Good for the Revs?
Earlier this week the New England Revolution might have made their smartest move in the past 5 years with the hiring of Bruce Arena as their next Head Coach and Sporting Director. I personally believe that Bruce Arena is the greatest head coach in MLS history and have recently called him “The Sir Alex Ferguson of MLS” on episode 103 of the MLS Aces Podcast. Though I think very highly of Bruce Arena, his 5 MLS Cup titles, 3 Supporter’s Shield, 1 U.S. Open Cup, 3 MLS Coach of the Year Awards, and 3 Gold Cup titles… I am nervous to say that Arena will come in a fix everything for this team. Bruce Arena will definitely improve the play on the field even if the talent isn’t 100% there, and he will surely bring in players that he has been around before/players he has a liking for. But, if the New England Revolution don’t buy into Arena’s plan, hold him back coaching wise, financially, and operationally, the team will continue to fail. When you bring in Arena to your team you know who you are getting, a tough mother fucker from Brooklyn who will be blunt, be honest, and will get the most out of his players.
I do believe that Arena would not have taken this job if he did not get the complete buy in from team president Brian Biello and the Kraft family. The Revs stuck with Jay Heaps for much longer than they should have, tired to get flashy with a large name in Brad Friedel, but now seem to be finally understanding things. They have released GM Mike Burns, fired Brad Friedel, and are trying to make the top MLS 1.0 teams of D.C. United and New York Red Bulls in creating something special.
I think that the arrival of Bruce Arena will in the end help the players more than anything else. He has a knack for taking talent of different levels, ages, and class, meshing it together and developing a winning team. He gets to once again coach players like Juan Agudelo who he lead during his time with the Red Bulls (2006-2007) and at the national team level. Agudelo really came onto the scene under Arena and I think we might see a spike in his performances for the remainder of the season. But Arena also gets to lead and teach young stars like US U-20 World Cup player Justin Rennicks, DeJuan Jones, Nicolas Firmino, Brandon Bye, and Tajon Buchanan. I am excited to see how this all plays out because in all honesty, it can go A LOT of different ways. But all I know now is, good for the Revs?