Losing stings. It stings a little bit worse when it brings our heads back to earth after the excitement of our accomplishments and the hope of possibilities put our heads in the clouds in the first place.
Let's get something straight: this is a new team that has been playing together for a couple months playing against teams that have been playing together for years. We're the new kid on the block and, unfortunately, that also means growing pains.
On top of being a new team, we're running a system most players aren't used to, we're utilizing wingbacks. Where it would already be difficult to get a defense to develop a solid chemistry after playing together a couple months, we now add in the additional challenge of balancing dynamic pressure with the wingbacks and recovering on counterattacks. The even harder part about it is it's going to take time to sort out. That's right, we aren't going to have all this fixed next week against Atlanta.
What's the deal then?
That's a fair question, so let's talk about a couple of aspects that might make it easier to stomach the bitter reality of our situation.
Why are we attempting this system of it's going to take so much to sort out? Simple answer: the payoff when it works. If the team can manage to work this system, it will be very dangerous. Bringing our outside backs into the attack not only helps apply higher pressure, should we decide to play that way, but it also enables us to have more options in how we build up the attack. Another added benefit is the way it can force the defense to try to adjust to both deep crosses and quick overlaps that can easily pull defending players out of the side they were guarding to create holes for our players to exploit.
What about all of the bad passes? Instead of thinking about passes that seem to be directed towards no one, at all, think about it as an opportunity to read a player's vision for the field. They aren't trying to give the ball away, they were playing the ball where they thought someone was or where they thought someone would be. That can be a decent indicator of creative play that a player would like to be executing. People can be quick to claim that we need more creative play, but creativity doesn't happen without missed passes and frustrating turnovers.
We're used to dominating, we're used to winning. This is going to be hard, but this is the last time we have to start all over again. Keep your heads up, give the boys a break for a few games, keep cheering them on no matter the score.