Now, I’m generally the kind of guy who likes to give people the benefit of the doubt. Some of my friends would probably even say nearly to a fault. I tend to put on my rose coloured glasses and make an honest attempt to see the good in people. It’s landed me in hot water more than a few times.
And there is good to see here. I’m not going to sit here and say Miller hasn’t done good things for the club and that his tenure was a complete failure, because I don’t think it was. In this spirit, I’m going to start off with some things that I feel Miller has done to better FC Edmonton, as a club, from top to bottom.
And before your train of thought wanders there, no, we won’t be talking about the game – if you can’t lead your Canadian club to a victory on Canada’s 150th birthday, well, what can you do, exactly.
But as I said, I want this to be as respectful as possible. Colin Miller has helped shaped the identity of FC Edmonton as a club for years to come. He molded this team into a defense first, no holds barred, kind of team; a team with a backbone of weathered concrete.
He brought in players that suited this mentality, the type of players that see a potentially painful play coming and go forward instead of backwards. ‘Take a hit to make a play’ type stuff. The team that hooked me like Carfentanil after one single exposure.
But, at the end of the day, a champion needs a little more than just a solid backbone. This city deserves to have a team that plays attractive football and wins games, in order to see if we can have a go at breaking into the municipal zeitgeist.
We all see the game through the lens of the positions we play, and it has become clear to me that Colin Miller is no exception. His team plays like a team of defenders (not that this is all bad). A champion outscores the opposition, not just out defends them. A champion has a little bit of flair bordering on cocky because you have to be good to be cocky, but, more importantly, sometimes you have to be cocky to be good.
They say if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Well if it is broke, when do we fix it? Again, I’m not sitting here saying his tenure has been a complete failure – but other than last year, how many times has FC Edmonton finished in the top half of the table (combined standings)? I’ll give you a hint – it wasn’t 2013, it wasn’t 2014, and it wasn’t 2015.
They say you should judge someone by the bulk of their work, and maybe this season has been a blip, but it’s looking more and more like last year was the exception that proves the rule.
Some might say we need to give Canadian coaches more opportunities, and to that I say, what is more important, the career of one single Canadian coach, or the fortunes of an entire club in a city with the Canadian sporting pedigree that Edmonton has? I like rolling the dice on canucks, but if they don’t step up, you have to move on quickly, just like any other nationality. Club trumps all.
Some might say it’s the players who should take responsibility for losses and that perhaps their jobs should be at stake. I won’t entirely rule this out, but at some point, when do you stop blaming the orchestra and start blaming the conductor?
Some might say he hasn’t been given the funds to work with in terms of player acquisition. I say money has nothing to do with a winning mentality and ask Leicester City what paychecks meant to them.
And honestly, sometimes all it is that’s really needed is a change. And it doesn’t have to be personal, and it doesn’t even have to be mean. You want a proper balance of optimism and pessimism. Pessimism definitely has its merits and every champion is at least a little bit of a pessimist. But I think it’s optimism’s turn now.
No need to rush it (who knows, maybe look within?), but bring in someone with a grin from ear to ear, and let the boys play.
That Colin Miller backbone won’t disappear overnight.