There’s a point before every away match when I realize that, even if I dropped everything, got in the car, and went directly to the airport, there’s no way I’d make it to wherever the game is in time to see first kick. The Point of No Return.
And there’s a point in every season where a team, and its fanbase, knows that all is lost. There will be no trophy, no titles, no glory.
Guys, we’re two games into the season. All is not lost. There’s not yet reason to burn the stadium down with a bonfire of kits and scarves built at 20th and Morrison.
We want more, we want better, we want to know players are playing for the badge, playing for us. I think they are, for the most part. I know this is a tired trope: Fans Want Players to Play Harder, continued on C4. But yesterday’s performances cast doubt on the dedication of a Timber or two.
If you’re not willing to defend, why are you a defender? If you’re not going to take the shot, why are you a forward? If you can’t move the ball, why are you on the field at all?
I’m seeing three key points from folks with regard to last night’s match:
Ridgewell, out of position, casually glancing over his shoulder at two runners, deciding not to make an effort to disrupt their momentum.
Gleeson, primarily just being Gleeson.
Savarese, new guy on a bigger stage, out of his depth.
I’m good with one of those being a cause for worry.
Gio Savarese will be fine. He’s finding his feet, figuring out what’s going to work at this level. It’s going to be bumpy, but he’s not the complete idiot a few folks might have you believe. He knows how to win, just maybe not yet with this squad. He’ll make the necessary adjustments. Just…give him a minute.
Jake Gleeson is Jake Gleeson. Remember when we used to joke about the Donovan Ricketts 70th minute nap? I feel like we get a lot of the same from Gleeson: a couple top-class saves per game, and a minor injury deep in the second half. He’ll be fine if we sort out the myriad of issues occurring in front of him. Or if we get Attinella back on the field. Or McIntosh. I’m fine with any of those options.
The third issue is the one that really sticks. Captain Ridgewell, out for a jog, out of position, the leader of the back line. It stands to reason that if the one directing is out of position, those following will be, too. And if he who is supposed to motivate fails to do so, well, there’s going to be a lack of motivation, a lack of urgency. I’m not entirely sure how to fix that, but I know where I’d start.