What did our beloved Claret and Cobalt do the evening of March, 10th? They did what they trained for. They did what they most wanted. They did what they are capable of. They “came to score” (The Aggrolites).
The sky, I'm afraid, is falling. Or at least it would seem so, if you're to believe some of the rumblings across social media. Who or what is exactly at fault? The list is wide and varied, but invariably, everyone has an opinion on what's gone wrong. This isn't unusual, and it's not particularly wrong, but the range of opinions runs the gamut.
I've seen everything from "Kreis out" sorts of talk (more "He's lost it," but the conclusion from that statement is obvious, isn't it?), to bashing of individual players old and new, to the elevation of some younger players as gods and the others as clods.
It's easy to overreact, isn't it? It's certainly easier than sitting down and taking things in perspective. I'm not excusing our loss to San Jose. I'm not excusing our form of late. But you know, just because we looked pedestrian at best in the last month or so hardly means we've fallen from grace.
It's not the case — I hope — that we've just lost cohesion over the length of the season. Indeed, we've showed remarkable signs that it's still there, from our rescued points (perhaps we should not end up in those situations, but this is a different sort of argument) to our stunning wins. Those weren't lucky, per se. They were, instead, triumphs of our spirit. Or, you know, something like that. But that's who we are, and we've shown great signs of that, but we have to show it regularly.
Am I nuts for thinking that we're better than we showed against San Jose? I hope not. I'd rather be sane than insane.
I don't mean to imply that we haven't seen problems. It is surely the case that we have. But before we crumple up our plans and throw them away, it's worth considering a few things.
1. Don't make snap decisions after a single big loss. This isn't the stock market here. We should be looking at the overall form and trending of the side. That, you see, is positive.
2. Don't just look at our form from June forward. Yes, we've only won twice of seven attempts and drawn once, but while that sounds bad (and it's not good) it's not nearly as bad as you might think. Yes, our two wins came against sides who are struggling, but you've got to beat those sides. Again, look at the bigger picture — the season as a whole right now — and see this as a blip. It's certainly not like our long winless streak last season. We've got time to recover, and I think we will.
3. Blaming our tactical outlay is off. When we've lost, our tactical approach has failed not because of an inherent flaw in it, but because it wasn't being executed to its fullest potential by the players on the pitch. Maybe the diamond really doesn't work, but a dip in form shouldn't be how we determine that.
Really? Just don't be hasty about these things. Big decisions are just that: big. If we make them quickly and emotionally, we lose any advantage we've gained, and we go down the road of so many other MLS clubs. I, for one, hope we, as fans, can be bigger than that.
I'll take on the system more tomorrow, as these are rather preliminary thoughts. I will say this: I think many people don't understand how our system functions when it's at its best.
'Til tomorrow, then.