You may not have liked my previous post. It essentially spelled doom for the Revolution. Let me say I didn't enjoy writing it. Negative posts are not my forte'. So after I awakened on this bright and sunny New England morning, with beautiful colors splashed on the trees and my cat meowing with delight, I decided I'd infuse some positive thought here.
Gas is back under three bucks. Yummy pumpkin-flavored doughnuts and muffins are back at Dunkin. The Sox are positioning themselves for another come-from-behind series victory against the Rays.
Ahhhh...there we go.
With pleasant joy now flowing through my veins, I decided that the Revolution can overcome the loss of their prolific skipper. They can. Believe me.
Now, it won't be easy. But anything that is worth having is never easy.*
(*Or something to that effect. I forget which movie that's from.)
After donning the thinking cap for a few minutes, I've discovered a few possibilities that Steve Nicol could entertain for his starting XI WITHOUT sacrificing the beloved 3-5-2.
Ready? Here we go.
Okay, I cheated. This was the formation Nicol went with after Ralston was cruelly dispatched by Hercules Gomez. This version - to put it mildy - didn't apply itself very well. It provided stale entertainment for those wearing Revolution scarves in front of the telly. If it were a movie, it would have received two stars, which, according to my local paper, is flick worthy of the "more downs than ups" classification.
Let's try this one...
Yeah, that's right. Parkhurst in the midfield. There's precedent for it. In this circumstance, I believe that with Shalrie as the attacking mid, a role which he's been known to do a fair impression of at times, the attack is livelier. As lively as with Ralston? Heck, no. But that's a given. Whatever pathetic formation I may list without Ralston in the mix is not going to perform better. We must accept this as an undeniable and inalienable truth, my friends.
Yeah, that's right. I went there. I put Igwe in Ralston's role. What are you going to do - tell? It's kinda crazy, I admit, but these are thinning times. We must cut the fat. We cannot simply throw money at the situation, hoping it will get better. We have to discover more forms of reneweable energy. We must lessen our dependency on foreign oil...*
(*Heh. Wrong blog. Sorry.)
Next to last - I promise...
Why do I like Albright in the middle here? For the very same reason why I like my oatmeal lumpy - I just don't know. There's no supporting evidence that it tastes better lumpy than smooth. Nor is there any proof that Abright, a forward-turned-defender, would rouse the lads to goals unlimited. But, with Igwe on the left, the attack adds another dimension when he, as he so often likes to do, goes forward. In fact, I'll say it for the record - this club is better on the attack* with Igwe on the pitch.
(*I said "on the attack," which is not synonymous with "back defending." Those are two entirely different things.)
Again, it's just another option. Options are usually good - except when they multiply like rabbits and morph into Cheesecake Factory menus. I've never seen Mansally act as an attacking mid - in fact, for this finale, I briefly contemplated placing Khano in the middle, Igwe on the left flank, and Dube paired with Mansally up front. But I thought such an idea was far too groundbreaking for our brains in the year 2008.
If these incredibly hazardous ideas illustrate anything, it's the vast importance of Ralston to this team. All of the above hypotheticals are really just bandages - none of them address the actual wound. But until someone can discover a superfast cloning scheme to bring about a Ralston clone* to pose as a remarkably-healed Ralston- after all, they can't bring in someone new thanks to the roster freeze - this team will be less formidable without the MLS Ironman man they call Steve Ralston.
(*...ah, forget it. Just too many variables. Ethical, moral and legal ramifications. The nature vs. nurture argument. The possibility of another Chuck Norris lookalike when Ralston's clone grows a beard. The list goes on.)
By the way, that high pitched whistling sound, accompanied by sudden crashing noise, you just heard? That was your I.Q. dropping 20 points.
I'll be making my way now...