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Roundtable: Everyone’s Fired

The Hot Time crew unpacks the Fire’s 3-1 win over LAFC. Then things get weird.

MLS: Los Angeles FC at Chicago Fire Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

James Bridget Gordon: Happy Monday, y’all.

So, uh. We beat LAFC! Don’t think any of us saw that coming.

Adnan Bašić: Didn’t even think they’d hold on to the two goal lead, not gonna lie.

Ruben Tisch: You know, it’s weird. The Fire have been playing well for, like, a month now. Not including the first 10 minutes of the second half on that U-12 sized thing that NYCFC play on.

James Bridget: They’ve been playing better, but better is very much relative. They’ve got a pretty low floor right now.

Ruben: They’ve scored 9 goals and given up 5 in September, and at least 2 of those 5 have been wonder strikes.

Ruel Gutierrez Apostol: It was a pretty great game. It showed what the Fire could of have been if the team weren’t plagued with injuries. It was the most complete squad we had sans Polster.

Ruben: Exactly. This September has part of me thinking that on the field, at least this season can be written off as an anomaly. And that is a very dangerous thought.

Adnan: That’s the reason part of me wishes they just continued to get blown out. Cause NRod will take any chance he can get to pretend the current team is good enough when it isn’t.

Ruben: Right. The Fire are in basketball hell, and the FO seems okay with that.

James Bridget: You’re not wrong, but I also think that the lack of accountability is pretty well entrenched in the front office and the results don’t really matter at this point. I don’t think blow-outs will really move the needle here.

But before we get too deep in grousing about the FO I do want to talk about the actual game.

Ruben: I mean, they played like last year’s team. Patent with good execution. They put away their chances and we’re well-organized defensively.

RJ: The back was solid. Corrales was iffy at times.

Ruben: LAFC missed some chances and scored on a Diego Rossi wonder goal that would have been goal for the week if not for Djordje Mehailovic’s volley.

RJ: Stefan Cleveland was a champ that afternoon.

Ruben: 5 saves, and they were all on the difficult side. I was pleased with his play.

James Bridget: In general I feel like the team wasn’t intimidated by their opposition, which was great to see. It’s tough being in this position because you go into literally every game as underdogs. That really does a number on mentality. So the fact that the Fire lined up for this thinking “we can take ‘em” was encouraging.

RJ: Hopefully they can carry on that mentality to the remaining matches. Here’s hoping the lads dent D.C. United’s playoff chance.

Adnan: Nothing to lose at this point which is nice. No pressure.

Ruben: Something Stu Holden said during the Orlando has stuck with me is that the Fire, unlike Orlando, still play with trust and belief in each other. You could really see that in the game with LAFC.

James Bridget: Yeah, like whatever’s going on with Pauno and the FO, the players got each other’s backs.

Ruben: I think we’re talking about a completely different season I’d Djordje and MDL were able to come back in say, May or June, instead of August.

James Bridget: I’m inclined to agree.

Ruben: Also bringing in Raheem Edwards was kind of sneaky genius. He has the speed dimension they never really replaced when Accam left.

Adnan: I think we’d be in a fight for a playoff spot but it wouldn’t be too much better.

James Bridget: I’d be fine with “outside chance of qualifying” right now instead of “lol no.”

RJ: You have to give credit to Pauno for working what he had in his disposal though. As they say in my cartoons, Gambarimashita.

Ruben: I went from Friday writing that he should be fired to Give Him Another Year by Saturday night. I think either move is right. I could live with either.

Adnan: I’m still fully Pauno out tbh. At least he can leave with these decent results at the end.

Ruben: I mean, that’s fair.

RJ: I’d settle for another year of Pauno if the FO can give him what he wants and needs. Otherwise bring in Mourinho. <devil emoji>

James Bridget: NO. You’ve invoked a terrible curse, RJ. Some covenants were not meant to be broken.

Ruben: Zinedine Zidane.

James Bridget: You’re all fired.

Ruben: Zidane is a good manager. Fight me.

James Bridget: Come 2 XO Marshmallow in 15 minutes if u want an ass kicking

Adnan: Klinsmann?

RJ: The year is 2020, it is the MLS Cup Final against the new expansion team the Hawaiian Five-oh, Mourinho picks DP Felliani to convert the pentaly kick which could help the Fire win the game.

Ruben: ......

James Bridget: Oh my god.

Adnan: I’d take Fellaini at the fire just so he wouldn’t be at United anymore.

James Bridget: All around me are familiar faaaaces...

Adnan: It’s so annoying how the Fire and United have similar problems. Manager is making mistakes himself but the main problems come with the front office.

Are the fire still linked to Moyes/Big Sam? Or even that German Big Sam?

RJ: I’d say the Fire would be akin to Newcastle than Man Utd.

James Bridget: Agreed.

Adnan: Great shout.

Is the coaching situation like that “one in the hand worth two in the bush” saying? Like we know Pauno has his faults and his upsides. But bringing in someone knew would either be a great call or a terrible one. Does the club take the risk?

RJ: I think that the club will give Pauno a one-year extension to play it safe, see how he performs next season and go on from there. If they wanted to replace him, they would of have done so, but who would want to come and manage the Fire right now? Everyone knows how toxic the management of the club is. So they are stuck with Pauno or they would have to find someone bold enough to come here and deal with this mess. I doubt that could even attract someone from the 11th tier of English football.

Ruben: Sigi would do anything for a paycheck.

RJ: Sigi couldn’t even harness the full statpadding power of Zlatan.

Adnan: I’d still take him in a heartbeat tho.

James Bridget: Alright, let’s do predictions for DCU this weekend.

On the one hand, it’s still DCU. On the other hand, they have a Wazza.

RJ: 2-2 (Rooney, Acosta, Niko and MdL).

Ruben: Mo Adams can shut down wazza, if he plays. I say 3-3.

James Bridget: I can see it.

I think I’m leaning towards RJ on this. 2-2.

Adnan: A harsh welcome back to reality. DC is really good at home rn. 3-0 with Wazza grabbing one at least.

Is it bad I’m only going to the last game of the season because of Rooney?

James Bridget: smh