State of Mind: Despondant warring with optimism
Location: NOT at a secret defensive training centre for misguided back lines specializing in set pieces
Wow; just wow...this is far more difficult than I thought it would be - I never expected easy, but this? Where do we go from here?
Seems fitting, no? OK, I am perhaps still a wee bit low from Saturday night's last second (literally) loss to RSL. As is the new 2012 tradition we watched our boys put forth an entertaining and often decent effort (no,I'm not kidding) only to once again lose out in the end. I'm considering just writing up a form blog: "Once again defensive miscues negated a strong attacking game and good effort by TFC." Actually that is all I would have had to put for just about every post-match write-up this season.
It's maddening to watch wasted efforts, missed marking, missed penalties and missed goals over and over again. It's even more difficult to see some players stepping up their game (Eric Avila take a bow) when others (Ecks, Frings I'm looking at you) have been less than impressive of late. Please don't misunderstand and think it's their effort I'm questioning; I would never question the effort of the above mentioned players - Ecks leaves it on the pitch every game and Frings doesn't have a first gear - I question their choices on the pitch. It's more frustrating when the errors come from some of your best players...I'd better stop or I'm going to sink back into the well of sadness.
I'm not going to keep repeating what's been said many times in the past few weeks, days, hours...we know this team has talent, that they can play exciting competitive football and that they suffer from a lack of cohesiveness; especially at the back. It's no longer a question of setting the mark for futility; they've done that. And the depressing thing is that this not the worst team fielded by TFC throughout it's 6 year history; far from it! Even opposing teams are acknowledging that our team deserves some points from their play; I don't know if that's good or bad so I'm going with good. On the flip side is the obvious pity in the eyes of the opposition - it's a little odd to hear what amounts to condolences from your opponents - but hey, they'll fear us at some point again; really! The question is how do these players who are obviously gutted at the end of every match react? Every game sees more fire, better play but still with the devastating mistakes that have long plagued this team. So much for me not repeating things eh?
But the question does remain; what do they do? From what I've seen from this team all season long from my seat in 226 (or my couch, or at the bar) they'll continue to fight; I see no giving up in these guys and as a fan both of the sport and the team that's the least that I ask for. It's that fight that has to be harnassed. Can they, will they focus all that emotion that we see into 90 minutes of consistent play? I (shockingly) say yes - this team wants to win - for themselves, for the fans, for their coach. It's going to happen and soon. And it has to be the team; no one player will be the hero and save them; that much has been obvious this season and well, that's as it should be - this is a team sport and we're not holding out for a hero.
As for me; all I can do is implore you my fellow fans to NOT give up on our team. You hear me say this a lot (and will continue to do so) but part of supporting is not to only be there during the good times...you cannot expect your team to be on top at all times. I know our team hasn't been there at all but imagine how amazing it's going to be when they turn this around. That will make all of the suffering we feel as fans worth it; or it will for me. I've engaged in a few conversations (and read far more) regarding protests - I support everyone's right to protest - I question who they're choosing to protest and how. Not attending games or dressing in black or staying silent all match certainly sends a message but that message is more visible to the team as opposed to the Owners which is where most of the anger is directed. I'm all for a concessions boycot, protests outside the stadium, angry emails and so on. But protesting or directing your anger to the players? Not the route to take IMO.
For me it's simple: I support this team; therefore I will be in my seat in the west stand for every game, cheering my heart out for our boys in red. That is all. Come game day my focus is on those XI players for 90 minutes; anything else I may feel or think (regardless of how sarcastic or critical) is kept for before and after, but I will be there (BEFORE KICKOFF) to make my voice heard; not in protest but in support - I hope to see you there.
Where Do We Go From Here? Up.
Les Links: Here's your usual post-game links from The Yorkies, Waking The Red and Red Nation Online. And here's some great pieces about being a supporter from Squizz at CSN and Dave at WTR. And then read all 3 of James' posts over at Partially Obstructed View for some thoughts on righting the TFC ship.