A less than desirable start to the campaign mixed in with a recent run of positive results begs the question: where does New York City FC go from here?
Nine points from their last three matches suggests a change in fortune for the Boys in Blue. An away win against the New England Revolution was very much welcomed, but NYCFC will have to build on their momentum if manager Ronny Deila is to start convincing the fans he is the man for the job.
Jake Nisse, who covers NYCFC for the New York Post, published an article titled, “NYCFC is surviving instead of thriving.” It’s no secret that with a new manager in charge there was always going to be an adjustment period. Speaking on the difficult start to the campaign and who is responsible, Nisse said, “I don’t think there’s one good reason. I certainly think having a new manager makes it more difficult with this weird season.”
NYCFC may have been surviving up until now but with Maxi Moralez playing for nearly 70 minutes after a troublesome battle with a quad injury, things will surely be looking up for City.
“When he’s healthy he’s the best player on the team. He’s a really important player for them going forward — he’s their talisman. His presence on the field creates space for others,” Nisse said about Moralez.
Deila, however, still has a lot of work to do. A playoff spot in the Eastern Conference is still very much up for contention. Although this season feels like a step backwards considering NYCFC finished top seed in their conference last season, there’s still time to turn it around.
Nisse weighed in saying, “It’s important to acknowledge it’s another season for them and it takes time to adjust. I just think there’s certainly obstacles to having a new manager and new tactics.” Nisse does, however, fully expect them to make the playoffs this season. Like many anxious supporters, a failure to make the playoffs would certainly be disastrous for Deila.
Deila himself was once referred to as, “Norway’s Klopp” by soccer journalist, Michael Yokhin. The comparison to the now Premier League champion seems to have fallen short.
Speaking on the comparison, Nisse said, “I can’t say that I see that right now. I do think that he comes off well in interviews - he’s pretty open and honest. I don’t know that he has that charisma that Klopp has but clearly there is a reason that NYCFC wanted him.”
Though there are still question marks surrounding Deila’s credentials for the job, the club’s recent run of form has soothed many nerves — for now. Héber’s headed goal, Moralez’s fitness and Medina’s rediscovered form all point towards a rejuvenated NYCFC.
Up next for the club is D.C. United, a match Deila & Co. must win if they are to give any meaning to their recent run of form.