As I sit in my condo watching the remarkable Danish team, I thought I would try to vent a bit regarding Atlanta United's season-to-date. I was going to wait until tomorrow night, as I feel strongly that tomorrow's Red Bull game is a tipping point for ATL UTD, but after watching Orlando City play last night, I decided to go ahead and vent. In no particular order:
My main concern: There is something wrong with how Atlanta's player pool has been built and acquired. In many businesses, the word benchmarking is thrown around like pies in a pizza parlor. So, as a baseline:
- How is our product and level of service compared to our competitors?
- How do our executive and management teams compare to the category leaders' and their teams of people?
- How do our performance metrics compare to category leaders? Does our dashboard tell us that we are falling behind in our KPI's?
Orlando City was a laughing stock of the league for a few years. Their ownership, not highly regarded around the city of Orlando, finally pulled the trigger and changed the dynamic of the Club with the hiring of Oscar Pareja and Luis Muzzi. I attend many Orlando home games and watch their games via local TV or ESPN+, and the way these players play for Pareja and Muzzi is actually remarkable.
Orlando City, sans Nani, have no star players. They have a good number of homegrowns and regular/normal-type players like Mueller, Dezart, Smith and the youngster who played 90 minutes last night at right FB. A group of very aggressive, tough, and determined players.
Atlanta United: yes, they have players injured or away on International duty...but so do other teams. The Olympics and Gold Cup are upon us - what does that scenario look like with Atlanta's player pool? The answer has been and will be in one word: ugly. I hear about the congestion of the schedule and I am tired of hearing about it. Orlando City just took nine points from three matches inside a week - and it was obvious from last night's game that they are way, way ahead of Atlanta with their player pool. Last night, OCSC looked very tired but they had the answer in the second half: Tesho, Mueller, DeZart, Michel, and Rosell - five subs who came on and turned the game around. Compare that to the bench Atlanta can go to - and you quickly realize there is NO comparison.
I have run companies and divisions of companies - and I have been 'fired' more than once in my career...for a myriad of reasons, some valid and some not valid at all. The reality of the circumstances is though the BOD's I reported to may have thought I did a good job, our philosophies to scale the business differed, or they wanted a faster track to flipping the company, so on and so forth.
My point: Atlanta United is no more than an average team. Average cannot be good enough for the investment from the owner and more importantly the 17's. When the metrics and analytics reveal weaknesses, when the competition has found ways to combat fixture congestion, injuries, and players away on international duty, and when there still is no answer when Josef Martinez is unavailable, the leader must make a change. Yes, it is time to make a change.
Do not get me wrong - I am a huge supporter of the Club. My support goes way back, before the League officially awarded the franchise to Mr. Blank. I do hope we go out tomorrow and dominate the Red Bulls and our attack and our subs perform well. There will only be so much the 17's will take - and if they turn on the Club, it will get ugly. That is why benchmarking is so important.
It is just my take. @gary1123