Yeah, well, my Masters thesis is finished, just in time for another WCQ cycle, so I now have time to do some blogging (as if anyone is still listening to my mindless blather after 2 years of silence).
Well, so we got 3 points tonight against St. Lucia so I guess I should feel happy about that. And I certainly feel happier after watching the second half than the first. After 45 I was thinking we would be lucky to make it out of this minnow group.
I can only think that that Hart started Jazic and Beaulieu-Bourgeault because he is saving his A game of Peters and Klukowski for the “tougher” opposition of Puerto Rico on Tuesday. Not that Jazic is out of place (I still have warm fuzzy memories of him as an integral part of the 2007 Gold Cup squad and he is a steady presence for Chivas) but JBB looked woeful, defending and going forward.
Positives for me. Josh Simpson continues to impress, and I think playing in Turkey has done his game a world of good. He was in play to go back to Germany this fall, but I’m happy he is sticking around in Turkey. Whatever is happening at Manisaspor is doing him good. Interesting to see his best goal of the night coming from the middle as opposed to the left side where I’m used to seeing him. Oh, and Sportsnet – naming DeRo the player of the game ahead of Simpson was just wrong. The guy scored 2 goals and caused problems for St. Lucia all night, and DeRo gets the glory? Bah.
Will Johnson scoring his first goal for Canada. Good for him. I’m a big fan & nice to see him get a goal.
Toisant Ricketts came on with energy and pace. Oh the pace, killing tired St. Lucia legs. Was robbed just before Johnson scored.
Andre Hainault. Tough & made some good tackles. Another young player who is getting better with each outing. With Dejan Jakovic I think we’ll have a decent back line for the future. And with Edgar, I’m thinking we’ll have some depth in the coming years.
Atiba Hitchinson. The real heart of our midfield. Would like to have seen Hart pull him a bit earlier considering his shaky injury status and the rash tackles St. Lucia was unleashing in the second half as they got tired and desperate.
Those were the positives. But lots of negatives.
Lars Hirschfeld. Many years ago, I was a Lars fan. But years of rotting on the bench at sub-par European teams has me reconsidering whether Hirschfeld is the second coming of Greg Sutton – always answers the call, can do a journeymans duty, but chokes at the worst possible time.
DeRo. The man we all love to hate, and tonight I hated him. WTF is he doing taking every friggin corner when every friggin corner was a duff? Do we not have a person who can deliver a ball into the box???? Ahem KLUKOWSKI? I know I shouldn’t be so hard on DeRo – I think he feels the pressure that he has to do EVERYTHING BY HIMSELF when really, if he just relaxed and let those moments come he would be so much easier to like.So many times I think he is a liability as his erratic behaviour must make it so tough to play with him. What the hell is he going to do? Who knows?
JDG. So frustrating to think that his best years were 4 years ago. Oh, how we need the JDG of 2007/08 to show up.
Simeon Jackson. Oh man, if you want to be the guy up front, you gotta finish. Gotta finish.
Iain Hume. Same thing.
How many opportunities did we waste? When we get to the Hex, those opportunities are going to happen once per game, and those are the opportunities that will make the difference between qualifying and having the 2014 campaign end like the 2010, 2006, 2002, etc.
That said, I do take a lot of positives from tonight, and from this round. I’m pretty happy that this new CONCACAF qualifying format gives us the opportunity to play extra games against these smaller clubs so we can fine tune the team and get things right for the rounds that matter later on. Getting a cohesive group of players who know each other will pay off as we move deeper into the qualifying rounds.I’m convinced that the reason we have had problems qualifying over the Hondouras of the world is because the core of our team isn’t playing together week in and week out like many Central American teams are in their domestic leagues. So the more opportunity our players have to play together only helps us even out that Central American advantage.
Okay. Onto Puerto Rico.