The Oscar Thread

Discussion in 'Colorado Rapids' started by spot, Jul 11, 2012.

  1. spot

    spot Member+

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    I recognize that there's threads with posts about OP all over the place, and the recent discussion has been in the thread about worshipping Smith. I don't really want to go into Smith as opinions are pretty much set, and posting about OP in that thread invites the comparison that so many swear that they don't want but continue to make. So, an Oscar thread.

    Why does he need his own thread? I think that there's some dissonance around Oscar Pareja.

    On the one hand, OP is a new coach. He's not very experienced. The most we know about him is that he had some success with FCD's youth. He's still a pretty blank slate when it comes to being a head coach.

    On the other hand, it seems as if people know, or think they know, more about him than they do.

    OP as a former player turned head coach is our Kreis, Olson, or Jesse Marsch. From a distance, all those guys' first years were a mystery to me, and I've watched as - Kreis and Olsen in particular - they've struggled to find their feet.

    It seems to me that Pareja is very much on the same track. He is a mystery, that is revealing itself as we watch.

    I don't know that Pareja was introduced in any other way, but the impression I get is that there's some disconnect, that this is ultimately a rebuilding year and it's being done with a rookie coach. I think there's some on the job learning going on, and I'm fine with that, but thinking about it this way tends to open up my mind to what's happening with the Rapids. Looked at this way on the whole he's done very well.

    Now has the FO presented it this way? I don't think so, I'm not sure they've presented it any other way, either. I do think that they're inclined to avoid these ideas, the way a politician would avoid saying "surveillance" by saying "safety". It's as if it's a some how bad to talk about, or a slight, but it's a disservice to pretend that Pareja comes with expectations befitting a proven coach and it's a disservice to pretend like he's in a situation to win this year.
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  2. DavidJames

    DavidJames Member+

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    Good post Deron.
    My first reaction when I see things I don't like on the field is to look at the players first and the coach a very distant second. Perhaps it's because I honestly don't fully understand the nuances of what a coach does. I've always thought the biggest (but not exhaustive) influences the coach has are (in no particular order, numbered for reference)

    1. The general 'style' of the team
    2. Which players are on the team (may share this with role others)
    3. Which players start the game
    4. The role of each player
    5. Which players get subbed.
    6. Setting the general 'strategy' for each game
    7. Helping the team get prepared mentally for the game
    There are times when the coach can't even control some of the above. Over bearing technical director/owner/etc., injuries, suspension, external mental influences on players and, of course, the other team. Plus you can teach till you're blue in the face, but if the player fails to execute...

    In my mind, the biggest factor is #2, everything flows from that.

    I've pointed out many times this year that the issues I've seen stem mostly from player break downs, mental and physical errors. The Vancouver goal was a player physical error while the Seattle goals were mental errors and physical errors. We've seen numerous times when players were unmarked. I refuse to believe the coaching style and strategy includes leaving players unmarked.

    Many of the offensive problems revolve around finishing. I've seen video of a finishing drill and the results weren't much better then real games. These are professional players with many years of experience, I also refuse to believe a coach can make 'player x', shoot better. Maybe I'm wrong, but I think it's rare a player in their mid 20's and above has much technical improvement in them. I question how much even more drilling can help. Experience and mental maturity could possibly help, but those are internal to the player.

    The bottom line is OP needs the opportunity to field his team, #2 so they can play the way he wants, #1. Based on what I see, in terms of players, I don't think he's half way there yet. That doesn't mean I'm saying OP doesn't deserve some criticism. I'm just saying expectations should be tempered and talk at this point of him, as the Rapids coach, being a failure are unfair and premature.

    Personally, I'm going to bitch and moan after each poor performance. I'll pick it apart and find fault be it the players or what I perceive a poor coaching decision. But I won't be calling for the coaches head for another year, maybe even a bit longer.
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  3. jayd8888

    jayd8888 Member+

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  4. jayd8888

    jayd8888 Member+

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  5. jayd8888

    jayd8888 Member+

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  6. jayd8888

    jayd8888 Member+

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    The Oscar we trust the most!

    [​IMG]
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  7. meanderingjeeper

    meanderingjeeper Member

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    gotta say. I still keep thinking everybody is talking about the original poster.
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  8. tonhtubra

    tonhtubra Member+

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    Have you read Soccernomics? I'm just part way through, but it seems like they are saying that in most cases, the coach has very little affect on the performance of the team. So from that standpoint, you are very right in looking to the players first and the coach second. However, when you get one of the "special" coaches who does have a positive influence it is a great thing. Only time will tell if Oscar is one of those "special" coaches.
  9. spot

    spot Member+

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    I don't think David's wrong, and as tonhtubra points out Soccernomics does suggest that this is the case. If we're level headed about it coaches would rarely get fired. We aren't typically that level headed. Too bad for coaches then, they are a proxy for the players failures.

    Was Spenny, for instance, doing poorly or was it player failure? Did we duck a bullet when he didn't sign with the Rapids, or should it be assumed that given the right players, perhaps ours, he'd be a wonderful coach?
  10. RapidStorm

    RapidStorm Member+

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    I think David's points about coach and player responsibilities above pretty well illustrate that this is not an either/or question.

    That said, both in the case of Spencer and Pareja, there's been too few games to judge the "dodging a bullet" question you brought up. We'll probably need at least 18 months-2 years for a coach to get the players they want and the system they want installed, and if by that point the same problems keep reoccuring and the team is still mediocre (or worse), it's fair to start independently judging a coach's ability in overall terms of whether he's worth his salt.
  11. SoccaJ

    SoccaJ Member

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    Note: This post should be read with the understanding that I am writing it without taking a pro-OP or con-OP persepective....just a thought to consider

    While I understand and agree with many of the points made about the affect a coach has on the results of a professional soccer team I do think there is a tendency on here to to overstate that affect in either direction. My guess is, as with many things, the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

    TO THOSE THAT UNDERESTIMATE THE AFFECT OF A HEAD COACH:
    I think the head coach does have a much stronger affect that some of us want to give credit. I do feel that he is second in importance to the players but I do not believe it is a distant second. Yes, the players must perform - but the coach dictates who is on the pitch to perform and to a great extent what their roles are. Why do I say "to a great extent"? Because, simply put, unless the player is a true superstar or clearly lightyears ahead of the player behind him if he does not "follow orders" his playing time will be limited or non-existent.

    Furthermore, while OP likely does not have final say on what players the roster is stocked with nor is it likely he does much scouting he does have a great deal of input into the "type" of player he requires to perform his job. That, in turn, affects who the scouting/technical department goes after and with how much vigor they go after them.

    The coach also dictates the modus operandi of the team. While we all know soccer to be a much more organic sport than most, open to the artistic interpretation and moves of the player on the pitch, the "style" of play dictated by the coach does strongly lend to a restricting affect on how far "outside the lines" a player or players can go within the system.

    Now, many of these things individually likely have minimal affects in a vacuum or at various points in the season - cumulatively, though, I believe they give OP a lot more power than some of us are willing to give him credit.

    TO THOSE THAT OVERESTIMATE THE AFFECT OF A HEAD COACH:
    A coach cannot create team chemistry - he can only help to enhance or diminish it.
    A coach cannot direct a pass with a joystick - he can only put the players on the pitch, within in the confines of his roster, that he believes are best equipped to complete that pass.
    A coach cannot score goals - he can only do his best to train players to be ready when the opportunity arises.
    A coach cannot give players mental toughness - he can only do his best to balance all the personalities on the team and "be there" for those who need it, when they need it.
    A coach cannot correct an in-game error - he can only hope to coach against it in the next training session.
    A coach cannot magically prevent or heal injuries - he can only do his best to train his players to their limits and not beyond.
    A coach does not have final say in every aspect of his roster - he can only plead his case for whom he wants and whom he does not.

    As fans, we follow the team and fall in love with players. As fans we attend matches once a week or so and then read these forums or new outlets in between. As fans we do not see all the training sessions and who trains well during a given week and who does not - who works hard to improve and who rests on their laurels and "takes time off". As fans we do not hear the conversations between coach and team during training sessions, meetings, "after work", before matches, on the team bus, out in the parking lot, etc. As fans we do not hear the conversations between players during the same circumstances. As fans we are not aware of who on the roster has an unreported bum ankle or nagging calf or who's father was just diagnosed with cancer or who's girlfriend just broke up with them.

    A coach, however, has to deal with all of this with little to no control over much of any of it. Yet, he is charged with leading this group of strong-willed men and getting the most of them.

    ------

    Earlier up in here someone mentioned Kreis and Olson and even Marsch as examples of virgin head coaches we could look to. Here's my ultimate take...regardless of how I feel or felt about Gary Smith or Clavijo or Plush or anyone in the past......Pareja has been a head coach for all of 18 matches. While the results on the pitch have been less than stellar and far less than what I would like to see as a loyal fan....IT'S ONLY BEEN 18 FRIGGIN' GAMES!

    As a small business owner, if I gave my new employees as little an opportunity to grow and eventually shine as some people on here have given OP I'd never have built my team into the exceptional team they currently are.

    I don't profess to have the be-all, end-all number of games or seasons by which a coach can be sufficiently judged....but I do feel very strongly that 1/2 of one season is far too soon to write anyone off.

    Let's give the guy a chance, shall we? And hope that he is the next Jason Kreis and not the next Fernando Clavijo.

    Sorry for the long post.
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  12. COYP

    COYP Member

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    In my opinion much of the criticism of OP is misplaced. That being said I disagree with the people who say the impact of a coach is minimal. OP has even stated that "his" style and tactics have cost us points as we are playing to win. I have been critical of some of his decisions but I would be critical of anyone. Supporting a coach does not mean you have to agree with everything.

    I personally think Oscar is a better coach than Gary and I think over time that will show. However, OP and Gary should not be tied at the waist. Constant comparisons get us nowhere. Much of the anger toward OP is in actuality anger toward the FO. OP had nothing to do with Smith's departure. The inept handling of that situation was not his fault.

    There may be legitimate complaints about the direction of this team. However, I think people should make sure they are directed at the appropriate parties. In my opinion, it is time to end the comparisons of OP and Gary Smith.
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  13. BeTheRed

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    I totally agree with the posters who say we need to give OP time. The big problem here is that everyone seems to think we are a championship team that just had a bad year last year and is ready to repeat. That is a highly optimistic viewpoint. New coach, new style = rebuilding year, not tweaks for another championship run. Hinchey hasn't helped by talking about wanting to win now with players holding over from 2010 while also rebuilding team for new style.
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  14. DavidJames

    DavidJames Member+

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    Exactly. You can't fire the team, so the coach is the next best thing.
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  15. DavidJames

    DavidJames Member+

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    Great comments Josh, but this in particular resonates big time with me.
    I remember years ago commenting somewhere on this forum that fans don't go to games dressed as the coach. They wear players jersey's, get players autographs and chant players names. There is nothing wrong with that but I can't help but feel it greatly skews some fans ability to maintain objectivity regarding the coach and the front office as their favorite player doesn't get playing time or heaven forbid, gets traded.
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  16. DavidJames

    DavidJames Member+

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    If you watch closely, you'll never see me refer to anyone, by name, with a name much more complicated then 'Smith'. I can't spell for crap and my memory is worse. So you end up seeing JL, OP, Pablo etc.

    Hi, my name is DavidJames and I suck at names.
  17. SoccaJ

    SoccaJ Member

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    Well said, David......BTW, I used to be one of those fans :)

    To add to what you said, I find it interesting how we as fans seem to think there is always a quick fix to a problem. How many times have we heard this:

    "I don't understand why So-and-So was on the bench? If only he had started things would have been different."

    Only to be followed up by these a few weeks later....

    "I don't understand why he started So-and-So? Having him on the field was like having 10 players."
  18. DavidJames

    DavidJames Member+

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    I blame Plush :D
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  19. SoccaJ

    SoccaJ Member

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    I blame Obamacare ;)
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  20. spot

    spot Member+

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    Honestly, I don't think I've seen too many people (not more than normal) doing that. Criticism? Yeah. But, there's really not that many people calling for his head.

    So don't make them. This thread was created without making any - on purpose.

    The thread that inspired this, was riddled with comments by people saying they didn't like comparisons followed by... a comparison. Reality is people like their comparisons, they don't like the ones others make.

    I agree, but let's be honest. Critiquing is what we do. If we don't critique we end up arguing about, fan clubs.

    Seems to me that there's no reason (and I'm not saying you're doing this, because you don't) to be overly sensitive about critiquing Pareja. There's a huge gap between saying that the defense needs sorting out, and saying Pareja needs to go.

    I agree with you though that if we look back in a year (I typically think 2 years is good) and are still saying the defense needs sorting then OP will be in trouble. I hope it doesn't come to that.

    That's pretty much how I see it.

    I can't blame Hinchey for saying they're going for it. That's what these guys do. It's why their statements always need lots of salting. It does create the sense that there's urgency where it'd be better to be taking the long view.
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  21. JasonMa

    JasonMa Member+

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    This.
  22. COMtnGuy

    COMtnGuy Member+

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    I am waiting for the BRAVO MUST GO to take over. :)
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  23. BYLRPhil

    BYLRPhil Member

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    OP was in the Post today talking about their lack of scoring. He said this:

    Its always important to remember; OP isn't the one on the field whiffing shots and blasting them over the crossbar. Ultimately, that is the PLAYERS' responsibility. I also really like that he's (rather politely) calling out his strikers.
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  24. JasonMa

    JasonMa Member+

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    Yeah, kind of a "OK I've been patient while you guys get healthy but time's up, time to start producing"
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  25. BYLRPhil

    BYLRPhil Member

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    Yep. Time to pay up, suckas.

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