What a difference a month makes.
The last time I sat down at quasi-desk to bring digital quill to digital paper, I was still desperately trying to feel my toes after what will probably stand as the coldest game ever played at BMO Field, and, based on that result, I was preparing myself for another long and disappointing campaign for our beloved Reds. 2018, but this time without an attack and defence.
But then we started our MLS season proper by grinding out an away win — off the back of Striker and former Golden Boot leader Micheal Bradley, no less — and followed that up with another gritty performance at home. The kind of wins TFC circa 2018 wouldn’t know if a (parked) bus hit them.
All the while, we waited patiently for a certain Alejandro Pozuelo to arrive, and when the Andalusian playmaker finally got out of Genk, and then actually cleared customs at Pearson to a fan-led serenade, there was a genuine sense of excitement and anticipation after an especially long and arduous transfer drama.
We didn’t have to wait very long to see what Santa Poz could do. Pozzy Pozbourne gave us a debut for the ages. Even FIFA noticed:
It's your first day at a new job. Do you:— FIFA.com (@FIFAcom) March 30, 2019
a) Start off quietly, no one likes a show off
b) Take it slow, there's plenty of time to leave an impression
c) Leave jaws on the floor
Any guesses which Alejandro Pozuelo chose at @torontofc? pic.twitter.com/VWlzRgQcbv
There were cheers, there were tears. BMO Field was one big smiley face emoticon.
I will always remember my first game in a #TorontoFC shirt. I was very much looking forward to making my debut and getting a win for our supporters. I am very happy to be here. All for one!— Alejandro Pozuelo (@Pozuelo_10) March 30, 2019
@TorontoFC @MLS pic.twitter.com/KEmGZdvxyK
And for a while, all was right in the world. TFC land had those highlights on (endless) repeat. Fully grown adult humans were mumbling “Pozuelo” under their breath at Starbucks and Walmarts across the GTA. I willingly visited the MLS mothership to feel the warm glow of the Poz-love. It. Was. Amazing.
For a week. One frigging week.
Cut to last Saturday, and a profoundly disappointing draw to the Chicago Fire (or, as I’m now calling them, Mannheim Schweinsteiger). Suddenly, the mood around the campfire is again quite dour.
Have the wheels come off so soon? Is this the maximum amount of patience TFC land can muster in the now, seeing as we are still so brow-beaten from that offseason and (whisper it) 2018?
I get it — that was a pretty terrible game in pretty fantastic weather — we had 75% possession — we completed like 700 passes to their 20-something attempts — we had our new cheat code Pozuelo. We had SUNSHINE.
Is TFC land overreacting? Is this a blip, or the fourth horseman of the apocalypse? Is the wizard of Poz (ack) a bloody big bust? Can we even ask such questions yet?
What happened to all that poz-itivity? (I. Simply. Could not. Resist.)
I understand we all have TFCPTSD, but this see-saw of emotion feels a bit ridiculous to me.
THIS WEEK’S PLAYLIST:
... Is what happens when you collect many songs over the course of a month, and then have to whittle them down to the established 17 track minimum. So we’ve got some tunes that lend themselves to Pozuelo fan chants, some stuff that calls-back to a few of my better exchanges with the #tfclive twitter-verse, and, of course. some new music that’s burrowed into my brain-stem.