Home > Team / Player Critique > Is it too early to ask for Nowak’s head?

Is it too early to ask for Nowak’s head?


Clearly arguments can be made for both cases.  2 games in the season do not dictate the rest of the 32 left to play.  This is the third year Nowak’s been in charge and the team has regressed.  We have a lot of new players that Nowak believes will fit his style.  The entire team chemistry is disrupted with the turnover of our playmakers.  Our team needs time to start to gel together.  Why send our team internationally for preseason games instead of playing games against our own competition?

This list for each can go on, and on, and on.

It’s easy as a Philadelphian to quickly jump down a coach’s throat – hell, we’ve been doing that to Andy Reid for 5 years, justifiably so (only the foolish think he can field “America’s team” ).  But why, with seemingly all the wrong choices and the “clause of silence” all throughout Union management, should we hold back from attacking Nowak?

Well for starters he’ll make you run laps.

Being that this is practically a brand new team – 15 players remain from being on the 2011 roster at any point in the season, 9 (give or take) being primarily subs, with 1 now a regular starter – it does take time to gel.  The question now, as we know with Nowak, is with the acquisitions made in the offseason, do these players not only gel with Nowak’s bipolar strategy (‘solid’ defense with defensive offensive pressure) but do they have the capability to perform as such.

With Carroll, Califf (if not taking a shot, apparently), and Valdes being the central defense it seems, you will often find Gomez and Williams pressing the ball into the offensive half (and the occasional Valdes, and Gomez drops back).  This tallies for 5 players that are guaranteed to be conistent starters – barring national duty.  Add in Pajoy as a viable outlet for crosses, set pieces, and our only offense it seems, this makes up 6 of our 10 players.

So… what gives?

Lopez has yet to impress, and has made costly foolish mistakes that have lead to goals.  Mental lapses if you will (at least the one I saw against colorado, going for the ball instead of making sure the man behind him was marked).  Being that this is his 8th year playing soccer, one can’t really explain why he would have these costly mental lapses – one would assume maybe it’s just the newness of everything getting to him, but a professional shouldn’t be making these mistakes.

This shows what we expect – or at least explains – 7 of our 10 field players who are going to be our regular starters (sans call ups).  It almost seems like Nowak has most of the tools he needs (read wants) to implement his bipolar system.  But sadly, we are still missing 3 players.

Who do we have for these three players?  Well, a russian roulette of youth, talent, and immaturity.  You can almost label any of these descriptions on our cast of characters – considering that Marfan is probably the odds on favorite for regular starter, who knows how many times even he will play.  Adu, Mwanga, and Torres don’t even have guarantees in being a starter in any of these positions.  And sadly, this is where our push forward in play will likely, and constantly, stall.  Why?  Inexperience with eachother.  They are the connection from the backline to Pajoy, and even have direct paths toward net themselves – but because nothing is consistent with this area, it will always end up changing.

Looking at things in a breakdown, you almost wonder how we were only able to tally 1 goal a game so far.  Albeit there have only been 2 games, but we should have a more solid team than even last year.  So it goes to wonder – is Nowak almost completed with his experiment with our team and it will just take time?  Or, is this just the beginning of the end for him?

  1. JC
    March 22, 2012 at 11:26 AM

    Taking into consideration the last 4 games of last season, which includes the 2 playoff games. Nowak’s last 6 games have been a disaster, his record during this stretch is 0 wins, 1 tie ( at home against a sad Toronto team) , 5 loses (2 home games). I believe Nowaks time has come and gone, it’s time to move on to somebody who will put team first, not ego first team second.

    • djkw418
      March 22, 2012 at 1:01 PM

      Last season is last season, and those last games left a bitter taste in everyone’s mouth – which I feel is subconsciously spurring on much of our dislike of Nowak at the moment. I think he finally has the players he wants to implement whatever in god’s name his strategy is, except for of course, the midfield.

      His mad scientist days need to be over and soon if he wants to get back any favor from the fans, and get wins. The olympic call ups are going to be troubling now that he has to work on replacing Williams. Adu doesn’t matter because he was always rouletted out, as do all the other midfielders. It always seems like he has trouble figuring out what he wants to do with the midfield. That seems to be his ultimate problem.

      • Mike
        March 22, 2012 at 1:50 PM

        Yes but what hurt us at the end of last season was his coaching style which is what is hurting us now. He kills players’ confidence by constantly tinkering with the lineup and changes formations so often that no player is ever able to feel comfortable. He has a God complex and puts himself on a pedestal above the players and unfortunately the fans. He sees himself as the leader of the team and won’t let any players take control, which is something that needs to be done for the sake of discipline and form.

      • JC
        March 22, 2012 at 2:15 PM

        Last season matters, we might have different players but the problem remains. No continuity, how are our young players going to develop? Stupid decision, tell me the last time he used a lineup that worked? It’s time to move on!

      • djkw418
        March 22, 2012 at 3:42 PM

        The problem is with “young players devoloping” is the slight against mwanga in the home opener – why put Adu in, who is going to be gone for the next two games, and Martinez, who is brand new, in over Mwanga and/or McInerney. That’s the true question in his idea of “developing youth” one should be bringing up in this issue.

        I’m just noting that after three years he is much closer to having the team that in his mind he wants to field… weirdly enough that didn’t include le toux, for whatever reason. The problem right now is implementation because of the inconsistent midfield, and therein lies the problem.

  2. March 22, 2012 at 4:24 PM

    No… No it is not… When you have a head coach making up lies about why he benched Califf as well as previous players (Le Toux) making comments like ‘I would rather retire than play for [Nowak] again.’ I think some answers are in order or risk losing whatever control he has left on the team. Now, last game we also saw him barely coaching… my thought is that the team might be getting sick of his BS and he’s just tuning them out completely.

  1. March 22, 2012 at 10:44 AM

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