Some of the chatter doing the rounds before the Caps season started was that we were about to sign TFC reject Ali Gerba.
Now how close this was to becoming a reality I don’t know, but it didn’t happen for whatever reasons and I don’t think it was a big loss for the Whitecaps.
Even though we do seriously need a proven goalscorer at the moment, Gerba doesn’t have the top level credentials I feel we’re looking for. He was a flop at Toronto in the MLS, arguably the highest level League he has played in, with just one goal in 11 appearances. His international goal record is impressive on paper but he hasn’t turned it on the same way at club level when he’s needed to.
Why was he a flop though in the MLS? Was there more to it? Well he seems to think so, citing playing with a knee injury, and if you haven’t already seen this interesting interview doing the rounds from The Score’s website, then check it out:
It’s a very interesting interview with regards to what comes across as the shambles that is Toronto FC right now.
That said, you have to possibly take some of what is said with a pinch of salt. He says he doesn’t have an axe to grind and is not just being bitter and out for revenge, but he is clearly unhappy with what went on and how he left. This is a man after all that has played for 14 clubs in 11 years (albeit turning out 3 times for the Montreal Impact and twice for the Toronto Lynx in that time), which should raise some questions in itself.
Watching the interview, all I could think of was that it came across like a “shoot” interview in wrestling. Gerba was very composed and articulate the whole time however and came across very well meaning in taking these “problems” public.
Gerba is particularly critical of TFC Manager and Director of Football Mo Johnston and new head coach Predrag “Preki” Radosavljević and all of the “politics” involved at the football club and “how nasty it can get”.
Preki’s tactics are slated and he hints that he may not have the full support of the dressing room. There appears to be a lack of enjoyment there. Not good news for TFC fans but great news for the Caps facing them soon in the Nutrilite Canadian Championship games.
Gerba also talks about the “lack of professionalism” when coming to treating individuals, but not how the club itself is run. MoJo is also accused of making some bad decisions, to the detriment of TFC making the playoffs. This of course will just add fuel to the fire of the TFC fans who have had enough failure and want him out immediately.
In between all the dirty laundry, the interview does possibly give us the quote of the season:
“They treat me like, I don’t know if I was a rapist or some kind of a bad influence on the dressing room”
So was he not given a fair chance or did he just not make the grade and wants to hit back? We’ll possibly never know, but there is still an outside chance that he could end up playing in the MLS with the Whitecaps or Montreal down the road. Then we’ll know if he is just bitter or has a case.
Although I’ve just said that the Caps not signing him wasn’t a big loss, I’d be prepared to give him his chance here, as long as he was fully fit when he got here and that he isn’t a bad influence on the dressing room (he says he is far from being that).
More pleasing to the ears of Caps fans was Gerba’s feeling that Vancouver (and Montreal) are more likely to reach the playoffs before Toronto do! I think that’s something we all feel!
In the meantime, if I was a TFC fan just now, this interview would make me more angry around what is happening at the club than I possibly already was. There’s certainly a lot of questions that have come out of Gerba’s interview.
How the club will address these to appease the fans will be very interesting or they can just ignore them and pretend that everything in the MLSE garden is rosy. It could be a very long season for TFC fans, but not in a playoff sense.
Roll on May 19th.