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Monday, January 7, 2013

TFC Manager Meeting: Ryan Nelsen? Present?

You think you're beaten up now Ryan? Just wait.

When the Ryan Nelsen to Toronto FC rumours began floating around last week, the direction it would take was unclear. Potential player acquisition turned into player/coach turned into assistant coach turned into the downright shocking.
Harry Redknapp told the press a few days ago that his defender Nelsen was going to return to "America" because he wants to be a manager - most thought it was just 'Arry at his self-proclaimed illiterate best. Turns out he knew something we didn't. - the big Kiwi is reportedly going to take over the full head coaching duties at TFC from Paul Mariner. With the Redknapp "Seal of 'Trifficness" freshly stamped, Nelsen heads to the troubled Reds as the biggest splash in Kevin Payne's revolution so far.
There will no doubt be much weary hand-wringing among the TFC support as Nelsen would become the club's eighth manager through six seasons - and yet another rookie manager at that. In his early defence he is considered by most that have played with him or managed him as a tremendous character and leader and he has much experience playing in MLS with D.C. United under Kevin Payne's presidential leadership. While these aren't managerial accolades by any means, Payne has a history of hiring rookie managers in the likes of Peter Nowak and Ben Olsen. Whether Nelsen becomes one of their ilk or more like TFC's past rookie managers - only time will tell.
There will be time to dissect Paul Mariner's ill-fated managerial career when this story is confirmed but Payne must have been in the clean-slate frame of mind going forward. The bombastic Mariner burned a lot of bridges and goodwill from support with a combination of bad results and bizarre behaviour regarding all things TFC. There will be little love lost for the prickly Englishman but there will also be large segments of the population who will argue that "he wasn't given time" to prove himself here. Both sides of the coin however will hold out hope that our new Kiwi overlords can provide at the very least - a bit of stability and longevity.
Official news is said to be set for Tuesday morning. We will link any official club statement below. Well, below this unscheduled band meeting...

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