New Toronto FC coach Ryan Nelsen has been advised by
local media to rent rather than buy when he eventually moves to
the city to take up his post.
Nelsen was yesterday confirmed as the new man in charge of
the Major League Soccer side, though it remains unclear when
he will commence his coaching career.
The All Whites captain is under contract at English Premier
League side Queens Park Rangers until the end of the season
and that fact, combined with Nelsen's lack of experience,
invoked the ire of the Canadian media.
An editorial for the Toronto Star wished Nelsen well
at the troubled franchise but provided a warning about just
how tenuous his job security may be.
"At this point, we will say to Nelsen what we say to every
new coach through the perpetually spinning turnstiles at this
club: All the very best of luck; and probably best to rent
for a while."
Nelsen will be Toronto's eighth head coach in just seven
years since their inception, while the club went 14 games
without a win to finish last season with a league-worst
record of five wins from 34 games.
It is a sticky situation for any coach to walk into, let
alone one without prior management experience, and the
Toronto Star was unequivocal in their opinion of the
"Even by Toronto FC standards, it's a jaw-dropper," wrote
sports reporter Daniel Girard. "There's just a couple of
catches. The New Zealand native has no formal coaches
training and has never walked the touchline.
"Also, he'll continue playing for Queens Park Rangers in the
English Premiership, meaning he's going to miss the draft, in
which the club picks first and third, training camp and MLS
games, perhaps until the season ends overseas in mid-May."
In the same paper columnist Cathal Kelly wrote that Nelsen's
inexperience shouldn't count against him, considering the
records of his well-travelled predecessors.
"Nelsen differs from the [prior coaches] in terms of resume -
in the sense that he doesn't have one. He's never coached
before at any level. That's not an issue. Toronto FC has
tried all sorts of experience. At this point, innocence is
worth a try."
The Globe and Mail took a similar tack to Nelsen's
hiring, with Paul Attfield writing the most flawed franchise
in MLS will struggle to end their six-year playoff drought
with the 35-year-old at the helm.
"[Toronto] didn't replace [former coach Paul Mariner] with
another head coach though; in fact, it didn't replace him
with a coach of any kind."
Jason de Vos, an analyst for Canadian television station The
Sports Network, was even more nonplussed about Toronto's
move, labelling the decision "without a doubt, the most
bizarre coaching appointment ever made in Major League