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    Default Manning Evaluation Thread

    So. Manning. Been making notes for a couple of days.

    Appointed President in October 2015.

    Things he did together with Bez (and Vanney of course)

    Hits:
    - Moving on from a whole raft of guys: Jackson, Findley, Bendik, Kantari, Warner, Perquis
    - signing Will Johnson
    - moving Will Johnson to get Vazquez (this was massive, this counts triple)
    - signing Chris Mavinga
    - convincing Drew Moor to come
    - trading for Clint Irwin
    - trading for Steven Beitashour
    - signing Armando Cooper in 2016
    - signing Nico Hasler
    - signing Auro

    Misses
    - moving Beitashour and signing van der Wiel (ugly mistake that will hurt us over multiple years – we could have dealt for, say, Lee Nguyen with the TAM we spent on van der Wiel, and have a ready made solution for VV departure there)
    - Signing Aketxe (same point as above)
    - Staying with Cooper in 2017
    - Signing Janson
    - Protecting Zavaleta over Edwards, and then signing Zavaleta (to be fair, a lot of us got this wrong too, tough to move a starter for nothing, coming off a championship year)
    - General weakness of Academy and youth player development
    - strategy to wait to deal with DPs until contracts expire (this is something that I think was a huge own goal, this was foreseeable from a mile away – this isn’t North American sports, players don’t just play out contracts if they have options – other shoe hasn’t dropped yet with Altidore but I think there is a real chance it will)

    Things he did on his own

    Hits

    - staying with Bez, would have been easy to change him out
    - staying with Vanney, didn’t move him out for his own guy (eg Kreis)

    Misses

    - poor field conditions at BMO Field
    - All things Argos and ground share

    Things he did with Curtis and Vanney

    Hits

    - identifying Pozuelo (I think, this may be premature)
    - trading Hagglund for a boatload of assets (impossible to evaluate Deleon, Ciman deals yet)

    Misses

    - starting process to acquire Pozuelo on our own by triggering release without understanding situation
    - general lack of readiness for 2019 season

    Bottom Line

    We went to three finals in 18 months and never lost any of them. That may not happen again in MLS in 50 years. He has a lot of goodwill stored up (for me anyways). But he is definitely depleting it.

    He wins more than he loses on player acquisition. That’s all you can ask. But players came to play with Giovinco. The decline in his success rate may have something to do with that. The degree of difficulty got much harder as players realized Gio may leave, and of course now it’s just that much harder.

    Biggest issue: that effing field had better get finally sorted this year. This has gone on for too long, and I definitely believe it cost us Vazquez.

    Second biggest issue: young players. We are WAY behind what elite teams are doing, I hope there is urgency on that.

    For me, those two issues are bigger than wins and losses in 2019. Not that anyone gets a free pass on wins and losses two years in a row. But if we are a middling team with an identity, and the field and youth issues get sorted, I am OK.
    “What the world needs is more geniuses with humility; there are so few of us left.”

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    I think his biggest miss is assuming he would have another year with his Bez-era team to allow for time to settle in with Curtis - that being said, what would Manning really prefer? TFC going out of their way to begin shopping around early enough that players you thought were with you long-term suddenly doubt your loyalty to them? TFC playing the loyalty game and then being blindsided when this shit happens? I don't think it's very clear cut and that, if nothing else, Curtis deserves at least a year before we start throwing the dude under the bus.

    That being said, it's a shame that the academy is so damn awful. That's another point that needs to change and that is wholly Manning and Co.'s faults.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yuushalinsky View Post
    I think his biggest miss is assuming he would have another year with his Bez-era team to allow for time to settle in with Curtis - that being said, what would Manning really prefer? TFC going out of their way to begin shopping around early enough that players you thought were with you long-term suddenly doubt your loyalty to them? TFC playing the loyalty game and then being blindsided when this shit happens? I don't think it's very clear cut and that, if nothing else, Curtis deserves at least a year before we start throwing the dude under the bus.

    That being said, it's a shame that the academy is so damn awful. That's another point that needs to change and that is wholly Manning and Co.'s faults.
    Our academy has not produced an Alphonso Davies or Ballou. The reality is we’re in Canada, with one of the worst talent pool for football relative to population size/wealth.

    For the past 8 years, our most notable academy products are Jonathan Osorio, Ashtone Morgan, Raheem Edwards and Doneil Henry.

    Our academy not producing is not on Manning, it’s a reflection of how shallow our local talent pool is. This requires a reform of how our local football clubs work and a need to offer free academies with coaching that emphasize technique over physicality and wins.

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    Quote Originally Posted by noimpactinmtl View Post
    Our academy has not produced an Alphonso Davies or Ballou. The reality is we’re in Canada, with one of the worst talent pool for football relative to population size/wealth.

    For the past 8 years, our most notable academy products are Jonathan Osorio, Ashtone Morgan, Raheem Edwards and Doneil Henry.

    Our academy not producing is not on Manning, it’s a reflection of how shallow our local talent pool is. This requires a reform of how our local football clubs work and a need to offer free academies with coaching that emphasize technique over physicality and wins.
    TFC is a huge part of this. I agree, but I don't think Manning is free of blame on this.

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    Manning isn't responsible for the debacle that was the TFC academy pre Bez.

    ********

    As this is a discussion of a team President, I would say

    the handling of the FHITP incident & the Inebriatti stupidity eruptions deserves a nod of approval


    handling the media is a plus.
    (NYCFC is an example of what not to do - they ignore the League rules about access all the time & make it actively difficult for journos to do their job - if you wonder why NYC doesn't get a lot of good press compared to its parent club, that's why)

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    Quote Originally Posted by OgtheDim View Post
    Manning isn't responsible for the debacle that was the TFC academy pre Bez.

    ********

    As this is a discussion of a team President, I would say

    the handling of the FHITP incident & the Inebriatti stupidity eruptions deserves a nod of approval


    handling the media is a plus.
    (NYCFC is an example of what not to do - they ignore the League rules about access all the time & make it actively difficult for journos to do their job - if you wonder why NYC doesn't get a lot of good press compared to its parent club, that's why)
    Agree with these points except the Academy point.

    Downsview was opened well before Manning got here, so he has no excuses. That is an incredible asset, sitting right on the subway line like that. The academy should be a huge priority for the President. If he needs to, he should spend 2 days a week up there.

    I am not in the youth soccer scene, haven't been for a long time, but I hear too many stories about TFC trying to throw its weight around in youth soccer, and not working with the numerous powerful youth clubs around the city.

    Separately we don't seem to be developing those players who do make the roster. Hamilton and many others have stalled/fizzled.

    I am benchmarking against NYRB and Dallas. We should be doing better. The buck on that stops with Manning.
    “What the world needs is more geniuses with humility; there are so few of us left.”

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    I'd like to here if we are still doing the throwing weight around thing with the academy.

    It takes 6 years to turn around an academy to create a player.

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    Quote Originally Posted by noimpactinmtl View Post
    Our academy not producing is not on Manning, it’s a reflection of how shallow our local talent pool is. This requires a reform of how our local football clubs work and a need to offer free academies with coaching that emphasize technique over physicality and wins.
    Quote Originally Posted by ensco View Post
    I am not in the youth soccer scene, haven't been for a long time, but I hear too many stories about TFC trying to throw its weight around in youth soccer, and not working with the numerous powerful youth clubs around the city.
    These are the two biggest problems with Youth soccer in Canada today - the pay-to-play model allows some of the most talented kids to fall through the cracks, and the grass-roots clubs are the tail wagging the dog of Ontario Soccer. Everyone thinks they know they have the best way to play and woe betide any group that tries to poach your players. Everyone is looking for their club to be the most prestigious in the area and egos get in the way of what's best for soccer in this country as a whole. Not to mention the politics of certain players moving forward based on who they know than how well they play. After navigating this thicket for the past 13 years with my son, I'm really sick of it all and looking forward to getting him out into a University team. Navigating the system can be really draining and it's going to take a concerted effort from the top at Canadian Soccer and their provincial equivalents to get everyone pulling in the same direction. Sometimes I think Canadian kids develop in spite of Canadian Soccer, not because of it.

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    "You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to ensco again."

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    Do we know how involved Manning was in player decisions, esp MLS trades, while Bez was here?

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    Bringing in Curtis may be an attempt to improve the academy. Many of the problems that the GTA has with pay for play etc. would apply to New Jersey.

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    The Curtis thread misses the point I think.

    I would like journalists to start putting pressure on Manning about player acquisition decisions. He is hiding in the citadel while a guy who has been out for two years, and didn’t have a big resume to begin with, runs around with what seems like purposeless energy.

    Specifically, as a for instance, a journalist could ask Manning about Tesho, who was practically given away by Dallas in the offseason.

    Why weren’t we in on him?
    Last edited by ensco; 05-20-2019 at 01:45 PM.
    “What the world needs is more geniuses with humility; there are so few of us left.”

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    We don't have journalists. We have writers who relay information that the club releases.

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    We don't have hard hitting journos. Something happened between 2014-15 that killed the ability of our journos to not only break news but also ask tough questions.

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    Manning also got called out by Jozy, don’t forget, on the therapist thing, and then got away with calling Jozy a child throwing a tantrum. That whole incident belonged in this thread.

    The facts are that Jozy is signed, and that he patched it up publicly with Manning, but that does not mean that things were or are OK there, btw. I would keep a very close eye on that.

    This could be a wild summer, and not in a good way.
    Last edited by ensco; 05-21-2019 at 08:22 AM.
    “What the world needs is more geniuses with humility; there are so few of us left.”

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    Quote Originally Posted by ensco View Post
    Manning also got called out by Jozy, don’t forget, on the therapist thing, and then got away with calling Jozy a child throwing a tantrum. That whole incident belonged in this thread.

    The facts are that Jozy is signed, and that he patched it up publicly with Manning, but that does not mean that things were or are OK there, btw. I would keep a very close eye on that.

    This could be a wild summer, and not in a good way.
    Exactly. Bradley is very careful, but based on what he said after Altidore got publicly upset, it was clear that he also didn't know for sure what was happening with that trainer. This was a trainer who worked with all three DPs previously; they let him go; they were apparently negotiating to bring him back (and work with more players); but in the interim they didn't make that very clear to their two remaining DPs including the captain? You could say: a player should never go off in public like that. But it was clear there was more to it; at least bad communication. And then add the "child tantrum" quote as ensco mentioned: doesn't look great.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ensco View Post
    Manning also got called out by Jozy, don’t forget, on the therapist thing, and then got away with calling Jozy a child throwing a tantrum. That whole incident belonged in this thread.

    The facts are that Jozy is signed, and that he patched it up publicly with Manning, but that does not mean that things were or are OK there, btw. I would keep a very close eye on that.

    This could be a wild summer, and not in a good way.
    Has there been anytime in sports history where a GM called a player out like that and neither departed the club? I got to think the board isn't happy a star player was slagged as such, but at the same time Manning can point to the fact it wasn't his DP and were hamstrung by the Giovinco situation so they needed to sign him. Manning could point to the fact his injury history makes him a major liability, this summer could get ugly on these boards. Dero drama level.
    Last edited by Richard; 05-21-2019 at 05:28 PM.

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    Paul Tenorio of the Athletic does an All-Budget MLS XI.

    Including honourable mentions, it lists 34 guys total that represent the best value for money in MLS.

    Any guesses how many of the 34 are TFC players?
    Last edited by ensco; 06-13-2019 at 10:48 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ensco View Post
    Paul Tenorio of the Athletic does an All-Budget MLS XI.

    Including honourable mentions, it lists 34 guys total that represent the best value for money in MLS.

    Any guesses how many of the 34 are TFC players?
    I’m going to say zero but in their slight defence i’ll take the trophies instead of the budgetary awards.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ag futbol View Post
    I’m going to say zero but in their slight defence i’ll take the trophies instead of the budgetary awards.
    agreed

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    Quote Originally Posted by ensco View Post
    Paul Tenorio of the Athletic does an All-Budget MLS XI.

    Including honourable mentions, it lists 34 guys total that represent the best value for money in MLS.

    Any guesses how many of the 34 are TFC players?
    Is it 7?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ensco View Post
    Paul Tenorio of the Athletic does an All-Budget MLS XI.

    Including honourable mentions, it lists 34 guys total that represent the best value for money in MLS.

    Any guesses how many of the 34 are TFC players?
    One thing from that article that is interesting in TFC’s case that hasn’t necessarily been discussed is how LAFC managed to replaced Horta with significantly lower-budget pieces. Sure, it was a big flop and a loss of money, but they still retained a 50% sell-on, freed up a DP slot, and have come out ahead by finding players who actually succeeded.

    Compare that to TFC, where every year since the cup win we’ve blown money on TAM players who never worked out, having to buy them out and constraining the players we can actually bring in, while neither being able to replace them on the field nor being able to find cheap prospects to fill the roles.

    This also relates to injury issues, where our depth really in a bunch of positions is incredibly weak and probably overpaid. Someone like Boyd or Zavaleta on <$60k is fine, especially if they’re young and there’s some upside. When they’re making quadruple or more that amount you’ve made a bad decision.

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    Is lobbying the CSA to have the Canada v Cuba & Canada v USA games in Toronto a success point for Manning?

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    Quote Originally Posted by OgtheDim View Post
    I'd like to here if we are still doing the throwing weight around thing with the academy.

    It takes 6 years to turn around an academy to create a player.
    I’m not so sure it takes that long and I’ve been a huge critic of their academy work in recent years ***but**

    I see a lot of good stuff coming through right now. Probably a half dozen guys 15 and older that have a good chance of going pro or maybe (in certain circumstances) being great.

    Let’s hope we make something of this.

    Edit: just saw this was an old post, my bad.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OgtheDim View Post
    Is lobbying the CSA to have the Canada v Cuba & Canada v USA games in Toronto a success point for Manning?
    I guess. Good for CMNT fans if you are one, unless you live elsewhere in the country. With the CPL starting this year it seems kind of dumb though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OgtheDim View Post
    Is lobbying the CSA to have the Canada v Cuba & Canada v USA games in Toronto a success point for Manning?
    Quote Originally Posted by stegosaurus View Post
    I guess. Good for CMNT fans if you are one, unless you live elsewhere in the country. With the CPL starting this year it seems kind of dumb though.
    I'd say it is a win on the business side as BMO is still billed *most* of the time as the 'National Soccer Stadium' so having the Nations League games here makes sense.
    Also for the business side I think it was pretty assured the USA game was going to be here because; 1) Jozy and Michael, 2) Media Focus of Canada, 3) Americans like coming to Toronto
    the Cuba game I am surprised they got for BMO as I thought it would be the contender to go out West to spread the games but thinking more deeply on it it makes sense to play in Toronto and the fly out of Toronto to Havana (as the games are 3 days apart).

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    Quote Originally Posted by ag futbol View Post
    I’m going to say zero but in their slight defence i’ll take the trophies instead of the budgetary awards.
    They kind of run together, it isn’t and either/or. We had a bunch of players in 2017 that would have been on that list, at their 2017 salaries and performance levels - Zavaleta, Delgado, Bono... maybe Morrow and Chapman too.

    The answer is zero.
    “What the world needs is more geniuses with humility; there are so few of us left.”

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    Quote Originally Posted by ensco View Post
    They kind of run together, it isn’t and either/or. We had a bunch of players in 2017 that would have been on that list, at their 2017 salaries and performance levels - Zavaleta, Delgado, Bono... maybe Morrow and Chapman too.

    The answer is zero.
    Damn, I was wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ensco View Post
    They kind of run together, it isn’t and either/or. We had a bunch of players in 2017 that would have been on that list, at their 2017 salaries and performance levels - Zavaleta, Delgado, Bono... maybe Morrow and Chapman too.

    The answer is zero.
    Assume there is carry-over here. Some of our not-so-valuable current deals are the “valuable” ones from 2017-2018.

    But maybe I’m wrong.

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    Grant Wahl's ambition rankings is out (admittedly his subjective viewpoint)

    https://www.si.com/soccer/2019/06/10...-rankings-2019


    The TFC bit is kinda weird - he seems to be equating ambition with making major moves and saying TFC might not - but this after mentionning the Pozuelo transfer fee (tied for 3rd most ever with the recent Portland fee for Brian Fernandez) & the new field.

 

 

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