Roundtable: Was Letting Go Of Rennie The Right Move?

Posted on November 4, 2013 by

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Jorge Mendoza:

“When asked to describe Martin Rennie’s tenure as the Head Coach of the Vancouver Whitecaps, I think a fair assessment would be “positive.” He took on a team that was the worst in the league in 2011 and transformed into a team that is expected to make the playoffs. Unfortunately for Rennie the 2013 version of the Whitecaps did not qualify for the playoffs and they also did not secured the Amway Canadian Championship. If you add that to a team plagued with inconsistency and second half of the season collapses, them it is difficult to argue the decision of not renewing the Scotsman contract.

However, he certainly left a solid base that can be built upon to make this team a true contender. Many names have circulated as candidates to take the Vancouver helm. What many saw as the obvious choice, Frank Yallop, has signed now with Chicago. The Jason Kreis option seems far fetched in my opinion. Without the playoffs over and without knowing what other candidates will become available is hard to make a prediction. Having said that, I think that a very interesting option would be current Vancouver Assistant Coach Carl Robinson. Robinson enjoyed a successful career, in Europe, MLS and international. More importantly, he knows the league, the group and players seems to think of him in high regards. He obviously lacks head coaching experience but he is leaps ahead of other rookie coaches that have worked out just fine like Caleb Porter in Portland. Are the Whitecaps going to wager with a rookie coach or going with experience this time around? Hopefully we do not have long to find out.”

Graham Nichol:

“The decision to let Martin Rennie go as coach was a disappointing one, but it did not come as a surprise to me. Yes, there is no excusing the painful 1-7-2 record midway through the season that ultimately led to the team’s downfall and playoff elimination, but I still feel Rennie was deserving of one more chance. (Mind you, I also thought likewise about Teitur Thordarson in 2011, prior to his firing and replacement).

Granted, I don’t know how contracts work in Major League Soccer, but if it were up to me, I would have signed him to another year, with an exception clause for early termination, depending on performance. It is important to remember the abysmal state of the team Rennie inherited in 2011, and to see the rebound from worst overall in the league to a serious contender if the Whitecaps play their cards right, and I’m speaking of both team and management.

Responsibility for a team’s performance is fickle, in my opinion. Sometimes, people are too quick to start calling for somebody’s head after a poor performance or two. However I can also play devil’s advocate and see that change is a definite must in order to make the Whitecaps a permanent force to be reckoned with in MLS. Exactly who the man for that job is, I can’t say with any fairness. I didn’t know much about Frank Yallop (a rumored contender to replace Rennie before being signed to Chicago) when his name was floated, so I will remain neutral on this, and hope whomever the organization hires will be a positive influence on the team to keep it moving forward.”

Jake Vendramin:

“It is important to remember that Martin Rennie was not fired whatsoever. All that went down between himself and the Whitecaps’ FO was the non-renewal of his contract which expired at the end of this past season.

For me, this decision by the FO was neither right nor wrong, meaning I am not for it or against it.

It is undeniable that Rennie made a noticeable contribution to the Vancouver Whitecaps. Of course his two seasons at the club were considerably better than the Caps’ inaugural season back in 2011. On the other hand, there was also many issues while he was at the club as well. Something I found rather confusing was the rather random drop of form around the September/October time of year (which happened in both of his seasons. These drops of form are definitely what costed the Caps a playoff spot this season and what almost costed them one last season.

On the other hand, it may be a nice change for the Whitecaps to start fresh and try someone new. Certainly the team has the talent necessary with names like Camilo, Nigel Reo-Coker, Gershon Koffie, Jay DeMerit and others.

The question now in terms of the Caps’ vacant managerial job is… WHO?”

Share your thoughts on this topic in the comments section below and also on twitter @WhitecapsXI.

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