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Monday, February 23, 2009

Editorial: I For One Welcome Our New Coaching Overlords

I think the world of Mo Johnston. I mean, the man who had to flee Scotland because he had to be the first transfer between the Old Firm has taken a lot of crap for one career, but he came to MLS, hopes anew and BAM! He's a genius.

Say what you will, but the man knows how to build a squad. He knows how to draft. Hell, he must LOVE the draft. No longer limited by other smaller clubs hanging on to talent waiting to cash in on the real value of the their posessions, he just patiently waits his turn, shuts up and picks... Maurice Edu. And Jozy Altidore. And so many others. I'm surprised more foreign managers with an eye for talent haven't infiltrated the managerial ranks of MLS. It's so easy. Just have to be in the right place, right time, right eye.

And what an eye.

The most important off-season move that TFC could possibly make has already taken place : Mo as a focused North-American-style General Manager. He's no longer coach. He sticks to strengths. He'll have us in a wealth of talent in 5 years. Moving out Eskandarian will prove to be worth the gamble.

Amongst the Yorkie's faithful last season, there were calls to sack MoJo. I felt that if MLSE were to do so, it would be a tremendous mistake. What he did at the talent level was like the Miracle Worker with the added bonus of teaching Ms. Keller to become a top fighter pilot. You cannot deny some of the moves that improved the squad immediately. And the goal-keeper situation was a mix of luck and faith. With the minor exception of Djankovic, our carousel of goal keepers was nothing short of beyond expectation.

Tactically, MoJo was anemic at best. Granted, when the team was firing, they played some mighty fine football, but that was an issue of heart than tactic. How many times did we witness the failure of a 1-2, or the open man on the left side who either could not get a ball, or was afraid to move forward when he was the only player in that side of the pitch. I've seen better footballing sense from the AI in Winning Eleven/Pro Evolution in doing a 1-2, and that AI is really tactically numb.

So this puts us at the new gaffer. Honestly, anyone can be tactically better. As long as John Carver can allow for some fluidity and imagination amongst the 11 reds week in, week out, I firmly believe we can be sniffing at a play-off spot by round 25. The team has talent without a shadow of a doubt, it just needs to be put to good use.

I welcome Comrade Carver and his regime in search of glorious goal for good of whole team.