Vancouver Whitecaps have struggled recently when they should have been pushing on down the stretch to the Major League Soccer playoffs.
Since August, the Whitecaps have been struggling with the recent loses and a string of lost points. Who is to blame for the downslide of a team that was leading the Western Conference in goals scored?
The main people at the centre of the downside would have to be the defence. There should be no blame to Jay DeMerit who has been injured for the entire season, as the blame should be on the defensive cover that has failed to fill the void.
Andy O’Brien showed his own frailties again in the match versus Chivas and the rotation of Johnny Leveron, Brad Rusin and Carlyle Mitchell have all failed to fill the void and add defensive stability. Now that Alain Rochat has left the club the left-back spot has been Jordan Harvey’s who although likes to get forward lacks any defensive reliances.
In the other wide spot the evergreen Y.P. Lee at age 36 can not be responsible for both being an attacking and defensive asset.
Although the defence has problems this could have been overcome if the Whitecaps attacking strength could have continued but even the goals have dried up. Russell Teibert has been a constant bright spot this season coming through the ranks and now starting most games.
The same can not be said for Camilo who was on a red hot scoring spree before seeing the goals drying up and trying to score from every possible angle which often leads to teammates being furious with the young striker.
His striking partner who recently retired from intentional duty with Scotland has also seen a drop in form since his goal against England. Kenny Miller is often a forlorn figure at the top of the Whitecaps attack, and like many other strikers gets frustrated when he does not see enough of the ball.
The reason he does not see much of the ball is that lack of support that the Vancouver Whitecaps have and the players that Martin Rennie puts in are simply not good enough.
Kekuta Manneh and Erik Hurtado although they have pace are too young to make the right decisions to get the Whitecaps the points that they need, and with Darren Mattocks having a poor season and Daigo Kobayashi a square peg trying to fit into a round hole the Whitecaps need a change.
To this writer the blame for the Whitecaps recent poor run of results lies not with the players but with the manager. Rennie constantly tries to rely on players that have not shown that they can be assets in the Whitecaps team.
To expect that Jun-Marques Davidson is not going to get you a red card for a bad decision or Kobayashi is going to come up with a goal is pure imagination. When other teams i.e. the Vancouver Whitecaps Cascadian competition the Seattle Sounders make key acquisitions like the addition of Clint Dempsey, one has to think as to why the Vancouver Whitecaps are not able to make a splash of cash to get someone in that would help them challenge for a playoff position and potentially the cup.
The potential is there for all to see, but Rennie may have lost the plot this year, unless somehow the team changes their fortunes and sneaks in the Western Conference playoff positions.
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