Otto Greule Jr
Questions surround Robert Warzycha's performance.
The question will come up anytime a team doesn't make the playoffs. Is he still the right guy for the job? Head Coach Robert Warzycha is already facing that question. The Polish international has been at the helm of the team since taking over for Sigi Schmid in 2009, compiling a 47-34-29 record over that time and during his short interm stint in 2005.
His record may be sterling, but the Crew have slipped further every year. After winning the Supporters Shield in 2009, Warzycha benched Guillermo Barros Schelotto for the away leg of the Playoff series against Real Salt Lake. It was a baffling choice, given Schelotto's penchant for big game heroics. The Crew would lose the series and begin a trend of early playoff exits.
Columbus would slip to 2nd in the East and then would again make a quick playoff exit in 2010. It would also be the last hurrah for the 2008 Cup team. Schelotto, Frankie Hejduk, Gino Padula, Brian Carroll, and Duncan Oughton would be let go marking the end of an era.
The 2011 team would be bereft of personality and Warzycha would stamp a bit of his onto it. He marshaled a young group and snuck them into the playoffs with mostly defensive mettle. This year, the team alternated struggles on defense and offense before ultimately finishing 6th and out of the playoffs.
Many Crew fans have already decided they have seen enough. No coach is going to win over every fan, but Warzycha has turned off growing number of the team's hard core supporters. Citing confusing personel decisions, a stagnant offense, and declining fortunes, a growing number of fans are starting Warzycha Out chants or tweeting the #SackWarzycha hash tag on twitter.
Fans certainly don't run the club and a strong point in Warzycha's favor is the multi-year contract he signed in September 2011. Hunt Sports Group are quite frugal and often stick with their coaches. This is a formula that will keep Warzycha in the manager spot at least until the start of 2013.
President and GM, Mark McCullers gave Warzycha a vote of confidence in July when the Crew stat in 7th in the conference at the time. Even missing the playoffs is unlikely to change his mind, yet.