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Wednesday 7 March 2012

Thoughts? - Why Martin Rennie Keeps Going Back to Carolina

    “Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.” - Proverb

    Dressing rooms can be complicated beasts. Groups of players can be insidious, mutinous, or poisonous, but a healthy room is so important to the success of a team. One needs only look at the current predicament at Chelsea, to see what can go wrong when the equilibrium gets knocked out of balance.

    In a squad of thirty, of which only fourteen will see the field and a further four dress in any given match it is vitally important to have good workers and good personalities in the remaining spots. Players, who will not raise a fuss, will contribute when called upon, train as hard as is demanded of them and not rock the boat, can make the difference between success and failure.

    That’s why Vancouver’s new coach Martin Rennie keeps drawing water from his old wells. He knows these guys, he knows they will be hungry to step up a level and – an added bonus – he knows what kind of wages they were on before, making them a cost-effective way to stock the back-end of a roster.

    Having a personal relationship with players on the fringes of the squad will help to quell any discontent that would otherwise bubble to the surface with players less-invested in the coach’s ways.

    Plus, this group of insiders makes a handy network of spies to keep an eye on the machinations beyond the purview of the manager.

    It could all go terribly wrong of course, but assuming they are of sufficient quality to fill their roles admirably, and cliques don’t evolve, it could well stabilize the squad for a long, difficult, and successful season.

    It should not forgotten that this is Rennie’s first gig at the top level and expectations – rightly or wrongly – will be high in Vancouver for the club this season following last season’s disappointment. These players will provide Rennie with a modicum of comfort as he pursues his goal of becoming a successful coach; a familiar face, an ally, an extra set of eyes, easy on the wallet… it’s not hard to see why so many RailHawks have popped up on the West Coast.

    “In my mind I’m gone to Carolina.” – James Taylor

NB: Posts under the label “Thoughts?” tend to be incomplete ideas given some air to breathe. I wrote the majority of this piece last night – all save the final paragraph, and then set it aside. Catching up on Benfica – Zenit this morning and listening to Whitecaps FC Daily, of course having dallied on post, I hear David Norman use the exact proverb that I open up with when discussing the increasing number of Carolina vets in the Vancouver squad. The lesson: never put off till tomorrow, what you can accomplish today.

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