You ever have one of those days where you feel you've lived it over and over again? I'm sure Dell Loy Hansen is feeling that right now.
It's the same three things over and over again. Defending Pressure, Finishing Chances and Personal Responsibility for making a play. I can't go over these again and again and say I'm writing content worth reading, so I'm taking a stab at doing three things Real Salt Lake need to do to save this season!
Cut the Fringes
There are some players on this team right now who have shown that they don't have what it takes to be a part of this team. That's a rather bold statement from a guy wearing jogging bottoms and watching WWE Payback right now but I think we know this is true. Chris Wingert should never be allowed to play CB again and the fact that this is how we are seeing his RSL career close out is a shame. Sunny hasn't really done enough to earn that spot in the middle of the park recently and we've an abundance of wingers and nobody who can come on in the place of the up and down Yura. Yes, we have an injury epidemic right now, but the point of depth is so that when this comes, you've players that can slot into your tactical system and contribute. We don't have that right now.
The reality is we have players we need to get off the books so we can bring in some quality. Even if we have players coming back to play in these key positions, upgrading our depth could save us points over the length of the season. We've 7 days to make something happen and we need to be ruthless when it comes to turning this squad over.
Fix the Formation
I don't know how to fit Plata, Lennon, Yura, Rusnak and Beckerman into a formation that will work best for all of them. Plata is better, for me, in the middle and isolating him on the wing leaves him cut off from the rest of the team. Yura on his own means Rusnak needs to come forward more but then Kyle needs to do more running around which is not what he is best at. In a 4-3-3, somebody has to play out of optimal position and that's just not smart football. There's no way any of those players don't get into the first 11 though. So we need a formation that works for these guys. Can a Diamond work, with Lennon floating in that Gil-esque role, Beckerman in his favorite CDM position and Rusnak taking over the job from Morales? I just got done saying nostalgia is a curse, but if this blast from the past gets us working again then I'm all for it.
A Leader Emerges
We need somebody who is going to galvanise the team on the field. Beckerman is known to have a hot temper and Beltran has been vocal when the cameras are rolling but when they aren't in the lineup, we don't have anybody on the pitch directing traffic. Having a leader that doesn't let your head drop and keeps players focused and honest can be a difference maker and with those two out, somebody needs to take the reigns and lead on the pitch at least until the more natural leaders return.
We all know the problems with RSL right now are deep rooted, and the cracks have been painted over rather than filled in. Fixing these issues won't be a quick job and it may be worth booking the 2018 draft day off to go celebrate our number 1 pick. I hope I am wrong and that Petke can turn things around faster than this, but man, he's up against it right now. The big tell will be when we have a glut of returns from the injury list and the squad is back to something like full strength!