Robson takes the easy way out
By Jon Szekeres
It would be a gross understatement to say that the Vancouver Whitecaps had a busy beginning to the week. Perhaps the best way to put it is the Whitecaps had a 'single eyebrow raising' start to the week. Gone is midfielder Barry Robson, once thought to be a future captain of the club. When he looked good, he looked unstoppable. When he was bad, he looked like a petchulant malcontent whining to his mommy. Unfortunately, the latter is what we saw most of while Robson hung his hat here.
Let me make this extremely clear- I have absolutely no problem with Barry Robson. I met and interviewed him a couple of times while he was here, and he seemed like an amicable guy. The Whitecaps coaching staff obviously saw great potential in him, both as a player and a leader. He was signed to a lofty contract, and when Jay Demerit went down with injury, it was Robson that donned the armband. That speaks volume of the level of confidence the staff had in Robson, and the role he was expected to play.
So, where in that role did 'screaming at the refs until your face turns as red as your hair' fit in? For a potential captain, that level of immaturity is unacceptable. Of course, whenever he wasn't screaming at an official, a poor teammate would usually find the verbal abuse thrown their way.
Beyond the personality issues (and boy, there are plenty of them) Robson stiffed his teammates and fans in the worst way possible. GM Bob Lenarduzzi released a statement saying that Robson's departure was mutual, but I'd wager there's more to the story. The statement goes on to say that Robson and his family 'never could settle in Vancouver' leading to speculation that Robson was done with the club and the city.
Hey, Perhaps Robson couldn't handle the level of scrutiny that was being levied at him daily. Maybe he couldn't handle the pressure of playing in a football crazy city like Vancouver. Maybe he underestimated the competitive level in MLS, and simply did not want to be part of a physical league.
Judging from his playing ability, he definitely was not athletic enough for the MLS, maybe he realized that and decided to not waste a precious year of his career trying to improve his game.
It doesn't matter what Robson's reasoning is. He signed a big contract, didn't play well, then turned and ran when the going got tough. He turned his back on the 'Caps. After this showing, the club is better off.