We're number 1....at being the worst in the world!
By now I am sure that you have all heard that following Toronto FC's ninth straight league defeat forward Danny Koevermans described the club as "the worst team in the world". Now that may have come across as a bit of a stretch or hyperbole from a frustrated player but come Tuesday's training he was not backing down from his statement.
The problem with that statement does not come from the fact that it may or may not actually be the case but that by saying something like that Koevermans has rubbed many of his teammates the wrong way. As many of the people who were at training today, including John Molinaro in this wrap up, pointed out it seems that things are getting all kinds of messy at TFC.
Earlier in the season it seemed that the players were quitting on the coach and growing increasingly frustrated with the tactics. The one thing that was managing to salvage a thread of dignity for the club was that the players seemed willing to fight for eachother and for the fans. That desire seems to be wavering though as many players are just starting to look completely defeated.
Koevermans has never been one to bite his tongue and will almost always speak his mind when he is frustrated and it can lead to him saying things that might get him in a spot of trouble. Along with Milos Kocic he has been one of the players most willing to put a toe or two over the line and break ranks to actually be critical of the team. The problem with these statements is that they are not a player speaking out against the coach but rather he is speaking out against all the others that pull the shirt on with him week after week. Sometimes it can be a good tactic to call out your team in hopes to kicks them out of their slump but when they are in such a fragile mental state already things can really backfire.
All that depressing stuff aside though. Is Koevermans right? Are the 0-9 TFC actually the worst team in the world?If you only take clubs in top leagues into consideration it actually can be a tough challenge to find a team that is clearly worse. In the Premier League even Wolverhampton Wanderers managed to bag 5 wins but they ended their season on a 14 match winless streak. The only good news for them was that they managed to snatch 4 draws during that terrible run. Down a division Doncaster Rovers managed to go 11 in a row without a win but never came close to 9 straight defeats.
A quick jump over to Italy Cesena only bagged 4 wins all season and went on a 20 match winless streak to finish off their season. No runs of 9 straight defeats but they did roll off 5 defeats in a row.
In Spain, the bottom of the table was again home to a team with only 4 wins this season. Racing Santander managed to end their season with, you guessed it, another 20 match winless run. Again, they had plenty of draws thrown into the mix but in a league season that is only 38 games long that is over half the season without seeing a win. At least TFC are not at the half way point yet.
The bottom of the table in the Bundesliga saw another team that only managed to get 4 wins the entire league season. Kaiserslautern, won only 4 of their 34 matches but thanks to picking up 11 draws on the season they never saw a losing streak quite like what is going on in Toronto now. Their longest run without picking up a single point came to an end after 6 matches.
In France, AJ Auxerre went 11 without a win but they managed 7 wins and 13 draws on the season. In fact, TFC's 9 defeats is already half way to their season total of 18. In Holland, Excelsior went 11 games without a win and 6 in a row without a single point.
Banfield, from Argentina, have a 6 match run without a single point this season. Gold Coast United of Australia's A-League managed a 12 match winless run this season. Dunfermline, bottom of the Scottish Premier Leauge, went 12 without a win.
A trip through a lot of leagues and really nothing to prove Danny all that wrong. Hope is not lost though! Toronto FC are not the worst team in the world just yet. That dubious honour would have to go to MKE Ankaragücüof the Turkish Super League. They had a mind boggling run of 15 straight defeats and 16 matches without a win this season.
So next time Danny, or the fans for that matter, think that they have it bad just remember that it could be just that much worse. We could be Ankaragucuof!