For the second straight day in the Toronto FC Top 40 Countdown, we have a player who was traded away in mid season, and going by tweets, isn't really a fan of Aron Winter. Unlike Jacob Peterson though, this one actually got his revenge, at number 26, it's the Gargangster, Dan Gargan.
Average ranking: 24.818
Highest Ranking: 12
Lowest ranking: 36
Duncan: 21. Release the Gargan. In 2010 it was a positive thing, as he became a very popular player with supporters who appreciated his hard work, long throws and versatility. Despite general disdain for most of Preki's 'plumbers', people were happy for him to return in 2011, and in the off season he got a raise.
In 2011 though, it all turned around, he had a rough start to the season, and, much like in 2010 after Nick Dasovic took over, there wasn't the strong team wide commitment to defence to cover for his flaws. Mistakes became much more noticeable, and often led to goals, and pretty soon he was one of the more unpopular players on the team, and release the Gargan took on a different meaning entirely.
It was all very unfair as Gargan really didn't change at all, he was still the same player, a hardworking and versatile grinder who was making the most of his talent to keep a spot ahead of other more naturally talented players. A smart player who can do well as one cog in a well oiled machine, but is not quite up to the task of being an important part of a chaotic and unsupportive system. Not the most spectacular player, but he won't let you down, as long as you're not asking too much.
He didn't really deserve the cult like status he had last year, but he certainly didn't deserve the scorn he got in 2011, as he did his best in a very tough situation. At Right back in the shoddy defence we had to start the season, he was always going to struggle. In midfield alongside Gianluca Zavarise and Nathan Sturgis, against Real bloody Salt Lake, he was always going to struggle. When asked to play at Left Back over a few games in May, alongside the fairly solid Adrian Cann and Dicoy Williams combo, well he actually did alright there, until Cann was replaced by Ty Harden and chaos returned again to the defence. In the right situation, he can be a solid player, but the first half of TFC's 2011 season was far from the right situation, and he was never going to be good enough to overcome that.
Eventually he was traded to Chicago for Dasan Robinson, and he thrived there, playing a part in Chicago's late season run to the edge of the playoffs. He of course got his revenge by scoring the second in a 2-0 Chicago win, and wasted no time tweeting his pleasure and giving an indication of those who maybe felt a bit hard done by TFC this year.
Despite that goal, (and I was actually there to witness it, the almost universal 'you've got to be fucking kidding me!' reaction among the TFC supporters was very amusing) I'll miss the Gargangster. While he's definitely a replaceable player within the squad, he's a good honest trier who's made the most of his talent and is a very smart, entertaining and genuinely engaging person off the pitch. I hope he sticks around the league for a few more years yet.
Dave: 27. He scored a goal on Toronto this season, after he only ever scored one while with Toronto, and that was very painful for me. Gargan was a versatile and solid player for TFC but never anything special so as part of the roster overhaul he got shipped off to Chicago. In the end Gargan will likely be remembered as another defender who you cannot say was much more then meh.
Keaton: 29. We released the Gargan
Blindfolded Tank Driver: Release the Gargan. Just didn't fit in with Winter's TFC plans
Ignirtoq: I believe that Gargan's downfall was the result of volunteering to play defence after a stellar season on the right side of the midfield. He was not, nor ever will be, a proper defender. The failure of moving him back and letting him struggle game after game, gaffe after gaffe sent him on his way. Glad he landed on his feet in Chicago.
Devon Taylor: Worked his butt off for the team while he was here. Probably not skilled enough to fit Winter's system, but the fans will miss his passion.
Canadian Texan: Great character, average defender
The Yorkies: A plumber - nothing more, nothing less
JC_Plante. Fan favorite, but doesn't have the talent to match his great effort
James: Uncomfortable situation when it was evident he wasn't in the plans. Love the Gargan, but he was released and bad-mouthed TFC. Excellent dude though, would gladly share a beer or two & thank him for his time with the club.
Kristin: Lots & lots of heart, great throws, left it all on the pitch. But not a starter.