Whatever the reason, I've been having some weird thoughts lately. For the first time in some time I find myself nodding in agreement (nodding being the milder form of reaction: blissful agreement results in fist-pumping and other behaviours that aren't appropriate in an open area lab) with the pony-tailed impresario, Ben Knight.
To wit, from a blog post titled It's time for Mitchell to go:
Note that the bizarre numerical formatting weirdness is not my fault, it's the Globe's.
Why is Dale Mitchell running this team, and how can he be convinced not to?
Mitchell, of course, had to watch an entire year go by while the Canadian Soccer Association dithered and withered over who the next head coach of Canada would be. He was finally given the job – it fell dead in his lap when all the shooting stopped – just before he led Canada's youth team to possibly the worst performance in the history of the FIFA Under-20 World Cup: no goals in three matches. Three HOME matches.
In the meantime, solid servant and interim coach Stephen Hart guided Canada to some gong-ringing success at the 2007 Gold Cup. The Canadians were daring and creative, riding inspired, high-octane midfield play from Dwayne de Rosario and Julian de Guzman. But for one horrid and lamented refereeing decision, they looked bound for the final.
Despite all that, Mitchell was promoted. It's time to reverse that mistake.
My agreement stops when Ben implies that Stephen Hart is the man for the job. Why not? I have my reasons, but that's not what I care about right now, and frankly Hart for MNT coach isn't quite nutty enough.
I'm not quite ready to throw in the towel on Mitchell. On the other hand, I've pretty much resigned myself to tossing linens over the qualifying campaign itself. A win in Honduras a week from Saturday would change things, but I don't want to get my hopes up for fear of having them dashed. (Norm Macdonald did a great bit on Leno on how you never hear of the word 'dashed' without 'hope'. I can't find the video. If you can, share the wealth). It really makes no difference to me if Mitchell finishes it out.
But what about John Limniatis for MNT manager? Fucking crazy, right? After all, this nutbag went apeshit in Seattle after supporters had been hard on him and the Impact all game. But he wins games.
In case you've been too busy being miserable about Canada, or have been turned off of soccer entirely by watching too many Toronto FC games, I'll let you in on a little secret: the Montreal Impact is the best soccer team in Canada and one of the best north of the Rio Grande. And they have been since Limno took over.
I don't think the Impact would be keen to let him go, and there are probably better options for MNT coach as well. But he's got the right attitude, he wins, and one other thing: he wins!
While I'm throwing out stupid ideas, with Dwayne de Rosario out for the next match, why not try the two best North American-based midfielders not currently in the Canada set up: Will Johnson and Sandro Grande. Johnson has been a fixture in the Real Salt Lake lineup since leaving Holland, while Grande played one of the best matches I've seen by a Canadian midfielder for the Impact last week against Atlante.
By the way, the Impact, who lead their group in the Concacaf Champions League, play again tomorrow in Honduras, of all places. The game will be live on CBCsports.ca; the usual tape-delay bullshit applies for regular TV.
Please tell me I'm not crazy.
A lineup should be coming out in the next few days for the next two WCQ matches. No Serioux or De Ro. A comment on the latter: he has been crap so far in WCQ. I wouldn't be surprised if whoever replaces Dwayne in the lineup turns a few heads and provides a spark. Crazy, I know.