Well that wasn't entirely unexpected was it. Despite Chicago Fire's tie habit and Toronto FC's 6 game unbeaten streak, let's face it we were due for that sort of game. It's now 2 days after the fact so I won't bother getting into too many details of the game (I was actually in Chicago, made a weekend of it (had a lovely time, thanks for asking) which is why I'm so tardy with this), but it was one of those games where we got a bit unlucky hitting the post twice, and more importantly a lot of our streaky on/off attacking players all had off days at the same time. Yes TFC lost, and yes they're now back to the bottom of the Eastern Conference, but really it wasn't that bad of a performance on the day, and it was their first defeat in 7 games so it's really no reason to be panicking. If we can get Danny Koevermans back in the lineup, and have at least one of Joao Plata, Peri Marosevic and Ryan Johnson get their form back, then we'll look a lot better, and hey if we had to have a collective off game like this, better in that game than against Dallas on Wednesday when it really counts.
Having said all that there are a couple of things that stand out about the game, neither of which make Aron Winter look all that good. First up is the formation, once again 3-4-3. When first introduced, it was explained as a specific tactical wrinkle to deal with Real Salt Lake, and yet it's been played ever since then, in different circumstances against different teams, so is this the full time new formation now? I hope not, as though it does seem to cover up some of TFC's defensive frailties, that comes at the expense of neutering two of their best players. Torsten Frings has played much better in midfield since coming here than he has in defence, and Richard Eckersley's attacking forays down the right are much fewer now.
There's obviously a balancing act between defence and offence, pragmatism and romanticism, and many times, I've argued on behalf of pragmatism, sorting the defence out first and then worrying about the attack, so in a way this is good. It's also a bit of an admission that the defence just isn't good enough so Winter's trying to addresss it, which is great, but hopefully this is just a temporary thing, and that at the very least by next season we'll have an improved defence that can actually do it's job without having to bring in reinforcements.
The other thing that stood out was Dan Gargan's post game tweet which gave away his pleasure in scoring against TFC.
He scored, he was obviously happy, fair enough, no hard feelings (it actually quite amused me when they announced who scored, there was a huge collective groan, and feeling of 'you've got to be fucking kidding me' among the TFC supporters there). Afterwards though he tweeted the following.
Would like to dedicate that goal to Nana, Gordo, @jacob__peterson @dwaynedrosario and El Queso LaBrocca #damnitfeelsgoodtobeagangster #TFC
Obviously that suggests there's a bit of bitterness shared amongst some of the more recent 'T.O rejects', but it took a while before I remembered the gangster reference, which is from the movie Office Space, that song playing as the main character commits a bunch of acts of rebellion and vandalism against his evil employers. So MLSE are the evil soul sucking Corporation, and Aron Winter the overbearing boss, and Gargan's the working class hero striking back and scoring one for his fellow man? Real subtle Dan.
Anyway, with all the following caveats;
a) I do like a good 'stick it to the man' story
b) I don't know the half of what must have gone on behind the scenes
c) I wouldn't trust MLSE as far as I could throw them, and though I hoped Winter would bring an improvement in player relations, that doesn't seem to be the case.
d)From what little has come out from all those players mentioned above as well as others, I'm sure he's probably got a very good case
e) I'd love for TFC to be a more classy kind of club.
With all that being said, I'd just like to say, yeah, fuck you too Gargan.