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How Long is Too Long?

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TFC keep firing people, while other teams hold on far too long. Where do you fall?


In case you missed it, yesterday Toronto FC fired recently hired President and GM Kevin Payne.

There's always a lot of talk as to how long is too long to keep a coach or player. Us FCD fans are no strangers to this debate.


This past Monday, Robert Warzycha was let go as the head coach of the Columbus Crew after being with the club 18 years in some shape or form. Whether he was the best choice or not for that position, there's no denying the Crew stuck with him for a good, long time. Too long, perhaps. That's a club on one end of the spectrum. (by the way, isn't it curious that as soon as Anthony Precourt took over from the Hunts, Warzycha was shown the door?).

On the other, you have Toronto FC, a team that probably has a garden somewhere in BMO Field where they grow staff members, coaching and front office personnel. There's a team that has gone through as many coaches as it has had years in existence. Eight, in case you are wondering. Here's a list:

Mo Johnston, John Carver, Chris Cummins, Preki, Nick Dasovic, Aron Winter, Paul Mariner, Ryan Nelsen.

Holy crap. That is a lot of people.

While Cummins and Dasovic were interim coaches, you can remove them and the list still looks pretty silly. If Monty Python made a skit about a team defenestrating coaches left and right, it would be based on TFC. It would be funny too because who hires that many coaches?

I've said this so many times before about TFC that I don't know if I believe it anymore, but I'm gonna give it a shot anyway:

"This is actually a good thing."

Kevin Payne looked like a solid hire at the time, mostly because he went from DC, who had enjoyed plenty of success under him, to a team whose concept of a winning season means losing less than 16 games.

It's sort of like a poor person buying a lottery ticket. Yeah, it's not guaranteed to work, but even a small chance at improving is better than the status quo... right?

Well, the Payne thing didn't go so well. Matias Laba still looks like he will be an important contributor going forward, but in the interim Toronto has been fleeced for talent, and didn't look to be slowing down the talent machine. They are the poster child for a team that gives away solid talent for peanuts.

History Repeating

Toronto is what I like to call the "Forge of Despair".

Players go into Toronto, learn the true meaning of soul-crushing defeat and irrelevance, and move on to the next team reinforced and better as a player. In the searing furnace of BMO Field, they are forged like a katana, with failure folded over several times to make a stronger whole than when they first arrived. Dwayne De Rosario, Julian De Guzman, Joao Plata and others are only part of the example.

There's no doubt Tim Leiweke is the boss now, and after his success at LA there's no reason to believe he will push for anything less than that level of excellence at TFC. In the meantime however, his booting of Kevin Payne looks no different than any other haphazard firing and hiring made by previous TFC executives.

I said on twitter yesterday that TFC is a perfect example of what a team would be like if it was run by an angsty fan. Lose a few matches? Fire the coach. Midfielder complaining about management? Trade him for nothing. Young player not quite panning out? Unload him quickly. New coach not adjusting as fast as you'd like? He gone.

At least FC Dallas isn't to that extreme. If you'd ask me to pick between the evils of waiting far too long, and not waiting at all, I would choose to be too slow rather than too quick to pull the trigger. That's perhaps a thought off the top of my head and it could change, but my gut says "wait".

We can hope Leiweke has TFC's best interests at heart. I believe he does. He can save Toronto FC from MLSE's machinations for eternal mediocrity if given the chance. Sadly, as with anything, it will take a long time to see a real effect.

Here's my question:

Would you rather take too long to sack a manager, or turn them over too quickly? You can't be rational here. Pick one! Too quick or too slow to fire?