By: Mike Newell
It sucks…plain and simple, no football supporter even wants to lose their clubs best player, leading goal scorer and icon at anytime, but especially at a time in which the club is forging a new identity. However this is what has happened again to Toronto Football Club supporters. After Friday’s confirmation that club Captain Dwayne De Rosario had been dealt to New York Red Bulls it was clear to all that didn’t already know, the club was heading in a new direction….again.
For those who follow the club closely this trade is not a total shock. The deal had been rumoured for the past 10 days or so, and NYRB manager Hans Backe has made it clear he was looking for an experienced number 10 to fill out his already stacked roster. Most TFC fans hoped he was looking somewhere else for his midfielder.
Now that the trade has happened and there has been some time to swallow the news TFC fans should take a step back and ask, is this a blessing in disguise for the club?
It was clear from the start of training camp in February that De Rosario was not happy with the club. He was promised something from previous GM Mo Johnston that never materialized. Until we hear from DeRo we can only speculate, was it a promise of Designated Player money? Was it the promise of high profile signings? A quick route to the playoffs? Whatever the reason(s) were he was not pleased to be here. As I had mentioned in a previous post the equation of a disgruntled player and a rebuilding club equalled a parting of ways. We all knew TFC’s dilemma, What’s more important? Star and drawing power? Or building a strong nucleus for the club?” I leaned towards the latter stating that dumping his salary cap hit would allow the club to bring in players that could help the club both in the short and long term. Bare in mind I wrote that post before Winter was hired as TFC manager so I did not know what style the club was going to be playing. But clearly Winter, director of player development Paul Mariner and the rest of the TFC brass thought the same way.
It didn’t help the Canadian international that he wanted more money after signing a 4 year deal paying him $420,000 after one year. No one could argue that he was the clubs best player, but was he worth DP money. After the acquisition of Julian De Guzman on DP wages he clearly thought was. Yes admittedly he scored goals and won games for the club, but he was also known to be a cancer in the dressing room with many calling him a Captain in name only. He also at times on the pitch played for himself, taking shots when a pass would have been the better option, or trying to dribble past three defenders to create a chance.
Did the club lean on him too much to score and create? Yes, did he make things worse by feeding into that? Maybe, however both sides clearly needed this separation. DeRo needed to be on a winner and TFC needed to find some young players with potential for depth reasons. No one knows if Tony Tchani or Danleigh Borman will prove to be good buys for TFC but one thing is for certain the club will be out of excuses if this season turns into a complete failure.