Your opinion of Gabarra

Discussion in 'NWSL' started by Jo, Aug 8, 2002.

  1. Jo

    Jo New Member

    Jan 15, 2000
    I'm curious as to what all of you who were critics of Jim Gabarra last year think about him this year. You were ready to ride him out of town. Do you think you misjudged him then--or that he's just gotten lucky lately? Or that he's a really quick learner?
  2. FearM9

    FearM9 New Member

    Jul 14, 2000
    On my bike
    Last season we ultimately blamed Jimmy for the teams dismal 2001 season. Some blame was placed on players like Skylar. :D

    This season it's the players that are the reason for a successful 2002 season. I honestly don't remember any post from this year that has heaped praise on Jimmy.

    When a team sucks...the first person you look at is the head coach. When a team is good...the success is first attributed to the team and then maybe the head coach will get a bone thrown their way.

    Let's look at the way the Spirit made a run the last 1/3 of the 2001 season. Who was responsible for that? Mac, Foudy, Fawcett, Boxx, etc.?? Now look at the 2002 Spirit...blame was placed on Carlos and now Crow.
  3. M9fanatic

    M9fanatic Member

    Oct 31, 2000
    North Side.
    Yeah what Fear said.
  4. StarCityFan

    StarCityFan BigSoccer Supporter

    Aug 2, 2001
    Greenbelt, MD
    Washington Freedom
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    You've got to give Gabarra a lot of credit for the team's performance this year. There are teams at least as talented as we are who aren't going into the playoffs as the hottest team in the league - and who didn't have to juggle the lineups the way we did. I'm not sure I'm prepared to give him "Coach of the Year" yet, but he's obviously learned a lot since last year.
  5. AB1FAN

    AB1FAN New Member

    Sep 11, 2001
    whereever I want
    FFC Turbine Potsdam
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    my thought of jim don't go that far mainly. Ass!
  6. JoeSoccerFan

    JoeSoccerFan Member+

    Aug 11, 2000
    C'mon, be real. Imagine what Coach K. (the guy from philly) could do with this team....

    Garbarra... nice guy.... but not doing the job.
  7. FreedomFan526

    FreedomFan526 New Member

    Jan 11, 2002
    I give him more credit than I gave him last year. At least something is working right - I will give him some of the credit. Hopefully he will continue to get better. Like someone else said... I am not handing him the coach of the year award - I am just giving him more credit.
  8. DCUPopeAndLillyFan

    Apr 20, 2000
    OK, so what DO you want to see out of him and the team to justify his coaching?

    He had faith in Emmy and Skylar last season when most of us wanted to send them one way tickets back to California. Now they're playing great. If I was coach last year, those two would be gone and be embarassing me on some other team, so Jim gets credit for seeing something in them we didn't. I think we'll say the same thing about Zimny next year (but not Milburn!)

    Even when we weren't getting results earlier this season, it's clear the team's attitude was different from last year. They fought for everything whereas last year they were the softest team in the league. Some of that had to come from the top. He seems to fight for them a good deal more this year during matches as well.

    Whatever player moves he made in the off season aren't working out too badly.

    My only complaint is that we seem to have started relying on Mia too much. The last two matches, our attack and midfield looked just as woeful as it did early this season, then we look great once Mia goes in. He must get the team playing well up front without her as well instead of just complaining they keep doing the same predictable thing.

    I'm not going to argue unbeaten in 8 and once in 13 though. What specific complaints do you all still have about him?
  9. asfoolasiam

    asfoolasiam New Member

    Jul 2, 2001
    Takoma Park
    DC United

    I still don't think Gabarra is a great coach. But compared with last year, he is unquestionnable a BETTER coach, as well as a successful one. He has responded well this year to the legitimate concerns raised about his coaching last year, and for that he deserves credit. (That does not invalidate those criticisms, of course.)

    Our criticisms last year were manifold, but tended to reflect 5 or 6 general themes:

    Lack of team identity -- It was never clear last year whether we were supposed to be an attacking team, a defending team, a possession team, a counterattacking team, etc. As a result, we played haphazardly, with Mia running all over the field trying to correct everyone else's mistakes. Boggling the mind, we played in a 3-back for half of the season, which put added burden on an inexperienced defense. Then we put this defense under constant pressure by having a midfield and offense that was clueless with the ball. Our shape was completely skewed to the wings (with two speedy flank midfielders and then Barr and Little making overlapping runs) so that the entire middle of the field seemed to disappear for us offensively. It was woeful.

    From the beginning of this season, however, we've clearly been playing a possession style of soccer. Gabarra moved Grubb to the back to add leadership on that line and moved Stoecker up to partner with Steffi Jones as holding midfielders. This has been key to gaining possession and starting the offense (and relieving some pressure on the defense). It think it's also helped the mental discipline problem by helping players understand their roles. This is particularly true in the case of the defense, which really seems to know what it is doing now.

    Lack of mental discipline -- This was not merely the team's woeful lack of morale, but the general lack of mental discpline that caused us to completely lose composure whenever anything adverse occurred. We were dreadful at the ending of games and, as a team, rarely seemed to have our heads in the game. I think having Jen Grubb as captain this year (and playing without Mia for a significant part of the season) has really helped the team to address these problems and achieve better team unity and morale. Nevertheless, we have still problems getting into the first 15 minutes of games, even when we are winning.

    Lack of learning curve -- It was bad enough that we kept losing last year, but what's worse is that we never seemed to get any better. Game after game, we just repeated the same mistakes from the previous weeks. I think we've improved on that this year, although I would be interested to hear Gabarra's own thoughts on the subject. It sure was nice to see two key corner kick goals in the Atlanta game, after our woes on corner kicks for most of the season...

    Poor preparation -- There were days (weeks? months?) where it seemed we couldn't hit the broad side of a barn last year. Fitnesswise, we were constantly being pushed around by other teams (though this may have been due to attitude as much as anything). We have been much, much better in these departments this year (though it would be nice if we could be more consistent on set plays).

    Roster and personnel decisions -- We were constantly putting pressure on an inexperienced backline of Barr, Stoecker, and Little by having no direction in midfield or finishing touch in the offensive third. (Remember, we never even scored 3 goals in a game last year.) Throughout this, experienced defensive players such as Michelle French, Amanda Cromwell, and Bai Jie played in the midfield or sat on the bench, while Moore barely played. This "trial by fire" approach was not only ineffective, but crushing to morale (especially for players whose play was not matching their obvious potential, like Skylar). Although some of Gabarra's substitution schemes still seem weird (Milburn, anyone?), he has been much better this year fielding players in positions where they can actually be effective and help the team.

    As for the trades, I have always been in favor of getting Jacqui for the useless Pretinha. I have also been generally happy with Cookie (especially of late), though I still think Frenchie was a steep price. (I understand that salary cap considerations may have been a concern here, however.) Waiving Cromwell when we had no leadership in defense was rightfully criticized, I feel, and has only been mitigated by Grubb's stellar leadership in a new position. Keeping Milburn while waiving Krista Davey and Justi Baumgardt continues to be a head scratcher. However, Steffi Jones and Pu Wei have been excellent additions to the team, for which Gabarra deserves kudos. I also think that having the Little sisters together and a Chinese partner for Bai Jie has helped team morale, though what do I know?

    In summary, Gabarra has addressed most of the key concerns we had last year, and the team is clearly better for it. I still feel that he is not a very effective coach, but that is not a problem when the team is winning. Gabarra may not be very good at righting the ship, but to his credit, he doesn't screw it up when it's sailing smoothly.
  10. *Crazy_Chastain*

    *Crazy_Chastain* New Member

    Mar 19, 2000

    don't ya mean Stone? :p
  11. judymd

    judymd New Member

    last year, i had season tickets to the freedom. what i saw was that a lot of their problems had to do with everyone sitting around waiting for mia to do something. no one else took any role on the team. just give the ball to mia. and mia wasn't doing much last year.

    this year, without mia at the beginning, they each had to step up and play. i think that helped the team tremendously to be without her. now that she is back, and playing arguably the best soccer of her life, the team is just on fire.

    hopefully, with mia playing so great, they won't revert back to depending on her alone. although, i think there are hints of this, considering the abysmal play in the first half of several games, where then mia comes in at halftime and straightens everything out.

    its great to have an impactful player like mia, but it can also be dangerous because one player cannot win alone.

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