When I met with Paul Mariner before MLS Cup, the Englishman was full of enthusiasm while he spoke of trade offers from within the league and looked forward to this month’s draft.
In a nutshell, he was far from a man who seemed fearful of losing his job.
But as TFC president and general manager Kevin Payne plainly stated Tuesday morning, a cultural change within a lifeless club was once again in order.
“We needed to send a new message to the players and to the fans,” he said.
One could argue that both Aron Winter and Mariner were set up to fail from the beginning – victims of a nonsensical MLSE setup that saw the two forced to work side-by-side despite having competing interests and ideas about the game.
As a result, Tuesday’s announcement was inevitable and signalled what will hopefully be a final fresh start after forcing fans to deal with incomprehensible MLS pain.