It’s not like Mike Petke missed those chances in front of Chivas USA goal Sunday. That’s on Fabian Espindola (mostly) and even on Thierry Henry, who served up some dandy balls but also blew one wonderful opportunity.
It’s not like Petke himself bundled over a Chivas USA attacker at an awful time, giving up a clear penalty kick just before halftime in a match his team would eventually lose, 3-2.
And it’s not like Petke didn’t want his best defender out there; Jamison Olave was injured. (And we warned you last week that New York would miss the big fellow something fierce.)
Still, the manager took responsibility for Sunday’s big setback in Southern California.
I apologize for that loss. We lost to one of the worst teams in the league. We had many chances, we didn’t capitalize on them, made some mistakes and had no creativity in the second half. We looked like we were confused out there.”
That last part is Petke’s fault. And the team did look confused at times. They are probably confused as to why the manager cannot convince Espindola to pass more and dribble less. Confused as to why there isn’t better midfield distribution. (Juninho was always too old and was never going to work in MLS; that’s on RBNY’s upper management, not Petke.) Confused as to why the team’s outside backs aren’t better.
Confused as to what the team’s offensive identity is. I know that I am; I just don’t see a plan when the team gets the ball.
Petke is a first-year manager, and he has always been humble enough about it. But the team is suffering because someone thought it was a good idea for the Eastern Conference’s marquee team to learn on the job.
We see how well it’s working out.