"So you want a manager? I've got a deal for ya"
It seems like just yesterday we were gathered round the old wireless to meet the fearless new leader of our hometown Eff Cee's. Comforting and inspiring words like "change" "winning culture" and "positive atmosphere" still waft on the breeze between the BMO Field Press Room and the chip butty stand. Why it's almost become a treasured tradition in our corner of the football world - the Toronto FC Managerial Change (TM)... insert angel harps... now!
The Japanese managerial mutant monster that is Mocarvercumreki-Dasowintiner has been dispatched into the depths of Lake Ontario by the cold, steely ray gun of Kevin Payne and a new hero is set to be unleashed. No, it ain't Mothra - it's a giant Kiwi in the form of Ryan Nelsen. With a good solid few days past since his playing career ended, the most rookiest of all our rookie managers was unveiled today. Now we know that a full text transcript of a press conference is what you sadists crave - but you'll just have to do with our highlights and suffer through the linked TFC TV coverage later. Save us MegaKiwi!
Here's all you really need to know (now in handy point-form)
- Ryan Nelsen introduced as new head coach and Fran O'Leary as his assistant and also something called "Director of Recruitment"
- Kevin Payne calls it a "new era"; claims that Ryan Nelsen has "better leadership qualities than any professional athlete (Payne) has ever been around"; paints Nelsen as some type of childhood managerial prodigy who was born to coach
- Ryan Nelsen calls TFC's support and management "a shining light"
- Does indeed sound like a Flight of the Conchords character
- Fran O'Leary loves to call Nelsen "Nelly" a lot
- Kevin Payne asked if there were other candidates. Answer: "No."; He also apparently keeps a mental filing cabinet; Payne adds that Nelsen and him have discussed this move for 10 years.
- Nelsen claims tactics will match "the shining light" of TFC (sounding a bit culty). Team will "never give up, never fall over, never die.
- Ryan Nelsen is still under contract with QPR
- Wait?... What was that?
- Everything else becomes random mumbling for the remainder of the conference as everyone tries to digest the fact that Toronto FC have hired the first ever Player/Manager who just happens to play for another team. In another league. On another continent.
- Shining light.
So there you have it. What will truly go down as the absolute strangest of all eight of TFC's managerial coronations. A very personable and optimistic young new manager backed by an extremely assured president. The fact that the new manager can't, you know... be with the team until Uncle 'Arry Redknapp says so... are just minor details.
No we are not down on this deal (honest), we are not pining for Paul Mariner (really honest)... but wow. Slow clap to TFC for taking the cray-cray to new heights. We'll talk more about this when our collective heads stop shaking.
Catch the weirdest conference ever on TFC TV here...