When Mike Pekte said he knew what the issue was, I'm sure more than a few people rolled their eyes and suspected that we would once again drop points to a great Vancouver team. Then he rocked up with Baird starting in place of Plata and as soon as I saw the starting line up I was like...
I have made no secret of my dislike of Joao Plata on left wing. Not because of his talent but rather that he doesn't fit there. He hasn't added anything since he was shifted there and our best performances have been with him out. Baird is a forward but his skillset still raw and malliable so he can grow and learn to play there as shown this week by an a promising performance capped with moment of magic. The question is now how long does Plata have left at RSL?
One thing we need to do better is using the ball better. Brendan Rogers championed the idea of "Death by Football" while at Liverpool and wanted his team to dominate every stat, most importantly possession. Now I can appreciate that this seems to be the aim for us in recent weeks. Strong build up play from wide and waiting for somebody to get that moment of space to punish. The stats clocked up at Vancouver show we are a little way away from that and we need to do more when we have it.
With 44% of possession and only 9 shots on target, its hardly Death by Football and more like Death by Opportunism. Which would be fine of we were a countering team but we aren't. So I am hoping those number go up.
I'm putting this here because it needs work for sure, but its harsh. Silva managed to grab a goal thanks to a deflection and Savarino finished from about a foot and a half. Nobody said that the game against the Whitecaps was pretty and we won't be getting goal of the week every time we take the field but as a team we have to be better at finishing those chances rather than waiting for luck.
The last thing is a collective issue since week one that I've picked up on time and time again. We have a habit of being caught a man short, especially in defense. Glad seems to fall victim to this a lot but everyone in the back line as well as new man Kreilach has managed to, at some point, compromise the shape of the team and leave an open door to be exploited. I will be watching for this to see if it's just a by product of the teams style of play or a sign of a larger issue about that important term, mentality.
I'm at Butlins in Skegness this week, which is exactly like the holiday camps you may have seen in old British sitcoms. Last night I saw Diversity, the dance troop, 8 years after they were famous. So even if RSL had performed like they did against LAFC it would have been the second worst performance I've seen this weekend.
Seriously, send help quick or I won't live to watch RSL travel to NYCFC next weekend. We might win there too!