Welcome to Partially Obstructed View. We are each restrained by the limits of our own perspective, but when we meet to share information a clearer picture of the truth can be revealed. Comments & criticisms are welcome.

Saturday 19 March 2011

Party like it’s 2007

     Today Vancouverites enjoy their first of many MLS matches. Memories of Toronto’s first season have been clouded by failure, but it was truly a great time. Everything so fresh and new, exciting and hopeful, how things have changed.

     The opportunity to re-experience that rush felt in season one, albeit vicariously, has been made available by the Whitecaps, and should be enjoyed by all. The festivities leading up to the big first ever Canadian MLS derby have been exciting, listening to radio shows, watching video clips, reading stories and following tweets of some of Canada’s best soccer journalists has been enthralling. The nerves have started to jangle, the anticipation has built to a crescendo, the beer, of victory or defeat as required, is chilling. Every Toronto FC fan, no, every Canadian soccer fan should wish they were there. And so tonight at the historic Empire Field, two relatively unknown teams will take to the field and the new MLS season and perhaps the first steps of a better tomorrow for Canadian soccer will begin.

     Toronto and Canada wishes Vancouver the best of luck for this their inaugural season, though the schadenfreude of the Whitecaps stumbling, especially tonight, would go a long way to assuaging the pain caused to TFC fans by their own club’s failure and the annoying boundless optimism of the Vancouver pundits, who seem to not think much of the step up from USL (USSF-D2) to the big league of MLS.

Update - Ah, hubris, my old friend, so nice to see you again. Congratulations to the Vancouver Whitecaps on a fantastic debut.

Thursday 17 March 2011

TFC 2011

     The upcoming MLS season, the fifth such in Toronto, has not been met with the same fanfare those previous have enjoyed. Perhaps that is just the natural maturation of a relationship, the gloss worn off; new car smell faded. Some would say that a further lack of success, defined as a trip to the much lauded and often fabled playoffs, could spell a turning point in the team’s future.

     Perhaps some of the less than committed fans will turn their backs on ‘soccer’, head back to the Dome for some baseball action, after all this is the year the Blue Jays will do it. Boston and New York are on strike this year aren’t they? Maybe they’ll go watch the Argos play; now that’s an atmosphere. And everyone knows the Leafs and Raptors are really close to challenging for titles, maybe next year will be the one.

     Personally the largesse of the BMO crowds was never a concern. Perhaps the vision of a less than full, but fully focused group of supporters was the right way to go. Will that girl in the seat behind please stop talking about her trip to Southern France…? It’s nice, yes, but not here, not now.

     With that in mind rather than preview the season with a list of who has left (everyone) and who is new (everyone), the projected finish (last or so) and key contributors (same old cabal), let us look a little further into what has really changed at a club that has seen more than its fair share of turnover, as…

     The Future seems bright for Toronto FC

Tuesday 15 March 2011

Beautiful Losers

     Arsenal’s loss to Birmingham City in the Carling Cup final was their third straight defeat in a finals appearance since they won the FA Cup in 2005.  This inability to clear the final hurdle has combined with a marked drop off in league performance which has seen 8 straight seasons of finishing either first or second in the Premier League with 5 seasons of third and fourth placed finishes.  Of course there are extenuating circumstances to this apparent decline, namely the rise of Abramovich’s Chelsea, as well as the relocation to and subsequent debt incurred as a result of their new Emirates Stadium; however one must question whether Wenger’s principles of fiscal responsibility, youth promotion, and hypnotic passing have superseded the desire to win.  Has the feeling of moral superiority and aesthetic beauty embodied by Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal become the new trophy?