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Discussion in 'Real Salt Lake' started by SoccerPrime, Apr 8, 2009.
The Javi Decision
IMO if we lose Javi we won't be a dominant team. Depending on who we replace him with we could potentially be the team we were in 2008 and MAYBE 2009. We're going to need to bring in a replacement, there is nobody on this roster that can be that player. That means the replacement is going to need time to learn the system and mesh with his teammates. We also have a bit of unknown up top.
That's not to say I'm against losing Javi, I'm actually fine with whatever decision he makes. If he goes and we have a repeat of 2008, I think it at least sets us up to be the team we were from 2009-2011, which was a league leading threat every year. If he stays, which I THINK is best for the team longer term, we can have a decent season probably similar to this year. Now, why do I say I think that's the best longer term option, because next year we're going to be breaking in several new guys and I think the worst case scenario for this team is exponentially worse if we also have to replace Javi. I also think replacing Javi next year can allow us to have that 2009-2011 growth curve again since the rest of the roster will, presumably, still be set.
There's two paths we are going to have to go down this year, I'm fine with either, but I think keeping Javi this year lessens the "bottom out" potential of the team while maintains the "let's aim for that 2009-2011 stretch" goal of the team being successful in meaningful competitions.
One thing an unknown AM could help us with, is that unknown factor. Right now teams know how we play, and how to play us. Having a completely different AM and forward combo, and whoever is starting in place of Johnson, will make teams have to rethink how to play us. It could wind up being good or bad, but it would hopefully at least keep other teams guessing a little with us. While having Javi one more year might help ease the transition, it's also one more slow guy on the team that other teams know how to chip and hack at to limit his impact. I'm really torn on what I feel the best move for the team would be. There certainly is a number of pros/cons to either side.
This is true, but what I think outweighs the potential "we all know how Javi/RSL plays" argument is that we've still been successful despite it. True, we have failed miserably in the biggest of games recently, but I think it's more because we lack a player right now with that killer instinct, not somebody like Javi. Generally speaking, I think replacing at least half the midfield and three quarters of our forward corps is not a recipe for being a highly successful team next year. I still think with Javi we are capable of being a very dangerous team, with the right ingredients including a new winger and faster forwards. Javi might be slow, but his vision and (for the most part) his creative ability is still very good for this league.
This is part of the reason I am for losing Javi
it starts the cycle over again, it doesn't get the cycle messed up like I think it would should we not remove Javi.
To be a great team, you have to have a lot of guys peaking around the right time or have a few guys that are just brilliant - see LA. I kind of want 2008-2009 RSL because that team had potential, it hadn't reached it's ceiling. I fell this current team, with Javi staying, has reached it's potential and is now on the wrong side of the hill.
I want this coaching staff, ownership, and management to actually live by what they said - the past 2-3 years are not acceptable. This team failed, this team has to change, especially the offense. Javi is the biggest piece of the offense. Bitch and moan all you want about the forwards not scoring, our play-maker/number 10 was a ********ing ghost in pretty much every big game as well
Maybe this boils down to me being sick of the same thing over and over again over the past few years. We've actually made moves and maybe they are enough. My fear, though, is that they won't be enough. That if we wanted to make a change, we needed to really make a change. Going part-way and hoping your aging stars will carry the weight seems a bit hopeful to me.
I get what you are saying and won't be too upset if Javi doesn't come back because the rebuilding will need to continue and his leaving speeds that up. What I would argue is that the jury is still out on whether or not Javi can be the Javi of old next season.
I believe that Garth believes that Javi can be the player RSL needs in the middle for a couple of reasons. First, Javi will, more than likely, be in the best shape both physically and mentally then he has been since before the injury.
Second, with the forward play last year for RSL, outside of Sabo, it would have been tough for anyone playing his position for RSL to find any success. If RSL has zero players that the defense fears can get behind them and even if they do they are unlikely to get a shot off even a shot on frame, especially if it's Fabi in a big game with an wide open net, the defenses can do what they did with Javi last season. Compact and hack away.
Javi is an incredible player whose best days are behind him, for the most part, but good players like him are so very hard to find and are worth keeping as long as possible and as long as they can find ways to be productive.
The question is will a new set of complimentary forwards for and with Sabo be able to create the space necessary that will allow Javi to be at his most effective OR will RSL be able to bring in a replacement that will be able to fit into the RSL system and be able to run the offense effectively.
I think Garth is trying to push replacing Javi until after next season with the hopes that the forwards brought in this year will be keepers and mesh well with Sabo and help RSL start finding the back of the net more frequently.
Keeping Javi would make that more likely.
For the future of RSL I think keeping Javi one more season has a greater chance of keeping them from a total dive down the table than him leaving. It's a very risky move when you try and replace a player like him and odds are it won't be the first, second and maybe even third player you bring in that fills his shoes and comes close to filling the role required.
I think the odds are more in RSL's favor for success if they can keep Javi than if he were to leave. Without a quality player at his position the odds of the new forwards finding success are much, much lower.
IMO this is one of the keys to legitimize the "keep Javi" philosophy. It can take years to get completely back from an injury (again, see Fernando Torres of late). Perhaps he's been less than 100% and the FO knows that. To Morales' credit, he's known as someone who will work hard in rehab and try to get back fast (maybe to his detriment a little). Age may play a role, but 31-32 isn't grey beard time.
It might not be grey beard time, but most players are on the downward trend and some go far faster than others. I really hope if he stays he's 100% and that it's more than what we saw last year. If last year was his 100%, then I have doubts on how he'll be this year.
No, Javi isn't ancient. But he is losing a step. You can tell. A large credit needs to go to the injury, but some of it is simply his age. The position he plays, coupled with the style he and RSL plays, makes 32 pretty damn old.
More importantly, next year we're going to have 3/4th of our midfield over 30, should Javi stay. I'm not a fan of that one bit. Garth talked up how this team was getting younger and more athletic at the start of 2012. We're going to start 2013 with 3 guys over 30 in our midfield? Come on, man
Javi is definitely slower. That side step out of the double team isn't happening as much, and defensively he's an orange cone most of the time.
Just looking at the diamond part, it's a little scary. Javi is certainly slower and we don't know what condition he'll be in if he stays. Ned isn't fast and also the wrong side of 30. Beckerman still gets the job done, but as the D-Mid he's usually not pushing forward as much. We'll see what Viana/Velasquez/Gil are able to do, but none of them are all that quick either. Honestly I think I'm more worried about our midfield next year over whoever we get at forward.
Before the injury, Javi was probably the number 1 - definitely top 2 - attacking mid in MLS. Post injury, he's probably still in the top 5. RSL could certainly bring in an a-mid who's better than Javi, but they could also easily end up with one who is worse. In fact, I'd put the odds of getting someone on the free agent market who's an upgrade from Javi at less than 50%. For that reason alone I'm in favor of giving Javi another year or two.
That said, if Javi does stay, then I say there needs to be a "succession plan" in place for him. Somebody like Sebastian or Viana needs to be signed to a long-term deal and taught to play the position over the next couple of years.
podcast I'm involved in with some friends. We try and do one every week. Harder than it seems apparently to get that done. Our thoughts on the home opener and the Dallas match this weekend. It's pretty random. We'd love you to listen and any feedback you have.
It's also available on Itunes.
I got 10 or so minutes in and had to shut it down. A little to juvenile for me.
Good luck though.
I put up a couple of new posts, nothing major. It never is with me though.
Just put up a new post on my blog looking at some stats coming out of the Montreal loss.
Really good stuff, I love stats like this. Your right though, this is only a fraction of the total picture we need to look at. While it's interesting to see that Sandoval is on the field for a majority of the RSL goals, I'm not about to say that he should be starting over a fully healthy Sabo. I will say however that Garcia does need to be starting every match if he is fully healthy. He's already got more goals than Findley and Plata and he no doubt busts his ass when he's on the field by pressuring. I also think he's got enough speed where if you are looking for that kind of player than it can nullify the need for a burner like Findley (I'm not convinced Plata has that "all out" speed). Unfortunately I think he's the one that got burned on the game losing goal this last weekend, he probably should have been subbed off for a defender as he was looking gassed.
That's a very "Beckerman-esque" passing performance from Grabavoy. Having a very high completion percentage is good, no doubt, but I wonder what percentage of passes were positive contributions to things like creating offensive third chances or breaking up attacks by the other team. We always see those stats from Beckerman and I generally just brush them off as him just doing his job, keeping possession and settling down the defensive midfield by making high percentage passes to Javi or the defense.
My latest blog post can be found here.
Interesting thoughts, what stands out to me the most is the large shifts in the stats which equates to a small sample size. It will be more beneficial to try and draw conclusions after the season is at least half way over, right now things can change dramatically after just one game or two. It's especially true when you consider our forward position has been a revolving door all season long. I'm not inclined to say one forward pair is better than another when at best we have two players who have played a grand total of 3.5 games together combined.
Alright, y'all--This has been a long time coming...and I've still got a lot of content/features to add, but right now, if you check out RSLBoz.com, you'll find the photo galleries for the Colorado and the Seattle matches back in mid to late March...
Also, you will find a Menu link to RSLBozRetro, which will take you to my old RSLBoz.com website where you can look through years and years of archived match fotoz.
There are also some additional pages there, as well as more to be added soon. There is PLENTY more to come, so stay tuned to RSLBoz.com!
Here is a statistical look at the RSL back line.
Good stuff, basically we need to have Beltran, Schuler or Salcedo, Borchers, and Mansally or Wingert on the field. I think Wingert's numbers will improve close to Mansally's as he gets more time.
I'm also surprised by Palmer's extremely poor numbers, it may have to do with him being much more offensively minded to Beltran and Wingert. He tends to get forward a lot, it would be interesting to see if there is that correlation.
Today's RSL Reading: