We're not going to dwell on Nicol's history or track record (there will be plenty of others to do that), the question now is what's next?
Ralston should not be a last resort, anything but that actually, however this is the opportunity to bring in a real game changer. There are massive changes needed all over, this is the teams chance to make a splash, let's bring in a big name with international experience. Seriously no dicking around on this like you do with player acquisitions, no measuring 9 times, let's go big or go home. The problem with this is that any 'game changer' coach is going to be knowledgeable about what this ownership and FO is like... or will at least find out. The real question is if the team goes after this type of coach will they be willing to meet the demands that come with the negations? We worry about promoting from within or going with a unproven coach that isn't named Ralston.
As this story has broken today we are seeing some more light shed on the operations of this team. Jen Chang, Senior Soccer Editor for Sports Illustrated, had this to say on Twitter today:
"Revs had been poor lately but Nicol and his staff were seriously handicapped by New England front office's unwillingness to spend $$. Revs turned down chance to sign various "name" players such as Robbie Fowler, Pauleta etc that had agreed to sign for Nicol over the years. On 1 trip to South America a few seasons ago, Nicol & his staff came back with a list of 20+ players they felt would take Revs to next level. All would have been of pricey by MLS standards but affordable (one was striker Jose Sand). Revs front office turned down the entire list."
Phil Schoen of Gol TV had this to say as well:
"I've talked to a few agents who said corporate set-up w/ Revs/Pats created very risk-averse atmosphere. Never willing to spend."
These are the things that any coach coming into New England will need to deal with and be prepared for, or be willing to force the changes needed. It's been said, rumored and reported before but this ownership and FO are truly stunting the growth of this team and the end of the Nicol Era will probably not be enough to make things change. Burns needs to be fired as well, Nicol leaving will not be enough for many Revs fans and we fear that the team will have more of the same if he stays around. All of this leads us to this scary thought... tonight on The DA Show on 98.5FM Jonathan Kraft said that he was going to leave it to Mike Burns to step up and take the lead on identifying a new coach. This is our latest 'ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME!?' moment. Most ardent supporters have wanted to see Burns gone more, and for a longer period of time than Nicol. The fanbase has no faith in Burns and for many season ticket holder it is just as important if not more that Burns be fired. I am supposed to put thoughts and feelings into words here but I just can't. Letting Burns keep his job and pick our new coach may quite possible be the dumbest and most hurtful thing this ownership has ever done to its fans and the sport in New England. Get rid of him, we don't want him and he has no business doing this job. Please do the right thing...sadly we know you probably won't.