It's Finally Time to Blame Rennie

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The manager of the Whitecaps made unforgivable mistakes this past weekend.

In the post-match press conference, he didn't mince words.

"We let an opportunity to separate ourselves in the table slip," he said, daring his team to play better.  "And we did it by having a poor performance. We didn't have a lot of quality, in particular in the first half. That's not a good enough performance from our team."

Oh, wait, my mistake. No, that wasn't Vancouver Whitecaps manager Martin Rennie, that was John Hackworth of the Philadelphia Union, blasting his team following a 1-0 loss to San Jose.

No, our dear leader instead gave the same damn quotes he always does, despite the fact his team is in another late season tailspin.

"It shows you how cruel a game it can be," said Rennie, understating events completely. "We started really well. At the end of the day, Dallas have scored 3 incredible goals."

Blood boiling yet? Here's another choice quote for you:

"We've got a climb but I still feel we'll get there. I don't think that hurts our confidence, we just have to get over it quickly."

Hands up; who thought the Whitecaps played well in the FC Dallas match? Sure, they had a great opening six minutes, but after Daigo Kobayashi scored his goal, the team went into full defensive mode. They couldn't generate chances if they were paid to, (Wait, they are, right?) and allowed Dallas to take control of the match for the remaining 80 minutes of the match. As fans, we're supposed to swallow that bull plop, that the 'Caps just needed a few bounces to go here or there. As someone that's been a Rennie defender all season, I can say without a doubt the 'Caps needed more than a few. They needed the entire match to go in a different direction.

I'm not a fan of calling out coaches, because let's face it; they know more about the game than any of us on here, and any writers for that matter. These guys don't accidentally get jobs, they do it by showing a team owner or general manager a glimpse of something, or by having an impressive resume. That being said, I'm more than comfortable saying that Rennie was outcoached in the Lone Star state, and should shoulder a lot of the blame for the loss.

Despite Dallas down three of its best players, Rennie went with a very conservative lineup, almost as if he knew the 'Caps wouldn't be able to perform on the road. Johnny Leveron started in mid, while Nigel Reo-Coker, the pulse of the attack, was moved to the backline. When YP Lee was subbed on in the second half, many assumed Reo-Coker would simply move back to his postiion. Not so. Lee took the midfield spot and tried his best, but clearly couldn't provide what Reo-Coker could've. It made absolutely no sense to have two of your best players playing out of their positions, and it cost the team dearly.

Think about this; in a very tight Western Conference match up, the 'Caps were in a 1-1 draw with plenty of time to make things happen. However, instead of going for the kill, Rennie had five defenders on the pitch at once. Five. The fact that Rennie is so afraid of playing on the road that he would put forth a toothless lineup is indicative of his lack of faith in this club, which is disappointing to say the least. Even worse, it's not like this is the first time this has happened against FC Dallas, as Rob Scott illustrated earlier this season.

At the end of it all, Rennie could have stepped up to the microphone and owned his mistakes. He could have admitted that he played to draw, not to win. Hell, he could've blamed player fatigue on the hot Texas sun for all I care. Instead, he gave his best understatements and expected us to believe that this club was 'close.' This club, which has a 14 goal scorer and a Scottish International that couldn't hit the net if their lives depended on it. This, from a backline that looked so good early on, and yet couldn't keep a hat trick out of their own net. This from a team that was deep at goalkeeper, yet traded away one of its best players so they could get a guy that looks more like a backup than a long-term solution.

After months of defending the actions of Martin Rennie, and defending this club as a whole, I simply can't anymore. I believe the Whitecaps have been exposed, and the news isn't great. This is a mediocre club with a mediocre head coach, and it will take a miracle to turn things around.

Am I an idiot, or is there some merit here? Tell me in the comments.

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