State of Mind: Angry, Frustrated, Resigned
Location: Stuck in the TFC Revolving Door
And it's done - Aron Winter has "stepped down" and Paul Mariner becomes TFC's seventh head coach in six years. I thought that I would sleep on the matter to see if my ire and frustration were lessened come the light of morning before writing anything; nope - still all of the above.
Hands up if you think that Winter voluntarily stepped down - *crickets* - yeah, neither do I. And even with Teflon Tom's assertion that he was offered a position upstairs that he turned down (and if true, then good for him) he's been sacked plain and simple. And why? Because they "owe it to the fans" to get better results according to only constant influence this team has ever had - "the greatest fans deserve more". You know what we deserve? Some damn stability in our club.
This season (at least in the MLS sense) is a lost one; don't let them fool you with the latest shiny distraction - a new coach will fix everything! - been there, didn't buy the t-shirt. There will be no playoffs this year, but there was an opportunity for growth - witness the modest win streak and rounding into form of our Reds of late - nah, discount that, obviously too little too late for the man who could barely be bothered to pay attention for the past 5 years. I'm not saying that Winter was the best coach ever; obviously he wasn't but again - this team, this club, has been begging for stability since it's inception!
This firing (for that is what this is) hinges on two things: 1. A very MLSE/North American attitude towards sports - after all results must come immediately, forget patience. 2. Teflon Tom's desire to impress his new Bell/Rogers overlords with how tough and in control he is so that he can take over Richard Peddie's job once the takeover is complete. Make no mistake; this is about Anselmi not about the club or the team or the fans. Other than watching Paul Mariner (don't buy any houses Paul) toe the party line and help Teflon Tom throw Winter under the bus, the worst part of yesterday's press conference was watching Anselmi dodge any sort of responsibility for the mess that he's created. But this is my favourite (or most hated, take your pick) of the gems that tripped off of his tongue: "Ultimately the buck stops with me...my job is to put the right people in place at the right time (sounds good so far, right? Just wait)...I don't coach, I don't play, I don't do any of that stuff". So you see it's not his fault! And don't forget that "he answers to an entire organization, not just a soccer club" - well that spells it out right there. He is not even remotely worried about TFC, don't fool yourself into thinking he is. Hell, just watch his performance at the presser - could he look any more disinterested and could he have been more dismissive to the questions being asked of him?
This is a man without knowledge, foresight or care about our beloved club. What has been the only constant throughout these long futile years? Teflon Tom take a bow. If anyone in the organization is at all serious about someday (because again, this will take forever to recover from) fielding a stable, competitive team then Anselmi needs to go. I know that he will not be fired, that is not the way the corporate world works. What I hope for, long for, dream about is his immediate removal from all things associated with TFC and that a new steward with actual football knowledge is put into his place. Only then will this team thrive; until that happens we are doomed to this shitshow of a circus/soap opera/revolving door drama excuse for a club for the foreseeable future. Because I am sick of watching the team I love get screwed around by the organisation that purports to actually care about it; it makes me ill each and every time one of these changes occurs.
Speak up folks; don't hold back - make your feelings known to the club - don't stop supporting the boys on the field but please don't shy away from speaking out because things are (again) going to get worse before they get better. Welcome to the ongoing reality of your TFC - fun, isn't it? Bah.
Links: For far more intensive thoughts on yesterday's idiocy please read Duncan's piece at Waking The Red, Mike Gardener over at FanFuel, Richard Whittall at The Score and The Yorkies.