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TheTruth
Post #46
Tuesday December 6, 2016 12:11am

Joined Dec 2013
Total Posts: 954
Original post from munns5986

Arena is a good coach. I love soccer but my first love has always been American football. Nick Saban is probably the best college football coach there has ever been. He still got it handed to him when he went to the NFL to coach. Just because he is a great MLS coach doesn't mean he is what is best for USMNT. I also hope I am completely wrong and he takes the team to even higher achievements and really puts the US on the map. I just don't see it.

Like I said previously, Bruce is a good stop gap to get us to the next cycle. The problem is I see 2 potential scenarios playing out and they are both beneficial to Arena. 1st he qualifies us through the remainder of our easy qualifying schedule and he will get all the praise for turning the team around and an extension. 2nd we bomb in qualifying but everyone is going to blame JK and Arena will get an extension to get us on the path for the next cycle.


Exactly my point. Bruce has done it in College, MLS, and USMNT. And I'm going to go out on a limb and say he probably coached the fuck out of some high school team to a state championship before that.

TheTruth
Post #47
Tuesday December 6, 2016 12:38am

Joined Dec 2013
Total Posts: 954
Couldn't disagree more that there are "hundreds" of soccer coaches better than Bruce. "Dozens" maybe. Agree, pretty subjective. "Elite" is an interesting word. And I will agree that it's tough to use the word "elite" with Bruce because it implies a certain amount of tradition and pedigree. And I definitely am an elitist myself. Let those peasants eat dog shit I say.

I'm not going to hold it against Wenger and Sir Alex for having a ton of success in the same place, I'm big fans of both - it just makes it apples-to-oranges. No doubt MLS is much worse than the top Euro leagues, but rules are in place to ensure parity (so coaching more of a differentiator).

I can be swayed by facts. Gimme some names of soccer coaches who have been successful at a bunch of different levels and teams? I'll start: Bruce - UVA, DC United, USMNT, LA Galaxy.

munns5986
Post #48
Tuesday December 6, 2016 3:44am

Joined Oct 2012
Total Posts: 282
Your really have blinders on. You think Arena is a great coach in the grand scheme of things. MLS might be a top 10 league now but in the past. College soccer is terrible and if you actually being honest than you know the US doesn't qualify you for being great at this moment. I firmly believe one day it will but not yet.

TheTruth
Post #49
Tuesday December 6, 2016 5:31am

Joined Dec 2013
Total Posts: 954
You can only coach the team you have. Would Pep be as successful as Bruce was at UVA? We'll never know. Well shit, I never thought I'd get to see one of my favorite players of all time (Gerrard) in LA either, so who the hell knows. . .

Guys - progress for the USMNT is more about youth soccer in this country (which is getting better at an insanely fast pace as I've always said in these stupid forums). Less so about our coach right now.

Rey Regicide
Post #50
Tuesday December 6, 2016 11:27am

Joined Sep 2013
Total Posts: 2,001
I just remembered that we have made it to the top of concacaf qualifying every single time for the last 3 to 4? cycles? mAybe 5. Do we still think we can get there, this time around? If we don't, is that as much as psychological blow as say, dos a uno en Columbus?

TheTruth
Post #51
Tuesday December 6, 2016 11:53am

Joined Dec 2013
Total Posts: 954
No we're in a 6 point hole. Snowball's chance in hell and of winning the group. This is about panama and Honduras.

Rey Regicide
Post #52
Tuesday December 6, 2016 1:14pm

Joined Sep 2013
Total Posts: 2,001
True...

But we're not calling chicken little right? Like, and I say this with a modicum of national pride and tepid tribalism, if we were Mexico or England this would be terrible.

We're just like, eh fire this dude, start over, let's do the best that we can, ends justify the means type of thing.

No? maybe?

Rey Regicide
Post #53
Tuesday December 6, 2016 1:17pm

Joined Sep 2013
Total Posts: 2,001
And conversely, if we get to the top of the group, that would CERTAINLY be a blow to Mexico, right?

Granted, this is about us, not about any other team, but if we do win the group the Arena bandwagon will have 300 million seats and wonder why we ever went on this 10 year odyssey.

Also, I'm sorry if I'm late to the game, but any thoughts on how women's soccer plea for equal pay played a role in this. Like, maybe Beisla was available, and Gulati wanted to pull the trigger on that, but the PR on that move would have been a stank he would not wash off for decades after the fact.

Know Nothing
Post #54
Tuesday December 6, 2016 3:46pm

Joined Jan 2013
Total Posts: 1,912
Original post from Rey Regicide

Also, I'm sorry if I'm late to the game, but any thoughts on how women's soccer plea for equal pay played a role in this. Like, maybe Beisla was available, and Gulati wanted to pull the trigger on that, but the PR on that move would have been a stank he would not wash off for decades after the fact.


I certainly hope it did not.

With Biesla, he would need time getting to know the players and we are in a situation where we need results now. Arena has a pretty good grasp on the player pool so while he isn't the best long term situation, he makes sense in the short term.

If we were interested in Biesla, and money wasn't a problem, we would have named Arena in the interim and hired Biesla to the dual role JK used to occupy...giving him the necessary time to get to know the players better.

Rey Regicide
Post #55
Tuesday December 6, 2016 4:37pm

Joined Sep 2013
Total Posts: 2,001
I know he's the best short term, I just wonder if economics (Gulati is an economics dude, I keep reading..) played like 80 percent of the decision making.

dolcem
Post #56
Tuesday December 6, 2016 5:08pm

Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts: 1,805
Original post from TheTruth

Couldn't disagree more that there are "hundreds" of soccer coaches better than Bruce. "Dozens" maybe. Agree, pretty subjective. "Elite" is an interesting word. And I will agree that it's tough to use the word "elite" with Bruce because it implies a certain amount of tradition and pedigree. And I definitely am an elitist myself. Let those peasants eat dog shit I say.

I'm not going to hold it against Wenger and Sir Alex for having a ton of success in the same place, I'm big fans of both - it just makes it apples-to-oranges. No doubt MLS is much worse than the top Euro leagues, but rules are in place to ensure parity (so coaching more of a differentiator).

I can be swayed by facts. Gimme some names of soccer coaches who have been successful at a bunch of different levels and teams? I'll start: Bruce - UVA, DC United, USMNT, LA Galaxy.


Considering that the US, or any other nation this new to soccer, has ever produced a manager capable of managing a top-tier club (and with respect to Coach Bob, I don't think he'll be around more than a few more weeks), yeah, I'd say there are hundreds. If there are ten leagues better than the MLS (and there are...I mean Liga MX might be 10th and it's a big step up from the MLS) than that's about 200 managers right there coming from countries that actually have produced top-flight managers in the past. I bet there are at least thirty to forty Argentina managers "better" than Bruce. Again, it's a completely silly conversation, because there is no way to accurately measure them (and of course Bruce would do better than most of them if in charge of an MLS club), but I mean, come on.

Would you want Željko Obradović coaching your LA Lakers? He has "been successful at a bunch of different levels and teams." And that's not even a fair comparison because Europe has produced world class basketball players (aside from a couple of goalies, we haven't come close).

I don't care if Guardiola would have done better than Bruce at UVA. That's entirely meaningless. I bet Nick Saban wouldn't have done as well with my local high school football team as our coach back in '05 when we were one play away from going to the state championship (we were a 2A-sized school playing 4A football, the highest division). That doesn't mean that he's a better coach than Nick Saban. The only indicator of how good a top-tier manager is is how well they can perform at the highest level. Someone like Pep Guardiola came from a system that regularly produces world class players and managers. Bruce Arena did not. Do you think if we took the top K-League or J-League coach they would make it in Europe? And let's not forget that both the Koreans and Japanese have produced better players than we have.

Sure, Klinsmann may have failed at Bayern Munich (and that was a tough year to be the manager for Bayern Munich), but I'd say you can't even compare that to Bruce Arena failing at the Red Bulls. Considering all of the talent the Galaxy have had since Arena took over, I'd say there are other MLS managers that have done more impressive things than he has, just to use your criteria.

One thing that has always struck me is listening to American coaches talk about the game versus foreign coaches. It's like night and day. It's very obvious who knows more.
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Rey Regicide
Post #57
Tuesday December 6, 2016 6:12pm

Joined Sep 2013
Total Posts: 2,001
I agree with your way of thinking, Dolcem, but given what you said about talent and getting the results, since we don't have that top level talent that you speak of, can we really fault Gulati with the hiring of Arena? If anything , we could fault him for entertaining anything else right? Getting a better manager, would be either detrimental, or diminishing returns, we wouldn't know the difference, because the options or the potential for our group remains modest.

What do you think?

dolcem
Post #58
Tuesday December 6, 2016 7:05pm

Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts: 1,805
Original post from Rey Regicide

I agree with your way of thinking, Dolcem, but given what you said about talent and getting the results, since we don't have that top level talent that you speak of, can we really fault Gulati with the hiring of Arena? If anything , we could fault him for entertaining anything else right? Getting a better manager, would be either detrimental, or diminishing returns, we wouldn't know the difference, because the options or the potential for our group remains modest.

What do you think?


What do I think? I think it was absolutely ridiculous that we fired Klinsmann. Sure, we have a deep player pool, but having a better bench than ever before won't help us out all that much. We don't have a Donovan or a Dempsey or a Jones or a Bradley in their prime. We don't have a Tim Howard from a couple seasons ago and we don't have a Bocanegra or a Cherundolo (Brooks and Yedlin have much more upside but are still inconsistent). And CONCACAF is better than ever before. We don't have the quality to simply waltz in and dominate every game like we used to. A World Cup hangover was inevitable, and our solid performance at the Copa America should have secured his job. Fire the manager just because our first two matches were against Mexico and Costa Rica (who, by the way, are way better than we are at the moment)? Come on. You all know that if those hadn't been the first two matches, Klinsmann would have had his ticket booked to Russia in 2018.

This is someone who coached two hugely successful WC cycles and got us playing the best quality soccer we ever played (along with awesome results, like a record winning percentage despite the toughest schedule ever). And now we want to go back now to NCAA long ball tactics? To a manager we decided wasn't good enough for the international level? It's absolutely ridiculous and it pissed me off even more than Trump winning the election (I think the two were caused by the same xenophobic trends, but I digress). Sure, the results haven't been very good of late, but we're supposed to be better than this. We're not the kind of program that can afford to fire the manager every time there's a poor run of results. I mean we've never done this during the Hex and we just did it to arguably the best manager we've ever had (he's the only manager we ever had that actually gets linked with elite coaching positions...you know, like Bayern Munich, Tottenham, England, Switzerland, etc...but let me guess, the only reason the American coaches don't get these job offers is because Europeans are racist against Americans and don't want to see "us" beat "them" at "their" game!).

If Klinsmann really did lose the locker room, I support the decision, but no one here is close enough to the team to know something like that, and none of the US soccer "pundits" (bloggers living in their parents' basements and sportswriters who started watching the sport six years ago) do either. And neither does Sunil Gulati. The sad part is this probably happened because of public outrage (thousands of Trump-supporter-style emails to Gulati) over the poor run of results from one of the least knowledgeable fanbases out there (how many Americans could name more than one soccer player besides Pele and Beckham ten years ago?)

Unless a miracle happens and we can get Bielsa to come here (not likely for a number of reasons), we're going to be stuck with a second-tier manager (without any exposure to the highest levels of the game) in charge of a national team with top-tier players on it and supposedly aspirations of making it deep into the tournament. 2002 was an anomaly, and hopefully if/when we crash and burn in a year and a half people will wake the fuck up.
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Rey Regicide
Post #59
Tuesday December 6, 2016 7:13pm

Joined Sep 2013
Total Posts: 2,001
... yes..

but with regards to ours not having the talent at the highest level, which would be where having a top flight manager would matter that much. Like in your serbian coach example, or saban at your high school team, we are essentially, talent comparison, maybe a couple shades better than you 2A team, but still inferior.

ah... i just invited a slew of comments ...

dolcem
Post #60
Tuesday December 6, 2016 7:30pm

Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts: 1,805
Original post from Rey Regicide

... yes..

but with regards to ours not having the talent at the highest level, which would be where having a top flight manager would matter that much. Like in your serbian coach example, or saban at your high school team, we are essentially, talent comparison, maybe a couple shades better than you 2A team, but still inferior.

ah... i just invited a slew of comments ...


I get you...and that's why I think a lot of foreign managers might struggle to coach us. They're used to superior talent than what we have. However, the MLS managers would have the same problem. Asking a Jason Kreis or a Pete Vermes to take over means putting them in charge of a team with players that are much more talented than they've ever coached. And playing against opposition on a completely different level than they're used to (and let's not forget that we haven't exactly been lighting up the CONCACAF Champions League).

Someone like Bielsa has experience getting second-tier talent to play extremely well. Maybe Carlo Ancelotti does not, but wouldn't you rather take a risk and hire him to see if it pays big dividends than go back to second-tier coaching?

Of course it's a silly example, because we'll never get Ancelotti. We might end up with some mediocre European mercenary (like a Roberto Martinez...if we're lucky) but most likely we'll hire someone like Vermes or Kreis and it'll be back to the same...hoping for lucky results in the group stage and finding ourselves tactically outclassed against superior opposition. We won't find anyone better than Klinsmann come 2018, and no way Gulati would admit to making such a mistake and re-hire him.

The point is that we're idiots for not letting Klinsmann turn it around. During both his previous World Cup cycles, the teams had a poor run of results and there was a lot of media pressure against him. And then they figured it out, turned it around, and had fantastic tournaments. We made our decision to bank on Klinsmann's upside, and we should've stuck to it. We already know what Arena can bring us, and Russia will be a lot more similar to '06 than '02 (the European teams will be on home soil, with the normal amount of rest, and we're no longer off the radar). Not taking a chance on letting such a successful manager turn things around was sheer stupidity. I mean both World Cups he coached teams that played much better than anyone expected. (Don't give me the whole 'Germany hosted the '06 WC' argument because it has been completely debunked every time it has been discussed.)

Fucking ridiculous.
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