Spray Cans, Martin Rennie and Captain Jack
by Ian Joy
It’s been a long time and after three months of working hard at my business outside of the game I love, I have finally found some time to sit down and write an article for you all.
Let’s start with one of the loves of my life the Portland Timbers.
Timbers Started the season off on fire and probably made it more difficult for themselves as the expectancy of three points became higher and higher with each win.
Finally they hit a rough patch but recent weeks have shown that they are finally coming out of that barren spell and producing some decent performances.
The Timbers have chosen to go with a lot of youth in their side which shows John Spencer has a lot of courage but I am not surprised to see the results fade slightly.
With youth you also have inconsistency which is 100% understandable and fully expected from players who are still learning the game. The only way forward in my personal opinion is to continue to throw the young guys in and give them that experience to become better all round footballers and I am very confident that come end of season they will have learned from both the ups and the downs that the season has brought them.
On the other hand there has been some outstanding individual performances this season and none better than Jack Jewsbury. Jewsbury is a player that has been around the league for a long time now and has an abundance of experience.
The move has proven to be one of the best trades in Major League Soccer this season not only for the Timbers who pulled off wonders to get him away from his beloved Kansas City team, but also for Jewsbury himself who has gone through his career playing consistently well but also a little within himself.
The move to the Timbers has forced Jack to play with much more leadership than I have ever seen from him during his Wizards days.
Now we are seeing a player that is not only playing with the fire and intensity that the Timbers fans demand but a player who is scoring and creating goals, something that rightly so took him to the All-star game.
What now for the Timbers? Play-offs? It’s not a long shot yet but unless they start to pick up some good results on the road it really is going to be difficult to get in.
No matter what John Spencer has said about this season, I know deep down he has Â had the play-offs in his sights and he would have fully expected his team to make it especially after the amazing start that they had.
As for Vancouver its been a pretty rough year to say the least and for the talent and experience that they have in the squad, you have to admit they have been a major disappointment.
Their fans once again have been outstanding and knowing Canadians, they will not be happy with the way the season has gone.
The appointment of Martin Rennie is an excellent choice and something I think the Caps fans can be excited about.Â I don’t say this because I am a fellow Scot but Martin is showing that he has a very bright future in the game as a coach.
An excellent player in his days but a true gentleman off the field, Martin will bring a much needed boost to the team spirit in the Caps dressing room and I truly believe we will see a completely different outcome from them next season.
Another factor I wanted to touch on was the refereeing in Major League Soccer this year. Nothing can describe the consistency level of the referees this year other than an absolute joke.
I always said that it will take some time for the referees to gain some experience and become better but what I have seen this year has given us all the right to be scared of what the future holds for our game.
The amount of failed calls, yellow/red cards and penalties is miserable to see for us fans who love to watch the game in America Â - and don’t even get me started of the stupid white spray that we have seen this season during free-kicks…
Are you flipping kidding me? Not only does the referee need to make sure that his cards and whistle are with him when he enters the field he now has to make sure that he has his can of “Magic Spray”. I think its only a matter of time before we see a player rip that can from the referee’s hand and throw it out the stadium and then I’m pretty sure a new rule will be introduced where the player will get a red card for touching the spray can. Gimme a break.
Something that does need to happen and happen quickly though is some sort of goal line technology. The amount of money that is involved in the game now is huge and I really feel for the referees especially during world cup or Champions league games when there is a very tough decision to be made.
The game is played at such a high tempo now that unless you are 100% sure that the ball crossed the line there is no way you can give a goal. Â There is no simple way to just put a camera on the goal line or something mechanical in the ball.
So the only way I can vision is to allow each team one opportunity a game to take a 60 second time-out Â and allow the referee to look at the video and know exactly if the ball crossed the line or not.
I mean how often will a team actually use it? Maybe once every 10-15 games. I don’t know if it would ever happen, as it’s a difficult one for the powers that be in world soccer; but I’m pretty sure the boffins at Major League Soccer could come up with some ridiculous way.
Last thing I am going to talk about before I go is the English Premier Â League and who I think will be Champions this year. As a United fan since a kid, it hurts me to admit that I don’t believe we will win the league.
Too many teams have advanced and spent big big money on players and United having lost 3-4 of the core players from last season will struggle to pick up big points when it matters this year.
So that brings me to my title favorites… Arsenal? No just joking they will have a nightmare year. Chelsea are my favorites this year but wait for it, Spurs will do very well and might even be the dark horse for the title.
Well at 32.000 feet above the US on-route to my home in Saint Louis I bid you all farewell.
Please feel free to follow me on twitter @JOYPAULIAN and have an insight to my wacky world of business, football & pleasure as I make my journey through life to wherever that may take me.
Until next time.