Saturday, June 26, 2010


I'm going on about 4 hours of sleep combined over the past 2 days, so if this rambles, I apologize. Usually I try to leave my commentary on the games until the next game so that I don't let my passion on the performance cloud my vision. I attempt to be impartial as much as I can, but tonight's performance was so bad I am going to go off.

I'm not a journalist, even if from time to time I like to attempt to be one. My reason for this blog is not to try and get a job with a newspaper, or with the team or anything else that will pay me to do this, it's purely for my love of the Wizards. I've supported them since they were formed in 1995 and have been as fanatical about them as anyone, especially the last 7-8 years or so. Today I'm incredibly ashamed of this team due to that performance against New York. I've spent countless hours making banners, writing articles, driving to home games, driving to away games, and numerous other things in my support for the team. I've also probably spent thousands of dollars in these different endeavors as well. This is time I could spend doing other things, or money I could spend to help out around the house, but I choose to spend it on the Wizards because I love the team and I love soccer. In return I get yet another performance like this, the second one I've watched live this year (along with the game in RSL).

I'm tired of what seems like one way loyalty in this situation. I would have thought I would have learned my lesson about this having read "Fever Pitch" but I haven't. I still am one of the first ones out there every game day, one of the last ones to leave having a good time, hanging out with friends and cheering on my team. But even that now is getting tiring by this point I am physically and emotionally spent on this team. It's not as fun as it used to be to go out to the stadium and cheer on the Wizards, there's just not that connection it seems anymore. But I'll still be at a watch party next Saturday for the Dallas game, I'll be in the Cauldron at CAB on July 10th and I'll even be in Colorado on July 17th, apparently I'm a gluten for punishment the way this team is playing.

All that said I want to also get three knee jerk reactions from tonight's game.

1. Vermes needs to go. I've tried to sit on the fence post on this discussion not completely taking a side in the debate, but this is just bad. The team has won one of it's last 10 games, and only picked up 6 of a possible 30 points in those 10 games. The only win coming against a 10 man Philadelphia team that actually dominated. Vermes is now 6-12-6 since becoming head coach, picking up 24 of a possible 72 points. As a head coach he's averaging a point a game. That's not good enough. And that's only his head coaching record, his record as technical director isn't exactly rosy either as this team has a grand total of 1 playoff win in the 3 plus years he's been in charge.

2. KC needs a new captain. I love Davy Arnaud, but 3 red cards in 10 games played. That's pathetic and tonight's was just horrible. He lost his head, and you can't have your captain losing his head like that. Suggestions to replace him, Jimmy Nielsen, Stephane Auvray, Jimmy Conrad or even Kei Kamara, he seems to at least lead off the field post game.

3. Sit Josh Wolff. Wolff was a decent player in his time, but he should not be a starter anymore. He doesn't look like he's completely in the game, or even fully interested in being out there. At best he should be coming off the bench at this point. But with his salary, maybe it's time to let him go.

Full more even minded write up will be out tomorrow, but this needed to be said.


Reepicheep said...

100% RIGHT ON.


You speak for many of us, but with more credibility. All three of your points relate to #1. Vermes must go:

Rocastle over Zusi or anyone to start???????

Wolff???? He got worse as the game went on and every game gets more dismal for him.

Holbein over Besler (or even Escobar)? Two goals were his fault

Arnaud's antics are embarrassing and I hate my kids to see it.

Ryan Smith is a very talented player with NO Hustle and he acts like a whining panzy every time he's fouled. RYAN- THIS IS AMERICA. THE SOCCER HERE IS TOUGH. GET OFF YOUR BUTT AND PLAY.


Kei, I love you man, but dude, don't ever quit the last 10 minutes of the game again, no matter what the score.

Why do we have Chetri if he'll never play?

Again, Mike, well said.

Total embarrassment tonight that characterized the last two seasons.

Anonymous said...

Both Mike and Reepicheep's comments seem harsh, but that's because they are spot on. I love our team and all the guys on it, but I think it is time to make some tough decisions. Players like Arnaud and Wolff may be fan faves, but when you get that many red cards or seem disinterested in your job, I question why they play you. Vermes has brought in interested talents, but maybe he should stick to being a technical director. That is the opinion of a very frustrated Wizards' fan and possibly a soon-to-be-former season ticket holder.

Ben said...

The fact that you even have to mention numbers 2 and 3, which are painfully obvious, reinforces number 1.

I lost patience with Wolff many games ago. The worst part is that he takes up the center striker position, where Kamara does his best work and scores goals.

How can Vermes, who knows 100x more about soccer than me, not see this? Perhaps he is caught up in too many details to see the forest? Or his longer working relationship with Wolff blinds him? And you are dead on about his salary. In your previous list of overperforming and underperforming players by salary, he should be up there with Rocastle.

Here are my observations:

1) Kamara was a bright spot, both effort and skill. If you need something positive.

2) At one point, Harrington appeared too gassed to even try playing defense.

3) The good Smith earns assists. The bad Smith dribbles well then chooses from a) dribble into more tacklers and lose possession or b) take a long distance shot. Could a coach teach Smith to look for better passes? Has he given up on working within the offense? At one point today he picked up posession at the corner. He needed to earn a half yard of space and attempt a cross. Instead he dribbled around, and when the defender didn't oblige him with a yellow brick road to the goal, he backpassed above the penalty box, ending the threat.

4) The central defender problem. Poor holbein had three mind blowing gaffes in one game. This is double Pa-blooper Escobar's average of 1.5. Is Besler really that bad? I didn't fully blame Besler for the RSL goals, with the foul call being a poor one. Besler often (once a game?) lunges for a ball and misses badly, but it usually hasn't resulted in a goal, and overall I thought he was decent. And he doesn't give up on running back into the play, unlike Escobar. By all means, sign a new defender, but until then Besler seems so much better than the alternatives. Am I wrong?

The ownership can't invest in a stadium and DP and MU and tolerate such poor performance forever. For how long? I dunno.

Anonymous said...

Anybody that knows this game, knows that Peter Vermes is and has been over his head from day one.

The guy is a high level youth coach, possibly a top assistant on a USL 1 or maybe MLS side. But he lacks the ability to get his team to have a constant tactical approach.

Moop said...

I don't think there is a single thing Ben said that I don't agree with.

Besler has made me uneasy at points. His tendency to head the ball straight up, to head the ball when he should just bring it to his feet (a Wizards' problem in general), and his seeming uneasiness when receiving the ball sometimes, can be issues. However, on average he has not been as gaff-prone as Escobar, who was given two too many games to redeem/prove himself. I always liked Holbein, but Saturday's performance was startling and I would like to say uncharacteristic (but I could be wrong about that).

I've said to a buddy of mine that the Wizards need to consider some trade/sale combination of tow or more of Wolff, Arnaud, Conrad, and Jewsbury, and then re-examine which reserves to keep. Obviously the tenured players we have aren't working, as they have been the only consistent factor for three seasons. I'm not saying they aren't good players or fan faves. In fact, I really like Conrad and Jewsbury myself. However, those four are the only thing that hasn't changed in the last three years or so. Simple logic. If you make changes and it doesn't fix the problem, maybe you didn't change the right things.

J said...

It really was a disappointing performance yesterday, made all the more so by the amount of hope and optimism generated by our relatively high-flying start to the season.

I suppose I'll probably be back in the Cauldron for the next game, but like you I'm getting spent too.

Anonymous said...

I will be sporting a brown paper bag at the next game... this is embarrassing and I cant take much more...drop wolf while we can, sign another center back please... and tell ryan smith we didnt really enjoy these antics when eddie johnson quit constantly as well...have some heart!