Periods of turmoil and failure should lead to productive introspection. And while analysis of the specific actions, plays, and strategies that brought upon this recent anguish are important, I ended up at a more metaphysical place to begin to deconstruct the current situation Sacramento Republic find themselves in. A lot of that thought was prompted by this tweet.
Hate to do this but Sac Republic under..— Evan Ream (@EvanReam) May 14, 2017
Preki: 47 games, 26-14-7, 78 goals for, 52 against
Buckle: 48 games, 21-12-15, 65 for, 41 against
As you can see, it compares the records of Preki and Buckle as head coaches of SRFC and they are not that dissimilar. Goal differentials are almost identical, and the win-loss-draw numbers are not far off from each other either.
Yet my eyes tell a different story. I see a difference in these two teams. Games under Buckle don’t feel the same as they did under Preki.
To generalize, Republic under Preki was like watching a top-flight German Bundesliga match. The team was compact, the press hunted in packs to stifle the opposition, and passes were quick combinations on the ground. Republic under Buckle feels more like watching an English Championship match. We’ve got long, searching passes from the back over the top, speedy wing play, lots of crosses, and a deeper defensive line.
The team seems less fun to watch then before, with the games less exciting and more anxious. I am sure that some of this impression is blurred by time, beers, and rose-tinted glasses. However, I think these generalizations hold merit.
Now, the big question is, does it matter? If the club maintains it’s place as a constant playoff contender, if the records between the two coaches are broadly similar, am I all riled up for nothing? Does it matter what we feel when we watch a game, or is the scoreboard, the final record, the single source of importance?
Let me know what you think down in the comments below or on Twitter.