State of Mind: Stop the TFC merry-go-round, I want to get off
Location: Firmly entrenched on the dark side; the cynics' circle is so cozy
Earlier this afternoon came the news of a coaching shake-up at TFC. No, not the one that many have been expecting; Aron Winter is still (apparently) firmly in charge of the first team. I say apparently because the changes are puzzling to say the least. Bob de Klerk will no longer be the First Team Assistant Coach, instead he has been "promoted" to Technical Manager and in his place? Jimmy Brennan. You read that right, I can't make this stuff up. The coach for just over the past year of the U-17 Academy team (yep, his sole experience is with the kids) has been gifted with a meteoric rise in position to the First Team.
Here's the direct quote from Aron Winter: "We believe these decisions will benefit our club from top to bottom. Bob's new position will allow the team to benefit more from his technical expertise and have play a more active role in the day-today operations of the club off the pitch," said Winter. "Our U-17 Academy program has done well under Jimmy's direction. The goal of our Academy is provide growth and development for our players and coaches. This promotion is a well deserved opportunity for Jimmy."
Perhaps I have misunderstood all this time; I thought the goal of the Academy was to grow and develop players and help grow the game here. Not promote "legends" that were decent defenders but due to their "scrappy" attitudes and Canadian passports are somehow eminently qualified to help coach our beloved Reds. How does Brennan get the jump over Danny Dichio? If you're going to go the promote from within route why not Danny? And spare me the "he's been with the team from the beginning" rhetoric; I've heard it and it's tired. Seriously, someone explain this to me because I am baffled, perplexed, mystified....pick your adjective and I am it.
I think one of the most telling statements on the day was from Bob de Klerk; when asked why the changes were made his response was "Why? I think that's a question for Aron Winter, isn't it?". Hardly sounds like a man that is excited about his new role, does it? Oh sure he mouths all the right platitudes throughout the rest of the interview but is hardly convincing. Some have made mention of the de Klerk's temper on the sideline as a reason for moving him away from the first team. Ridiculous I say; his passion and knowledge are invaluable and sorely needed during games and training. Besides, is there are more entertaining aspect to most TFC games?
And why now? Why upset the balance of things right before heading into the final legs of the Voyageurs Cup? This is a time for stability if there ever was one. If Cochrane & Co. want to change things so badly why not before the Cup competition even started? Regardless of anything Aron Winter had to say - as though it was all his idea - this smacks of politics of the worse kind from upstairs. Hands up if you honestly think that Winter woke up yesterday morning and thought "Hey! Jimmy Brennan will make a fine assistant coach - look at all of his years of experience!".
As you know I can usually find a silver lining in most TFC situations but this, this just hurts and angers me. I literally feel betrayed by the team that I love. How do you have faith in a team and a system that is being imploded? Maybe I'm wrong and this is exactly what the team needs, but I highly doubt it. Just one more spin on the TFC merry-go-round - whee.... This won't keep me away from BMO and it won't stop me from cheering my team on regardless of who's organizing them from the sideline; still love my team and can't not watch. But it will further diminish the way I regard those that run this team from on high.
Prove me wrong Jimmy, prove me wrong.