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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Blight of The Conchord! Reds sack Ryan Nelsen

On Labour Day Eve? TBez - you cold!

We're not sure what they teach you in New Zealish business school (because he didn't learn it on a coaching course) but Ryan Nelsen pretty much sealed his fate yesterday when he publicly called out his boss. Blaming Tim Bezbatchenko for putting too much pressure on his squad (a home win against New England - how outrageous a request!) was a major professional gaffe and one that sealed Nelsen's sacking today along with his entire staff minus Jason Bent. And yes fans - that includes The Immortal Jimmy Brennan.

Of course this move was seemingly the tipping point for TBez. Nelsen, a manager who never met a badge he liked, has been mired in a stubborn and mediocre style for large stretches of this season. When his DP strikers were scoring for results, Nelsen was surviving - but never quite flourishing. As the season has plodded on and injuries, form and fatigue have affected the expensively rebuilt TFC, Nelsen had often looked naive in regards to his handling of the line-up. Stubborn tactics, head-scratchingly odd substitutions and a general lack of progression came to a boil after the particularly insipid 3-0 loss to New England.

However... You think TFC learned a hard lesson in regards to "on the job training" managers? Not so fast hot shots. At the sack and hire press conference today, Bezbatchenko announced that the new PERMANENT head coach is TFC Academy Head and former Chivas USA Assistant Manager (his managerial zenith) Greg Vanney. "Yes!!!" said 0.00012% of TFC supporters. On the surface this is a mind-boggling move for a club that hasn't hired an experienced manager since Paul Mariner - and his experience was sinking Plymouth Argyle. You are all forgiven for assuming the fetal position.

Of course past experience doesn't guarantee future success but this all stinks of a giant re-run for TFC. The season that started with all that "bloody big" promise has a very 2010 feel to it suddenly. A playoff run now turns into a learning process under yet another new manager. While Nelsen wasn't likely the answer, Greg Vanney is the answer to a question no one was asking.

Caught your breath yet? Well sit down. It gets weirder. There are very loud rumours today that Jermain Defoe is well on his way back to England, in particular QPR. With the European transfer window about to shut - this could be within 24 hours. When asked about the team's money-maker and his future in Toronto, you could have driven a bus between the lines of Bezbatchenko's answer. The words you are looking for are "smoke" and "fire". What a blow to the image of this club and the house of cards sold to fans this past winter if this move comes to fruition.

One thing is obvious after today. With the imminent departure of  Tim Leiweke, Tim Bezbatchenko is putting his stamp of leadership on this club. The only question that remains - what kind of club will he have left to lead?

1 comment:

  1. "While Nelsen wasn't likely the answer, Greg Vanney is the answer to a question no one was asking."

    That is a great sentence! Sums it up, doesn't it?