Oh My. I'd forgotten about the dreads.
On we go with the Toronto FC top 40 countdown, and after disdain and shrugging disinterest over the last couple of days, today, it's a sense of despairing confusion. Just where did it all go wrong for Number 30, Nana Attakora.
Average rank: 28.909
Highest rank: 12
Lowest rank: 38
Duncan: 33. I still can't really get my head around just how badly Attakora's year went. I'm a fan of Preki the coach (if not the man manager) but did he really make that much difference? 2010 was a great year for Attakora, striking up a very solid partnership with Adrian Cann, and leading many to speculate about how soon he'd be in the Canada team. At the very least, he was a guaranteed starter, one of the few 2010 players who made it back for 2011, and getting to develop his game under Aron Winter and Bob de Klerk would surely be a good thing and just take his game to the next level.
But then it just didn't work out, there was a contract disagreement hanging over his season, he never really made it a public thing, but rumour was TFC wanted to lock him down to a long term contract, whereas Attakora wanted a shorter term. He did start the season at Centre Back, but a minor injury saw him out of the lineup, and soon Ty Harden and Dan Gargan were both finding themselves in the lineup ahead of him. Dicoy Williams then arrived and he and Adrian Cann had the Centre Back partnership locked up for a few games.
That was maybe fair enough, but when injuries brought a so far disastrous Ty Harden back into the team ahead of Attakora, that really gave credence to the reports that he was being kept out of the side because he hadn't signed an extension. Who knows exactly what the truth is to that one, but Aron Winter clearly had a 'my way or the highway' thing going on throughout the year, and Nana was just one of the players who came out on the wrong side of that.
It ended of course with him being traded to San Jose as part of the Ryan Johnson deal, and sadly enough, most of the sense of loss wasn't really about what he was able to bring to the team this year, but more about what he did in 2010, and the sentimental factor of him being the last link to that original 2007 team. It was an ignominious end to his TFC career, he should have been a cornerstone of TFC's defence for years to come. Either that or he should have left in triumph, moving on to bigger things overseas while occasionally coming back to Toronto with Canada to a rapturous BMO Field reception. Oddly enough, despite not really looking good at San Jose after the trade, he will at least get the chance to return with Canada next week, I hope he plays, I'll certainly give him a big cheer if he does, and genuinely hope he can get his career back on track.
Dave: 32. The 22 year old Canadian defender seemed primed to have a very good career for Toronto after he was part of a solid defensive partnership with Cann but somewhere that all seemed to go wrong. He seemed to fall behind Ty Harden on the depth chart and even injuries to Williams and Cann were not enough to get him a good run in the first team. In the end he was shipped off to San Jose where he will hopefully make the most of a fresh start.
Keaton: 32. Nana. Whoa Nana. I just want you to find your form in San Jose, and get back playing for the CMNT. I hope you find some guidance and regular playing time under Frank Yallop. You were never going to play under Winter, as much as that hurts me to say. Love, Keaton.
Peter Meraw: I don't get why he fell out of favour, he seemed like a bright hope early in his career
Alex: Good last year, showed very little this year, didn't look great in SJ either
Kristin: Should be higher (than 19)but off pitch issues & injury completely changed his play from last season. Very sad - still think he has a bright future.
James: Disappointed to see lone original leave, barely played. Rank more a reflection at sour taste of affair rather than player. All the best for the future.
JC_Plante: Will be fondly remembered, left too soon in hindsight, because of injuries
The Yorkies: Ranked this high (30) for years of service
Devon Taylor: Thought he would be a big part of this year, but obviously out of favour with Winter from the start. Glad he's found a place to land.
Ignirtoq: There's a story regarding Attakora that I wish we knew and understood. Still rate him.
Blindfolded tank Driver: Slow start and injuries cost him a spot here. Well and that whole contract business. Hope his career recovers with San Jose.