The Case for Kenny Miller
By Jon Szekeres
I'll be the first to say it; I'm not a fan of the Kenny Miller signing. So, essentially, I'm like 95% of the Vancouver Whitecaps fanbase at the moment, and for good reason. He's shown absolutely nothing in his time in Vancouver, that is, except a massive paycheque. He's a nice enough guy, but pro sports is a business through and through, and if you aren't performing, you will feel the wrath of the fans, especially in a football mad city like Vancouver.
However, for the sake of an entertaining read, I'm going to play devil's advocate. (And probably feel the wrath of the fans myself)
Isn't it a bit premature to judge Kenny Miller?
He came to the Whitecaps in the middle of last season completely winded, yet still looking to make an impact on a team that needed scoring. That's right folks; we've seen half a season of football from Kenny Miller and we're all ready to grab our pitchforks and torches and chase him down the street.
Now, that being said, Miller didn't look all that impressive in that half season, so perhaps some criticism is just. However, I rarely, if ever, heard someone come out in defense of Miller. Yes, he looked tired and lackadasical in a Whitecaps kit, but perhaps he was just tired. He pretty much leaped from one team to the next in two completely different continents, and it's not like he's a young guy. At 32 years old, he and his family now had to adjust to a completely different culture. New friends, new grocery stores, new schools, new everything. Hell, when Barry Robson made the move over, he talked openly about experiencing 'culture shock'. Couldn't Miller have been a victim of that?
Now, I know that's not a very good excuse to drag out over half an MLS season, including one playoff game, but I do think it's a point that deserves merit.
How about the fact that Kenny Miller wants to make it work in Vancouver? (Or, appears to, in public)
Would anyone have batted an eye if he asked to be moved from the club, like Barry Robson? Robson had a tough year, then took his toys from the sandbox and went home. Let's give Miller credit for at least sticking around and trying to turn his negative 2012 season into a positive 2013 campaign. Staying, while one of your friends on the team essentially throws his hands in the air and says 'I'm done?' That takes courage. That takes character.
We gave him half an MLS season to get his feet wet. He's been in Canada for a while now, and he knows the MLS game. Let's re-evaluate him in five MLS regular season matches. I have a feeling that we'll know who he really is then.