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Friday, May 11, 2012

If he goes will there be trouble? If he stays will it be double?

The Winter and his discontent

Make no mistake, Wednesday evening's victory over Montreal was a much needed breathe of fresh air for Toronto FC and their long-suffering supporters. Beyond the win and progression to the Canadian Championship finals, simply being entertained and having a bit of the old "BMO Field atmosphere" return was nice. However, far from being the instant solution or reprieve for Aron Winter's management regime, the result has caused many to ponder... "What now"?
Obviously there are only two paths that can be followed. Does the club take the win as a sign that things have finally clicked and give the Dutchman and his team their full backing? Or, if results in the near future do not follow Wednesday's trend, does MLSE pull the plug on Winter's big experiment and start anew... again. At this moment there isn't a clear answer. Many TFC supporters want to see the affable manager make this work while an equal number are tired of waiting while he stubbornly pushes his vision without bending. No matter what decision is made, there will be good and bad to it.
- Wednesday night was not a fluke and the club continues to display the same type of desire, determination and skill-set within the system and pushes on positively
- TFC, while distant long-shots for the playoffs already, make some noise in the league for the rest of 2012 as spoilers, win the Canadian Championship and return some of the excitement to BMO Field that has been absent for most of the season
- Winter and the management team use the summer transfer window to bolster the line-up and fill in the holes where he feels they need a talent upgrade
- The ownership finally shows fans the patience to see through a grand re-building program to its finish and the wisdom to not meddle or put up roadblocks to Winter's requests for further transactions
- As laid out by Winter and his team on their 2011 arrival, the third season of his plan is where all of the pieces finally come together and his vision bears fruit
- The team falls back into old habits quickly and their slide into MLS infamy becomes near-farcical while Winter drifts through season with plummeting support
- Paul Mariner becomes even less involved with Winter's vision and his role becomes alarmingly diminished to the point of possible departure from club
- Winter's uncertain future makes him a "lame-duck" manager in the ownership's eyes and his flexibility during the summer transfer window is stunted
- Involvement from the club's "backroom" becomes more prominent creating a split in the club between those that back Winter's vision and those "company men" who would rather return to the tested waters of a SuperDraft-built "North American" style
- TFC stutters into oblivion through the summer months leaving BMO Field with close to 50% capacity for many matches later in the season and 2013 Season Ticket sales taking a sharp drop
- Without delay, a very competent and tested duo of Paul Mariner as Director and Steve Nicol as Manager (or a similar proven combo) are put into place and given complete control of football operations
- The installation of a more basic push-and-run formation manages to get results from the existing squad
- Making a complete clean sweep prior to the summer transfer window allows the new management team to begin adjusting the squad to fit their style
- The new management uses the remainder of the 2012 season to prepare for the off-season and into 2013 without pause
- Ownership looks proactive if the correct move is made and manages to salvage some hope for better times ahead
- Ownership takes the lazy and economic route by installing an existing employee such as Thomas Rongen as a caretaker manager before holding one of their infamous off-season "exhaustive searches" which ends in the pandering installation of "Canadian GM" Earl Cochrane and "legendary" manager Danny Dichio
- Whatever management team is chosen still being unable to steady the ship and forcing supporters to realize that the rot is so deeply set that long-term improvement is unlikely
- Entering the off-season with no plan and no vision leading to moves akin to Nathan Sturgis for a 1st Round Draft Pick
- MLSE's inept "old boy" network gaining full control over football operations sending the club careening into a spiral that is dominated by pathetic promotional campaigns over any real substantial football decision-making
- A real and lasting damage caused to what remains of the loyal fan-base when they are faced with yet another "re-building" process.
No easy answers then, despite what side of the fence you currently stand on. Who wouldn't really want to see the gentleman scholar that is Aron Winter succeed in Toronto? Finding those that dislike him for reasons apart from the club's record is near impossible. However, everyone knows where nice guys finish and if the desire for change is present in the backrooms of MLSE, then sadly there is no time like the present. Whatever decision is made, the ownership needs to make it, get out of the way and accept responsibility for its result.
And now (since it's Friday despite the week off) the best thing to play a New York stadium since.... Alessandro Nesta?


  1. I'm crossing by fingers for the ARON WINTER IS BACKED - BEST CASE SCENARIO. I think it's the most likely turn out.

    Oh and lay off Danny D!!!! He's never done anything to you!!!

    1. Haha - not laying into Danny D at all! He has my utmost respect for learning his trade through the Academy. Just don't want to see him dropped into the manager's role to sell tickets - rather than when he's actually ready.

      Now Earl Cochrane - that's a different kettle of fish.

      It will be interesting to see how others feel once the euphoria of Wednesday wears off. A bad loss to DC could get the knives back out.