Thursday, March 19, 2009

Radzinski and clothes half off

I would consider it gross neglicence on my part if I had neglected to draw attention to the excellent interview of Tomasz Radzinski conducted by the author of a new blog, The Wandering Canuck. It's bad enough that I let this opportunity slip by for someone to hand deliver the man himself with his miniature version. The author had posted on Voyageurs a few days earlier soliciting questions and any other messages to be passed along to T-Rad. I posted in the thread, but my question about his goal in Edmonton and the shirtless corner flag dance wasn't asked.

By all means, go and read the whole interview yourself. It is excellent, and Radzinski doesn't pull any punches. The real money shots, though, were these answers:
Q: To the chagrin of many Canadian soccer fans, Canada once again failed to qualify for the World Cup. Why did we fail? Was it the lack of coaching experience shown by Dale Mitchell?
T: I am not one to point fingers, but I find it really unfortunate that with the team we had, indeed the best Canadian team I have ever played with, we still couldn’t qualify. Maybe there were problems on the pitch in regards to the player’s positions. For example, if I had been played upfront with De Rosario on the wings it would have changed things a little bit. Obviously there are always issues with the CSA. We have conversations with them every year about what we want and it’s always the same thing. We want to make one venue our home stadium so that when we play, we are at home and we get that advantage of being at home. Indeed those European teams who are accustomed to the same stadiums, hotels, travel and turf statistically win more games. Montreal would be a perfect venue since it’s closer to Europe and has a grass turf. Altogether we had conflicts with the CSA over the little things, which in the end make a huge impact.

Q: What are your thoughts about the artificial turf at BMO field?
T: Everybody hates it and it’s not ideal. Nobody plays on turf here in Europe. You have no idea how it changes the dimension of the game and what it does to your body.

Q: In order for us to qualify and see success at the international level, what needs to be improved and changed?
T: Firstly, the current structure must change. Secondly, the CSA should choose one venue and sell the tickets to Canadian fans. Don’t sell 50% or 70% to Honduran fans. Montreal should be this venue since it reduces the travelling time and has a real grass pitch. Thirdly, play the players according to their position at club level. Put them where they should be and not where you think they should be.
Reading between the lines of his WCQ failure answer, it is clear that he feels coaching was a big part of the problem. On a personal level, he wasn't happy being used in an unfamiliar role. Although 2nd division Belgium isn't quite the same as WCQ, it is clear that he has a lot to offer when played as a striker.

I also never bought into the whole idea that the artificial turf at BMO was such a big problem. I also don't think any GTA-based fans would take kindly to the idea that all important matches should be played in Montreal. Still, coming from a guy with the integrity that Tomasz has, it's a proposal that deserves consideration.

Another implication of this statement is that it becomes all the more important that the Whitecaps are only temporary residents of BC Place. The renderings look good, but ultimately Vancouver needs to be playing outdoors and on grass, preferably on the waterfront.

Half-related to Radzinski's answer about finances, there's an everything-must-go half-off sale at the CSA merch store. If you're a strong enough person to walk around in public with Canada soccer gear, there are some nice deals on some nice items. I particularly like the look of the adidas Canada Soccer Fleece Hoody, though my current financial state doesn't allow for such frivolous expenditures.

Under different circumstances, we might be together.

A clearance sale of this sort doesn't necessarily mean anything important, but it does suggest a new line of merchandise, perhaps including a new logo, might soon be forthcoming.

Speaking of hopeless causes (was I?) I paid 2 bucks for 2 teams and a shot at $64 if one of them wins it all in a March Madness pool at my workplace. Villanova, a crappy 3-seed, and the ever-popular 14th-seeded North Dakota State Bison. Pray for me.

1 comment:

Footie Fool said...

Radz may be back? And for the Gold Cup? Nice.