I guess I'm a little confused as to Marsch's stubbornness here. Didn't he literally tell fans last year that he abandoned the 4-4-2 cause it didn't get the best out of Kljestan? He said during pre-season that it would look a little different this year compared to last, but I don't see it, looks the same to me. So Marsch has to know that he's not putting his 20 assist CAM in a position to succeed.
IMO we continue to lose knockout games because of defensive lapses and a lacking killer mentality in attack.
So the solution was to ignore the defensive part of the roster in the off season, trade away one of the best CDM's in the league and change formations where you're putting BWP and Sasha at a disadvantage??? Down a goal in a big game? We need to know how to play with a 3 man backline effectively. Not go all empty bucket with no width in attack. Up a goal in a big game? We need to control the ball and kill it off. Not allow long balls over the defense go into our net.
Dax wasn't the main culprit in those epic defeats...but okay he's getting up there in age and has high value and you want to bring Davis and Adams along. I'm actually fine with that. It's well reasoned and his a long term goal in mind.
But to ignore the fact that you don't have the proper tools on defense (or many of your tools are injuries waiting to happen) is foolish. We have had horrendous defensive lapses so many times over the recent years. They need to get the right players by spending the money and locking them up long term. Going ham on the midfield and overloading it with talent is great...but not if you're going to ignore your deficiencies in defense and ESPECIALLY if not you're going to use that loaded midfield roster by playing guys like Grella, Veron, Zizzo and now Sasha all out of their natural position. Pretty soon Gulbrandsen will be playing out wide. Just wait.
And I know this is going to sound sacrilegious but offensively we needed to convert chances in those big knockout games. Sasha and BWP for all their incredible contributions to this team haven't been able to do that. I'm not advocating trading them away or anything, but the logic of the past few off seasons has been completely illogical. If you give up cheap goals and can't convert in the playoffs then you need to address those problems somehow. Right now we're doomed to repeat them.