Saturday, January 1, 2011

TFC Stand Your Ground

Since Dwayne De Rosario has gone to Celtic to train there has been a massive backlash amongst the soccer blogger, fan, expert and Johny-come-lately in North America. It has been nice to see so many people coming around to the fact that DeRo is a selfish player who lacks tactical awareness, too. I have to wonder, if he is signed by Celtic, which I think is unlikely but it could happen, will he be played in a position in which he can have open range to cover the pitch. Will the strong minds of Celtic players and management keep DeRo in his position on the pitch. If he is played in the hole behind a striker and in front of the midfield he will have that opportunity to roam the pitch; similar to Wayne Rooney's role with Manchester United. But, isn't that where Ljundberg will play?

It's believed by many DeRo plays out of position often, because the talent level around him is lacking. But it is common in MLS for one player's talent level to be much higher than those of teammates. But what looks like DeRo constantly contributing by roaming the pitch to get the ball and trying to create is more what you get in short sided games, ala 5-a side, and not what you want in 11- a side when the team's tactics don't reflect that style. Barcelona is a team with complex tactics that fit the roaming marauding style with players that are always moving into open spaces to stop oppositions from taking the space. For TFC this style has left massive gaps on the pitch and has left TFC already vulnerable defense exposed.

In Houston DeRo seemed to have a more defined role and position, however, since moving to TFC it appears he has played for himself. Almost to create a Mr. Toronto tag for himself. In Houston, DeRo did have better players around him. But, more importantly he had a strong manager in Dominic Kinnear whom had a blueprint and plan for the club. Perhaps that is what DeRo is missing.

Houston dealt DeRo to TFC for Julius James and allocation money in 2008. Houston has been up and down since making the trade. During the time of the trade DeRo had been rumored to sign a new higher salary contract and possible DP contract with Houston. Houston made the move though feeling DeRo wasn't worth the price and hassle it seems, and may have actually made the move due to DeRo's growing power or diva attitude within the locker room. Since the trade in '08 we can't say either DeRo or Houston has truly benefited from the move. DeRo has won the Voyageur Cup on two occasions reaching the COCACAF Champions League, however.

This story between De Rosario, TFC and Celtic will probably be a non-event in the end. If DeRo doesn't sign and returns to TFC most fans will look past this. Outside of the Toronto area do many care about it in the first place. I hope TFC stands their ground on this situation and either sell or trade De Rosario. I know they need talented players, but there's no reason to keep a player who isn't happy and doesn't want to play for you; though he did agree the $300,000 a year contract in the first place. In the end Celtic has already added a player of the similar ilk as DeRo by signing Freddie Ljundberg. Ljundberg will play that attacking role DeRo likes to play and he came on a free transfer. With the financial situations we currently have and Celtic not playing in Europe I see this move as possible at best.

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