Shalrie Joseph says he had a “rocky relationship” with New England coach Jay Heaps in the waning weeks of their relationship at Gillette Stadium.
This can’t be big news.
Joseph is a 34-year-old central midfielder who has enjoyed a brilliant career. But “34-year-old central midfielder” is a rocky relationship waiting to happen, believe me. Jopseph’s forte was his passion and ability to cover ground, all matched with a big soccer IQ and bags brimming with desire. It was always such a winning combination.
But the body declines as inevitably as summer turns to fall and then to winter. So, this moment was always coming. What Joseph said:
We had a rocky relationship for the last couple of weeks. Me and Jay started off great, and it just hit a road where both of us weren’t seeing in the same direction, we weren’t going in the same direction. With me, it’s all about moving forward, trying to better myself, trying to better the team and that wasn’t happening.”
All that is fair. But for Heaps, his job is all about making the team better and improving the collective unit. He may or may not have been correct in assessing that a diminishing role for Joseph was the way to go about it – but he absolutely has the right to make those calls. It’s his job and reputation that’s at stake.
Joseph is saying the right things about his move to Chivas USA, apparently arriving with the right mindset. From the same story, by Luis Bueno at the Chivas USA site, here’s what Joseph says about his new surroundings:
For me to come down here in a nice place, a nice environment … it put a big smile on my face. I’m moving into a team that’s in the hunt for the playoffs, a great environment, great locker room, great players around me. That’s what the big smile’s about.”