Yes, I know, another Barry Robson/Kenny Miller thread. Well, forgive me for beating a dead horse, but the future of these players on the Vancouver Whitecaps is pretty much the most exciting 'Caps storyline going on right now.
So, you have two players that had very similar seasons. Both are scottish, both didn't start the season with the Whitecaps, both were underwhelming in their stints in the blue and white, and both are paid very handsomely for their services.
Their stats are also eerily similar. In 17 contests, Barry Robson had a paltry five points, including three goals, while Miller generated just two goals and three points in four fewer contests. Obviously, stats will not dictate this debate.
In terms of importance on the pitch, Robson was relied on more, getting more touches on the ball in midfield. Robson was supposed to be the creative heart of the team, a fiery upgrade over the departed Davide Chiumiento. We all know that didn't really happen, but what if Robson came back to the squad rejuvenated next season? One could argue that if Robson changed his play in any way for the better, his impact would be greater than anything Kenny Miller could do, short of turning into Lionel Messi.
Miller, on the other hand, was supposed to be a crafty go-to veteran, a sure footed grey beard that could lead by example with his production. The tough part about being a forward is that when you don't put up numbers, well, you aren't really judged by much else. Simply put, Miller didn't do much of anything when he was on the pitch, except lose battles for the ball and jog aimlessly. So what if Miller was the one that came back rejuvenated? Considering his salary, Miller would have to be a double digit goal scorer next year, and I don't think anyone believes that can happen at this point.
So, in that sense, Barry Robson would be the wise choice to bring back, assuming he's going to be making some changes to his game. It's arguable that his upside is higher, if he could ever achieve his true potential in the MLS. For Miller, 32 is old in sports years and it's far too old to be a project-type player.
In terms of coachibility, Head Coach Martin Rennie seemed to have immense faith in both of his star players to get the job done, playing both in the final match against the LA Galaxy. However, once again, Robson gets an edge in this category, mainly because he has said he wants to get better, meaning at least he acknowledges how rough his season was. For the record, Miller did as well, although his exit interviews were much less about understanding his own faults. (More on that in a moment) Robson also took his benching in the second to last match of the season in a classy manner, something that has to be a plus in his favour. That being said, Robson's immaturity on the pitch is well documented.
Kenny Miller was poised a similar problem during exit interviews with the media. Miller was asked if he would ever be willing to serve as a mentor and a bench player, an idea he quickly shot down, reminding everyone that he was brought into be a starter, and he had no other role in mind. So we have Barry Robson a flawed player that's fine taking one for the team, and Miller, who would prefer to have things his own way.
I guess when you factor in everything, I'd rather have cap space than our two scottish friends. I don't think Barry Robson is athletic enough for the rough and tumble M-L-S, and as one reader commented last week, he doesn't seem to know how to use his right foot. His vision on the pitch is questionable, and when his game is off, dear sweet lord can you tell that it's off. Miller on the other hand, just seems like a fish out of water in Vancouver. This is purely speculation, but I'd say that it appears his heart lies with the Scottish National Team, and his primary goal is playing with them in the next World Cup.
This is supposed to be an editorial blog, but I'm more interested in the fans response to this. In my opinion, I'd prefer that both players did not return to the club next season, but I'm only one man. What does Whitecaps nation think? Would the team be better with Robson, with Miller, with both of them, or without them? Are my points about both players fair? Tell me what you think.