• Cann on Mariner, his time in Toronto and why TFC struggles to win



      Before he was released last week, Adrian Cann represented one of only a few players still with the club from the Mo Johnston days.

      A minor miracle given how much turnover and turmoil the club has seen in its short existence. He missed a major chunk of 2011 due to an ACL injury but, outside of Stefan Frei, he remained one of the longest serving Reds in uniform at year end.

      He has seen a lot and been through a lot. And before he heads down south (for warmer weather mostly) to continue his training, Cann spoke to CSN about his thoughts on Mariner, his time in Toronto and what he thinks the team needs to do to win.

      On getting released:


      The writing was on the wall a couple months prior to the season ending. His (Paul Mariner's) decisions to leave me on the bench pretty much spelled out I wasn't in the plans.

      On Mariner:

      To be quite honest I'm not sure what to make of him. I can't recall speaking with the guy once to be quite frank. I always have a good relationship with coaches. I always like speaking with them. But for some odd reason Paul and myself didn't converse whatsoever. Even with the players coaches meeting, I was supposed to be meeting with him to discuss the season and how things went and we had one scheduled. But when it came to the day, I was told that he had booked a flight to UK and wouldn't be available to speak with me. ... I have my character. He has his. I don't want to put myself in hot water but I know that when you're arranging player-coach meetings and you don't show up, somethings not right.

      How did the other players react to him?

      The guys that were in the regular 11 were more close to him but the guys who just filled in the space and came on off the bench we're pushed to the side.

      On Aron Winter:

      Class. He was very approachable. I could sit down and talk with the guy and I could tell him what I feel. And he would tell me what he feels as it pertains to soccer.

      On if Canadians get a fair chance in MLS

      I would say I think the Canadians that are with Canadian clubs get a fair shake, but in regards to chances Canadians get with clubs around the rest of the league: well, I think you can look at it and realize that there are only three other teams that employ Canadians. ... Part of it is due to the Canadians who attend University in Canada don't get the same exposure as the others do in the States. When you attend schools in the States, it's not just the MLS Draft, there is an overall higher profile. Having the academies could change that down the line but for now it doesn't seem slanted in our favour.

      On some contract weirdness in his first year with Toronto

      Barry MacLean was an agent representing a number of players at that time for Toronto. I didn't have an agent representing me. What I intended to do was, instead of putting down an agent that doesn't represent me, I wanted to put down someone who would give me advice, like my father. But at that time around Toronto (for guys without agents), it wasn't like that. It was either his (MacLean) name or no contract. ... I wasn't comfortable with that. He wasn't entitled to get any percentage, first and foremost. ... I think the contract stated he was to get 10 per cent. 10 per cent would be probably normal if you had a really quality agent but if (an agent) isn't really that great, an agent would get 6 per cent. ... Eventually it got worked out though and I'm happy now with the agent I have now in Sanford (Carabin).

      On why Toronto FC struggles to win

      The organization was great. The set up and everything. The facilities, they speak for themselves. At times though, off field issues and the drama behind the scenes maybe affected the on field performances. ... The frequent coaching changes, the mid-season change in tactics. Players get confused by those types of things. And when you throw in things like player changes too - a lot came through - it's hard to win in that environment. ... In order for an organization to excel and make playoff runs, speaking from my own opinion, they need to create some kind of camaraderie amongst the players. When players come and go you can't really build that bond. ... They have everything though. Multi-million dollar facilities. The right machines, the right eating plans, the right trainers but the thing they're lacking the most is a style of football that they need to stick with and build upon. That's the key ingredient for a successful organization in my view.

      On if he's thinking about retirement:

      Not at all. At this present time, just as long as my body feels good, I'm going to find a place to play. My knee feels great. I felt game shape to end the year last year. I don't know much about all the MLS stuff with Re-Entry Draft and such - this is a new experience for me - but my bags are packed and I'm ready to go wherever.

      CSN has reached out to MacLean for response to Adrian Cann's comments. CSN will publish one if any arrives
      Comments 35 Comments
      1. Unregistered's Avatar
        Unregistered -
        Again, the same issues, the same problems & Mariner is proving to be a bigger problem than previously expected. Not good for the future.
      1. Unregistered's Avatar
        Unregistered -
        Barry MacLean was the biggest problem in Toronto. I think an investigation is warranted.
      1. Ben Rycroft's Avatar
        Ben Rycroft -
        Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
        Barry MacLean was the biggest problem in Toronto. I think an investigation is warranted.
        Rumours are rumours and facts are facts. Don't mix up the two. Adrian Cann has told us his experience. No one elses.
      1. HamiltonSteelers's Avatar
        HamiltonSteelers -
        Great little interview. Snippets from the inside. I wish Cann well, and look forward to him joining Real Salt Lake and winning an MLS Cup in 2-3 years.
      1. Unregistered's Avatar
        Unregistered -
        Quote Originally Posted by Ben Rycroft View Post
        Rumours are rumours and facts are facts. Don't mix up the two. Adrian Cann has told us his experience. No one elses.
        True, but why does his name always seem to come up in these situations?
      1. Cris in Van's Avatar
        Cris in Van -
        Ever since I saw Cann captain the USL Whitecaps I knew this guy was class and not a bad centre back either. Under Winter he was set up to succeed. I truely think TFC gave up to early on Winter's vision, but whatever.

        Cann still has what it takes and it sounds like he didn't get a fair shake at the end.

        I wouldn't mind DeMerit, O'Brien, Bonjour, and Cann as a stable of CB's for the CAPS
      1. Cris in Van's Avatar
        Cris in Van -
        Oh and great interview by the way, this is what I was hoping for during an off season. Keep up the great work Ben.
      1. Unregistered's Avatar
        Unregistered -
        Quote Originally Posted by Cris in Van View Post
        Ever since I saw Cann captain the USL Whitecaps I knew this guy was class and not a bad centre back either. Under Winter he was set up to succeed. I truely think TFC gave up to early on Winter's vision, but whatever.

        Cann still has what it takes and it sounds like he didn't get a fair shake at the end.

        I wouldn't mind DeMerit, O'Brien, Bonjour, and Cann as a stable of CB's for the CAPS

        The truest measure of whether TFC made an error in releasing Cann is if he's picked up by another MLS team.

        It's highly unlikely he will at his current salary. I'd suggest the NASL is his next step.

        Good guy, good warrior, no longer of MLS ability.
      1. Unregistered's Avatar
        Unregistered -
        Quote Originally Posted by Ben Rycroft View Post
        Rumours are rumours and facts are facts. Don't mix up the two. Adrian Cann has told us his experience. No one elses.
        But at this point there are probably a few former players out there who can say a thing or two about how the club operates, no?

        We've cycled through a ton of players, more than a few of whom no longer play professional football. I'm sure there'd be a few willing to speak if someone would dig for it.
      1. Unregistered's Avatar
        Unregistered -
        Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
        But at this point there are probably a few former players out there who can say a thing or two about how the club operates, no?

        We've cycled through a ton of players, more than a few of whom no longer play professional football. I'm sure there'd be a few willing to speak if someone would dig for it.

        Pretty sure Ben was referring to Cann's experience with Barry MacLean and Mo Johnston, not the current management team at TFC. Cann also said some positive things about the club in that interview -- some balance is needed in interpreting it.
      1. Lucas's Avatar
        Lucas -
        Met Adrian playing at a charity game a year or so ago while he was injured. He seemed like a classy guy and this interview suggests nothing different. I hope he lands somewhere and can put in a few more healthy years on field.
      1. Unregistered's Avatar
        Unregistered -
        Quote Originally Posted by Ben Rycroft View Post
        Rumours are rumours and facts are facts. Don't mix up the two. Adrian Cann has told us his experience. No one elses.

        You have no problem going after the CSA or CSL on rumours but when it come to hold TFC and MSLE to same accountability you'll look the other way?
      1. Unregistered's Avatar
        Unregistered -
        Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
        You have no problem going after the CSA or CSL on rumours but when it come to hold TFC and MSLE to same accountability you'll look the other way?
        Are you retarded?
      1. Ben Rycroft's Avatar
        Ben Rycroft -
        Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
        You have no problem going after the CSA or CSL on rumours but when it come to hold TFC and MSLE to same accountability you'll look the other way?
        I'm not looking the other way just stopping the conversation from spiralling into speculation.

        I have asked other players to speak on the record about this. They have declined.

        Also, the stuff surrounding the CSL matchfixing is not rumour. Wiretaps and police reports are not rumour. First hand accounts from players are not rumour.
      1. Unregistered's Avatar
        Unregistered -
        Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
        Pretty sure Ben was referring to Cann's experience with Barry MacLean and Mo Johnston, not the current management team at TFC. Cann also said some positive things about the club in that interview -- some balance is needed in interpreting it.
        Let's get a few things straight here:

        First, Barry MacLean is still a story, and in many ways still connected to the club. I don't care if this dates back only to Mo Johnston, it's still information people want to hear about.

        Second, wanting to know more about what MacLean's interactions with TFC and an appreciation of the positive aspects of this story are totally separate. Don't act like pursuing more information in one area lessens someones understanding of what was printed.
      1. Unregistered's Avatar
        Unregistered -
        Quote Originally Posted by Ben Rycroft View Post
        I'm not looking the other way just stopping the conversation from spiralling into speculation.

        I have asked other players to speak on the record about this. They have declined.

        Also, the stuff surrounding the CSL matchfixing is not rumour. Wiretaps and police reports are not rumour. First hand accounts from players are not rumour.
        Did you have all the wiretaps and police reports when you first decided looked into it or did you start investigating based on the numerous rumours that had been going on about the CLS for years?
      1. Unregistered's Avatar
        Unregistered -
        Also, how is first hand information given to you from Cann a rumour? He has made an allegation and you don't find it worthy of an investigation. If he alleged that he had been asked to fix a match, would you respond with "Rumours are rumours and facts are facts. Don't mix up the two. Adrian Cann has told us his experience. No one elses."?
      1. Ben Rycroft's Avatar
        Ben Rycroft -
        Feel free to email me.
      1. Unregistered's Avatar
        Unregistered -
        cann's treatment in the last few months was a mystery. i often think TFC would have been better off sticking with the nana / cann combo than all the permutations we've seen since.

        aren't there more than three american teams with canadians? houston has hainault, dallas has de guzman, RSL has will johnson and chivas has jakic just as a start. then there is jakovic with DC and probably a few young guys scattered around. does o'brian white still play?
      1. elmateo's Avatar
        elmateo -
        The lack of 'professional' work-office attitudes in football clubs always amazes me. How could a manager not sit down with a player in several months time? There are less than 30 players on the team and the manager cannot take 15 minutes to ask "how is it going, this is how we are seeing things, thanks for coming in"? And no one in the head office thinks this is not a huge problem?

        It sounds like there are people who can manage to get the 'technical' parts done in the club (training facilities etc) but very little interpersonal management and it continues to plague behind the scenes.
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