Teibert and Reo-Coker
Bob Frid/Vancouver Whitecaps FC

'Caps midfielders Teibert and Reo-Coker react to appointment of Carl Robinson as head coach

VANCOUVER, BC – Carl Robinson was named the new head coach of Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Monday morning, and according to Russell Teibert, “there isn’t a better person for the job.” 

Teibert, one of the club’s longest-tenured players, has worked closely with Robinson since the Welshman joined Whitecaps FC as an assistant coach in January 2012. The 20-year-old Canadian said he “couldn’t be happier” that the man they call “Robbo” has been given an opportunity to take the reins in Vancouver.

“He deserves it,” Teibert told whitecapsfc.com. “First and foremost, Carl Robinson is a great man and excellent coach. I’m very happy for him and I think a lot of other players are as well. It couldn’t happen to a better guy.”

Over the past two seasons, Teibert said that Robinson has shown a number of qualities that will make him an “excellent head coach.” At the top of the list: his ability to bring out the best in players. Teibert speaks from experience.

After struggling to earn a regular spot in Whitecaps FC’s lineup over his first two seasons, the Residency graduate burst onto the MLS season in 2013, starting 19 of 24 appearances and leading the ‘Caps with nine assists.

“Even when times were rough, he was always there supporting me,” said Teibert, who has worked with Robinson over each of the past two offseasons. “He had confidence, he believed in me, and he was always pushing me on. And when things started to go well for me, he’s the one he brought me back down to earth and said you’re not there yet. He’s always pushing you to better yourself, not only as a player but as a person as well.”

Teibert said that Robinson’s knowledge from a tactical and technical perspective is “a given” considering his playing experience. The 37-year-old played at the top levels in England for over a decade and in MLS for five seasons.

Playing experience in itself does not necessarily make a great coach, however, and Teibert said that’s not lost on the new ‘Caps manager.

“He’s dedicated to being a great coach … he really wants to be the best he can be,” Teibert said. “He’s coming in early, he’s leaving late, he’s taking notes, and he’s always thinking about the game.”

Although Robinson spent a lot of his time working with the squad’s younger players as an assistant, Teibert stressed that he has the respect of “every single person in the room.”

The reason for that, according to experienced midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker, is because of the way he communicates with players.

“He’s very honest and I think players respect that,” Reo-Coker told whitecapsfc.com. “It’s nothing ever personal with him, it’s just football. It’s about making players becoming better players. He’s played in Europe and in England at the highest level, he knows what it takes to be there and he knows what it takes to get there.”

Reo-Coker, who appeared in over 200 matches in the English Premier League, said he doesn’t think the club “could have made a better decision” by hiring Robinson.

“He’s a great coach,” Reo-Coker said. “I always saw the potential in him to take it to the next level to be a great manager. He’s one of the up-and-coming, young exciting managers in the league and I’m sure he will do very well.”

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