When the dust finally settles, it may become clear to all that Chris Armas was actually dealt an unplayable hand. No BMO, no fans, practically no DPs, and a playing style completely at odds with the skill set of the roster.
We all know what happened. But what happens now?
In the latest episode of Waking The Red Weekly presented by Footy Talks, Michael Singh, Jeffery P Nesker and Mitchell Teirney gave their views on whether TFC still has time to turn this season around.
Mike: There is a chance. Twenty three games left. Sixty nine points. They’re playing against a lot of Eastern Conference teams. Right now the sit eleven points out. As Michael Bradley said, if this team gets back to playing the way that it can, the way that it has in the past - we’ve seen them roll off four/five/six straight victories - or if they can even pick up some points and push on from there, they’re right back in this mix. This isn’t a shortened season like last year, this is a long, thirty four game MLS season, and they’re only eleven games in. They’re not even a third of a way into the season.
So is this season salvageable? Yes, it absolutely is. There is no reason why they technically can’t go on a run here. It just comes down, at the end of the day, to results and picking up points.
Would I bet that TFC turns things around in a heartbeat? That’s tough. Based on the way they’re playing this season: no. If it was just Chris Armas that was this issue, or if this team gets a spark out of their new coach, who’s to say that this team cannot go on there and make a run?
I’ve been on the record saying this - and I still believe it - TFC may have the best roster in MLS on paper, if all of their players are healthy, and all their guys are in the side. Wednesday’s match should be the first time we see both Soteldo and Pozuelo start a game for Toronto FC. How much of a difference is that going to make?
Like Pozuelo has only started one game this season I believe. Is that not nuts? That’s the MVP. That’s the guy who your whole team revolves around. We saw how important he is to this team. This is a side that went down 4-1 before Pozuelo came on, so now that he’s going to be starting the game, how much of a difference can he make?
Can Pozuelo and Soteldo stay healthy? Ayo Akinola looks like he’s back in form. If they can figure out what the heck is going on defensively, then yeah I believe this season is salvageable. This is a team that went 16/5/5 last season. It’s not out of the question.
"I think we should call a spade a spade and just be like, they messed up here. The TFC fanbase got on that risk from the get-go." @MichaelSingh94 on the hiring and firing of Chris Armas #TFCLive #WTRWeekly @WakingtheRed pic.twitter.com/0poPK1dge6— Footy Talks (@FootyTalksLive) July 6, 2021
Jeff: It’s not out of the question but - and I know I’m not an athlete - what do you do in the locker room? Do you just try to take baby steps at first? Like let’s fix our leaky defence and let the chips fall where they may? Or are you always going to have your foot on the accelerator with that mindless self-belief that we’re going to win the MLS cup this year?
Mitch:The long term does not look great right now so I think you focus on what we can do over the next couple of days. Let’s pick up a result going into a nice long break, and use that to try and figure some stuff out and see how we can come out the other side when we play Orlando for the 117th time this season, and think they go from there.
But I do think with the new coach - and I agree with Mike that TFC certainly has one of the best rosters in MLS - we’re going to find out whether or not they have a good team over the next little bit. I do think there is a difference in terms of the composition of egos, the make up of how different players compliment each other.
And again that comes back to Ali Curtis because it’s not about building a good roster - it’s about building a good team that any coach can come in and do something with.
For everything TFC - check out the full episode of this week’s Waking the Red Weekly now, also available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify! Kindly like, rate, and subscribe!