Sawker, Defence/Deference, Chicken Soup

Firstly, the way NCFC’s home announcer pronounces soccer makes me want to punch a baby. (Editor’s disclaimer: NSXI does not condone or encourage punching babies. If this author’s word choice upsets you, grow thicker skin.)

At the risk of sounding like too much of a curmudgeon, the entire commentary was like listening to a hacksaw on a chalkboard.   You could even see the pain in his younger co-hosts eyes during the halftime report as buddy talked about the “Saw-ker Game!”

I half expected a dad joke.

I suppose I should probably rewind back to the home opener first though.  That at least had its bright spots.  I started out at the pint, awkwardly drinking and standing around trying to show off my eddies toque, in the hopes that someone from the group would take a hint and introduce themselves.  No such luck.  Bottoms up I guess, I’d worn my long johns but the beer blanket couldn’t hurt either.

The River City bus I took got there late, which, according to their songs, is the norm?  I had barely found my seat by the time the eddies were down 1- 0.  Goddamn it.

Halftime came and I knew I was going to need another beer to loosen up and get rowdy.  Supporter’s Section had been much too quiet.

Second half was a bit better; Eddies were pressing and the Supporters were rowdy, albeit a little angry.

They wanted goals – and in the absence of that – blood.  I couldn’t help but feel like it turned a bit negative and the boys in blue felt it.  But I’ll admit I did enjoy venting anger towards someone I wasn’t cohabiting with.

Pretty sure it was Ameobi who put one off the bar, but it just wasn’t going to be their day yet.  Disappointing start to the season, but I’ve always felt that there is an adjustment period when new players come in.

The North Carolina game was more of the same, except that the effort level didn’t quite seem there.  Colin Miller remarked at halftime that there was a gap between the midfield and the D.  Not rocket appliances, but I bought the explanation.  Gap control is often the first thing to go when stamina/morale is slipping, but it’s one thing to know what the problem is, and another to solve it.  Give NCFC credit, they had a couple of guys who moved the ball very well this game.

In terms of analysis, the only thing I have begun to really notice is a tendency to defer.  We all know the Eddies are capable of playing good defence.  I am certain they will get back to basics and right the ship soon.   What concerns me is the deference they show moving the ball forward.  I caught a bit of the Impact game earlier Saturday afternoon and a young kid named Ballou Tabla really stood out to me.  Ditto for a good ol’ Edmonton kid named Alphonso Davies(perhaps you’ve heard of him).  They’re spring chickens compared to the guys they’re playing with, but they both seem want to have the ball at their feet.  They aren’t afraid to take guys on, and yes, it might not always work out, but when it does, it opens up space for other players.

Right now, not one player on the Eddies seems to be willing to do this.  Far too often I see players deferring to the next guy.  I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt that they don’t want to ball hog, but seriously, someone needs to be that guy sometimes.  It’s far too easy to defend if all you have to do is stay in position while the opposition passes around the outside.

You don’t need to be superman and take on the whole team, but shit, take on a guy, make them move, and then move the ball, and see what happens.  The problem with diffusion of responsibility is that everyone always seems to end up with a little bit less than his(or her) fair share of it.   All you need to do is take a little bit more than your share of it and it’s amazing quickly others will follow the lead.  How’s that for some chicken soup for the soul?

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Guillermo Del Quarto

Guillermo Del Quarto

Guillermo Quarto hails from the wilderness city, Whitehorse, Yukon - In Canada's great white north. He is heavily involved with his hometown club of Whitehorse FC, as well as the world-renowned Yukon Soccer Metro League. He is an amateur artist hoping to leave his mark on the tapestry that is Canadian Soccer. He spends his summers in Edmonton, Alberta with his lovely wife, is an active Voyageur, and FC Edmonton Supporter.

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