The Madness of King Pitor (part one)
Editors Note: This will be published in two parts because of length. It was written as one but I realized that after I passed the 1000 word mark it was too big to read all at once.
I would like to start this by saying that I am not looking a gift horse in the mouth, and Yes, I realize that we are a second year team.
I have one question in my head during most matches “What the FUCK is Nowak thinking!?!?!?”
If we go through the litany of “judgement” calls by Nowak. I am certain we can make a case to have him 302′d (involuntary Psychiatric internment). Just this season alone some remarkable lapses in sanity have taken place.
Nowak dismisses the entire goalkeeping corps. Letting them go for less than free even. Seitz sits on bench elsewhere but Knighton immediately starts for NASL leading Railhawks and looks great. He then hires T&T International Holder as a filler for the same salary and loses an international place in the bargain. To compound it all he releases Holder after the July 1 deadline, to free up said international place and the team still has to pay Holder for the remainder of the year. In case you didn’t know, Holder never actually played for the Union in a competitive match.
He leaves Shea Salinas unprotected, and the Vancouver Whitecaps (rightly) snatch him up.
He allows Michael Orozco-Fiscal to leave. This may have been out of his control because of loan and transfer fee demands. However when questioned by the media about it, he acted like a snotty teenager. Accusing the media of not being able to read (ok that one was actually kinda funny) and being unaware of the principles of loan deals etc. MOF, by the way returned to Philadelphia as part of the USMNT in a friendly against Mexico.
Later, Nowak ties up the contract of Juan Diego Gonzales for 300+k, Gonzales has also not appeared in a competitive match for the Union this season.
Then he comes home with an obviously overweight and past his prime Guatemalan poacher like a souvenir. The Unionverse gave a collective “What the…??”
The Unions season kicked off with much fanfare but little expectation. The overwhelming projection for the new season was a respectable mid-table finish with postseason unlikely.
Fan favorite Danny Califf scored the winner away at Houston for the season opener, and Ruiz nicked the winner in the home opener against a Salinas-less Vancouver. It started what has been a plague of terrible refereeing and gave the narrative of the Union a new villain in Eric Hassli.
A loss to DC in the Open Cup and a contentious loss against a combative LA Galaxy cemented the hero status of young Jack McInerney and confirmed Nowaks irrational love affair with Miglioranzi.
Formation and Tactics
There appears to be zero tactical instruction and he will routinely bench the previous match’s best player.
His default formation in the beginning of the season is 4-something something – Ruiz. He puts LeToux back on the wing where his form got him left unprotected by Seattle. He will routinely make a defensive substitution for a offesive one and we lose or tie the match because we are unable to handle the pressure a move like than invites. He will often take his most productive player off and replace him with someone disruptive to our teams flow late in the game and wonder why we turn the ball over in bad positions in the last 10 minutes.
There is a saying:
The definition of INSANITY is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results
Nowak, tells the media to have patience, it will all work out….and it does! Except for Miglioranzi, he is total shite except at center back where he almost never plays, and is only slightly more useful than a traffic cone.
Carlos Ruiz gets called up for the Gold Cup and looks healthier and more dangerous than ever. He appears to be gearing up for a revival in Philadelphia. The fans are actually starting to think he play a role in this team, and he is beginning to convert some nay=sayers.
The team seemingly adopts the 4132 formation and plays well with it. The offense is misfiring but the defense is rock solid. We have time to get the offense into top gear, the back four is our foundation, 3 young talented workhorses with the traveled and grizzled Mondragon and Califf cementing it together. The Portland game showed two things, that Michael Farfan should stay forward and that Sheanon William can play anywhere in defense. Then Nowak broke up the band and traded Harvey for some sort of magic beans (allocation money). The Union faithful went ballistic, and Nowak just grinned and said Gabriel Farfan can play in that position as well, and he did, pretty well so far I might add.
So the Nowak get a promotion to Lord of All He Surveys or something, and the Union in their sophomore year sit atop the Eastern Conference table with games in hand with half the season behind them. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
…to be continued….