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Friday, February 5, 2010

Week one is a weak one

From the moment Preki was introduced as the new TFC manager most supporters thought that the dawn had finally broke on the gloom that surrounded the team. Forget about the first year expansion mess, the second year building phase, the third year re-building phase - 2010 would be the true start of the real Toronto FC. No more coaching changes, no more locker room drama, a deep solid squad and playoffs - delicious, chewy playoffs! All we had to do was patiently wait through winter like anxious hungry bears for training camp.

KABLOOEY!!! One week into training camp and the steaming pile on the yet to be grassed BMO Field pitch is the smouldering relics of many supporters' dreams for 2010. Fans kept their optimism going on faith alone as the winter months passed and Mo "MLSE Employee of the Month" Johnston didn't manage to sign one player. But not to fear - surely before training camp things would get better - right? No. From the moment the media was allowed to look behind the ex-Wizard's curtain it was clear that the rot hasn't been cleared but has indeed festered.

ADRIAN SERIOUX: The hometown hardman and true heart of the defence is unlikely to be re-signed. Whispers are floating as to whether this is due to the free agent's injury status or penny pinching at the MLSE level. Either way, if The Predator doesn't return, it means a bigger role for Nick "Which one is our goal?" Garcia and that is very bad news. A press release would be nice.

DWAYNE DE ROSARIO: There is something very wrong in Camp De Ro. TFC's first real star (sorry Dichio) was injured in the Canada v. Jamaica friendly but then refused to talk to media at all. The fact that he is gone for 2-4 weeks is completely overshadowed by the rumours that the corn rowed Scarberian is very unhappy with his contract status and the supposed promises he had received from Mo to restructure it. Unhappy De Ro is bad news for TFC's impotent offence.

CARL ROBINSON: If it wasn't insulting enough for the classy Welshman to have his face broken last season by a useless trialist, TFC has done their best to marginalize the midfielder ever since. Despite any opinions on Robinson's skill level, no one can dispute his leadership and steel in TFC's midfield since day one. It is the worst kept secret that Mo is trying to ship him to any taker to solve salary cap mismanagement but the manner in which it has been done is classless. Robinson, unsurprisingly noble, has not spoken publicly about the mess... or at all.

THE SQUAD: Going into training camp, TFC has the least amount of signed players of any MLS club. For a team that has lacked depth for four years this is just unacceptable and blame is squarely on one inept Scot only.

INJURIES: However fun it would be to blame Johnston for injuries, we can't. Chad Barrett can't kick a ball because of a foot injury (goal tally unaffected), De Rosario picked up a knock in the Canada match and there are a host of minor niggles as well. Jacob Peterson however is Mo's, and indeed Preki's, mess. The one, single, solitary player that management signed in an off-season so full of holes - can't even fully train for another 2 months. Poor.

MANAGEMENT: Our feelings here towards Mo Johnston’s management are no secret. From day one his decision making, attitude, vision and execution have been truly poor. Yes there have been a few bright signings and draft picks but after four years on the job TFC has no depth, gaping holes on all areas of the pitch, a noted toxic atmosphere in the dressing room and most of all very little in the way of wins or winning ways. It is too early to pass any judgement on Preki but the wily Serb may need to be a little more forthcoming with the Toronto media. You're not at Chivas anymore Mr. Radosavljevic. Preki may also want to keep a healthy distance from Mo - another "Yes Man" is not what TFC needs.

Overall, after waiting for the breath of fresh air to roll in after the memories of 5-0 at Giants Stadium, the odour has been more of a funk. In no way is this a final indictment on TFC:2010 but somebody has to take hold of this club and pull it up by the bootstraps in a hurry. The quiet from Johnston on all things training camp has been deafening but the one silver lining - if he does allow this club to fail this year, he may not be around to do it again in 2011. As tempting as that may be, it shouldn't be our goal for this season.

1 comment:

  1. You think Preki has it rough, they're probably saying the same things about Dion Phaneuf.