and saying that he sucked during such and such much against such and such minnow. Others defended him.

What I'm getting it is, to say Hart made such a huge mistake not calling him for that Gold Cup? Well at the time, who would have known he'd have been where he is today? Not many even on this board with all of it's soccer gurus. Not me. Probably not even OO himself. Can't blame Hart for that.

Do I think Occean has been a bit of a prima donna? The answer is yes. Do I think he's a bad influence?

Well...let's be completely honest.

Everyone talks about everything in retrospect like a bloody seer. But had that fiasco in Honduras never occured and we were in WCQ Hex right now, we'd still be talking about how amazingly this team gets along, and their positive attitude.

Because that's what we were talking about BEFORE it happened. Until that day in Honduras there was very little sign of negative attitude from anyone.

You know what losses cause, though? Overanalyzing. I think Occean and Hart are getting to be victims of this, just like I said DeRo was a victim of it immediately when all the TFC fans over on MLSsoccer.com starting being a rash in his jock after the cheque signing gesture.

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^ I am quite sure I recall quite a few people saying we would sorely miss OO's hold up play in both the Panama and Honduras match (specifically before the Honduran match based on our poor play in the game in Panama). True, hindsight is 20/20 and all that, but I think a lot of people did actually foresee issues with OO out of the line-up.

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Adrian Kekec played in a friendly for Pelister yesterday against Miravci. They lost 2-1, but he scored the only goal for Pelister.

Pelister currently sit 10th out of 12 teams in the Macedonian 1st division. The league will resume in the Spring after the winter break.

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6 assists this year too.

^ This

An under represented aspect of his game is his vision. Clearly he functions best as a lone striker, or 1/2 in a 4-4-2, but I wonder how he might do as second striker. He holds up the ball better than anyone in the CMNT set-up other than Friend (I know I know, personal opinion)

And though slow by internationalk standards, he is still a very good dribbler. I'd like to see him played beside Simeon, I think they would compliment each other very well.

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Sorry MadMonte but there is almost nothing in your post that is accurate. Occean has always been the guy left out throughout his career getting called occasionally and doing well enough but usually being the guy left out in the choice between two strikers of similar pedigree. (and for your info there was always a lot of discussion here about whether he should be called even in those days let alone when he was tearing up B3). One can certainly understand both he and many MNT followers being surprised at Hart not calling him up when he is scoring bunches of goals while at the same time Hart is calling up mediocre players playing in the same or similar leagues. And oh yeah, he happens to play at our weakest position, is a different style of player than anyone else we have at that position and is a goal scorer, ie. the thing we have the most difficulty doing. And during his year in B3 he was not only the best striker in the league, he was probably the best player in the league.

As far as attitude goes, he does seem to have a bit of an ego but there is a big difference between having an ego and being a bad influence. If you went through the Honduran or Panama squad I think you would find half the players with bigger egos than Occean. Occean also seems to train very hard, to be very ambitious and to want to win. I would rather that then the attitude of damage control we heard from McKenna or at 3-0 I knew it was over from Hart. And Occean has played for some good, tough coaches in a country known for the quality, toughness and demand for discipline from its coaches and I have not heard of any of them not being happy with his attitude. And his transfers have all been clean transfers typical of football in this day and age so if YNWA has a problem with that I think he should unpack his videos of games from the 50s when things were different. And if we want to talk about unclean transfers of MNT players the conversation starts with how McKenna left Cottbus.

Regarding his comments on Hart, let me point out that Occean served under poor managers for his whole national team career and the last manager had never coached professionally and was indeed an amateur when he was hired. Everything I saw of how Hart ran the team supports Occean's claim he was an amateur. I haven't been criticizing Hart here for years because he slept with my girlfriend or I have some personal dislike of him. He is a nice guy but he was an amateur in a professional's job. It should be no surprise we failed under him and it should be no surprise that a guy playing under very professional hard nosed coaches has problems with an amateur player's coach. And lets not forget that no one seems to have a problem with us calling DeRo now (even myself) even though he is much older and made a lot of worse remarks about Mitchell BEFORE we were even eliminated in WCQ (and during a campaign in which his performance was well below what Occean's was in this one). And regarding the seriousness of his injury, that is pure speculation on Hart's part, the guy who played McKenna when he was not really fit to play.

Occean is 31 and doesn't turn 32 until late October. He could still possibly be in the mix in the next WCQ. We should be calling the young players but Occean should also be one of the veterans that should also be called. But lets hope we give him and the others a good non-amateur coach this time. If we do that and they still fail then we can judge them, until we do that it is the federation (and by extension those who let it operate in this manner) who are to blame.

Edited by Grizzly
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^ I am quite sure I recall quite a few people saying we would sorely miss OO's hold up play in both the Panama and Honduras match (specifically before the Honduran match based on our poor play in the game in Panama). True, hindsight is 20/20 and all that, but I think a lot of people did actually foresee issues with OO out of the line-up.

They were starting to talk about him a little more than in the minnow stage. I reread my post, and don't worry bro, I'd already lost all credibility talking about the starting 12. (typo). Nice job, me.

As for your long post, Grizz, that was the more informed 30% that are on these boards. When talking about when he was in B3, remember that in MY post, I was referring to other soccer sites like MLSsoccer.com, NOT this forum board, as I was not yet a member and can't speak intelligently on that. Read my post more carefully, everything I said on there IS actually accurate, as I was using words like "most people". I know for a fact that you, for one, WERE one of those that was liking Occean, I specifically remember that, but you have to remember that there were others that were talking ONLY about his last Canada performance, ignoring that his practically meteoric rise in club status was probably meaning he had to have improved as a player.

As for the rest of your post after that point, I agree fullheartedly and never gave any indication in my post that I felt Occean had an attitude problem, or him being a bad influence, as I don't feel that is the case.

For the most part, except for the memory on how MOST people were talking about Occean (not everyone, including, as I said, not you), I think we're in agreement on most of these points, though. My intention, as well, was to defend him.

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I understand we want to call our young guys now, but there is nothing wrong with having a few older guys during the transition.

Look at Nigeria, they decided starting last year to start their youth movement. Their strikers are all 25 years or younger: Emenike (Spartak Moscow 25), Ideye (Dynamo Kiev 24), Victor Moses (Chelsea 22), and Musa (CSKA 20). However the exception is Uche (Villarreal 29) who has had a solid scoring record in Spain for years now, but most importantly has a good attitude.

This contrasts with Peter Odemwingie for example, who has a good scoring record with West Brom, but has a terrible attitude. Odemwingie blasted manager Stephen Keshi on twitter for leaving him out of the squad, and most recently showed up to QPR to sign a contract without West Brom's permission.

THAT is what I call an attitude problem. Occean has not even come close to the likes of that....

If you ask me, unless an older striker has a SERIOUS attitude problem, we should bring him in if he is in good form.

As of right now, for strikers I would call: One of Friend or Occean (whoever is in better form), Jackson (proven CMNT player despite little playing time with Norwich), Marcus Haber (having a good season but in low league), Daniel Haber (young and yet to be capped and just signed with decent club).

As an aside, Interesting that Daniel Haber has a Canadian flag on wiki but Tomer does not...

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Yes, but Nigeria is still in competitive football. We will not really be again until the middle of 2015.

That is true but at some point you need to start winning and building confidence within the group, EVEN if they are only friendlies. We cannot call ALL young players, we should only call the best young players. We are casting a wide net now that is fine but once we have our coach in place for a while I want us to stop calling young guys who have no chance. I think we will reach that point before 2015.

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