"What's going on?"
That seems to be the question on everyone's mind right about now. Another costly mistake, another game without any goals, another home loss--it's all starting to become too routine. For a team that showed such promise in the first half of the season, the New England Revolution now look like a team with no identity, no communication, no bite, and no answers.
Jay Heaps took the helm last autumn, and immediately began instilling his philosophy into this club. Jay knew what he wanted to do. He wanted to attack. He wanted to keep the ball on the ground. He wanted to build out of the back and surround a group of leaders and finishers with a group of creators and game-changers. The roster turnover certainly suggests that on-field game-plan.
And yet, the Revs have really only been able to take that philosophy so far this season. The talent is out there on the field, but where are the results? Is it a matter of teamwork? Passion? Money? Fitness? If Jay Heaps knows what he is doing, then are we just being too impatient? Do we need to give it more time?
Despite what we can see on the pitch, we can't really be sure of is what's going on off the field. Of course, this is all purely speculation, but could it be that there's more going on behind the scenes that is causing problems for this team right now? Egos? Lack of chemistry or team bonding? Some other kind of tension?
And when we look at the lineups every week, how can we be sure that we're looking at our best foot being put forward? Where is the accountability when someone has a crap game? I think Chris Tierney probably summed it up best after the loss against Montreal on Sunday night. "Guys have been comfortable in playing, expecting their spots," he said, "and at this level you have to earn it and now it's become clear. I think there are a lot of guys who are good players and can contribute and at least give 110 percent, and I think Jay will look to get those guys on the field."
So, from that, maybe we can infer that the Revs--or at least some of them--have become too complacent with their role on this team. Maybe the roster competition that we assume is there isn't really playing a part in this squad's development.
More than half of the Revolution's current active roster is new additions this season. On top of that, the team's most consistent and dependable mainstay, Shalrie Joseph, is now gone as a result of disagreements with Jay Heaps. So, how do Jay and his staff plan on replacing that kind of presence on this team? Or, more importantly, who will step up and assume that role? And how long will it take someone to do so?
I know that I usually use this spot to reflect on the previous match and analyze it a bit deeper. But, honestly, I've got nothing to say about Sunday's loss. Nothing at all.
All I have is questions. Lots and lots of questions. As I'm sure all of you do as well. But, ultimately, I think it all boils down to just that one question... one that we, as fans, need an answer to ASAP...
What's going on?