I did meet him once. He thought we (the Galaxy) were run by idiots...turned out he was right
That could affect one's attitude in the locker room and on the pitch.
I sent Arena an email earlier this week asking why he cut Bmac and basically said they were looking to use him as a DMid as opposed to a CAM and just couldnt hold it at DM. He even pointed out how Brandon's offense just wasnt enough to keep him on the team considering his passing rate was almost below 50 percent. And that he didnt have a single tackle the last game of the season in that role.
Seems far from idiotic and reflects Bruce's affinity for system over individuality. I would expect that Gullit saw personality that he wanted to see expressed and Bruce wants to see results that are measured by tackles, space covered, connected passes, based upon the specific role in the system, etc. Personally I like Gullit, Zambrano kind of soccer more than Arena soccer, but I think you need to be able to keep acquiring and selling personalities until you get the kind of team you want. That is not a luxury an MLS team can afford. It works better to have a system that consistently connects passes, wins balls, etc. If you have someone like a DeRo, Echeverry, Schelloto, etc. that can express himself within the system then you have it. If you don't you just play your system better than the opponent.
Zambrano was fortunate to have a really expressive group of players that could also cover all the functions of the team. When those guys really had it going it was wonderful to watch and really difficult for the opponent to deal with. Cien had lots of options to exploit. We saw it a bit in C-Bus last year. I don't think we see it that much in MLS. I think you need a large roster of players to create teams with that kind of personality consistently, and once a player goes down, you have to have someone who can bring their own expressive presence into the side without taking away from the other personalities.
On the whole the Galaxy last year had a pretty expressive and exciting team offensively. If they had better defensive qualities (alluded to by Arena in his email) they would have been unbeatable. Arena has no clue how to use an expressive player like B-Mac in the defensive middle. Pirlo could not play in the back part of the midfield for Arena. There is simply no role for him in the system, and Bruce and other American coaches don't have the ability to change the system philosophy to better make use of the players, especially in midfield roles.
Sometimes it isn't a question of system, but tactics. Players weaknesses can be covered and strengths maximized by good team tactics. These must change game to game, which puts a great deal of tactical demands on the players and the manager. In MLS it is is easier, and perhaps safer, to simply play a system that no one in the league can consistently beat, and no one in the league can afford the risk of significant tactical adjustments game to game.