“In this group, it lacks personality. ”
The remark comes from the Impact’s sports director, Olivier Renard, who started the ball rolling during his club’s end-of-year review on Friday.
Commenting on the youth and North American turn taken by the organization in recent weeks, he himself addressed the issue of leadership.
“Still young, or a little older?” he said, about the next additions to the workforce. It will depend on the profiles. But what I need is personality on the pitch. A player of 22, 23 can have a lot of personality and another of 32, 33 can have very little. So experience doesn’t mean personality. When we talk about leaders, it has nothing to do with age. ”
Asked later to comment on the words of his sports director, the coach Thierry Henry had these thoughts.
“Personality is created. There are some who have it at the base. And there are some who become personalities. I think Sam [Samuel Piette], for example, grew this year in this register. He talks a little more in training. He’s not afraid to face the players, to say what he has to say. Victor [Wanyama] brought a lot to that too, Henry said. Yes, somewhere, Olivier is right. But we work with the staff for that. ”
Where will these next acquisitions come from? And what breaches will we be trying to close?
The available international places will be filled, says Renard. As for the type of player …
“I know everyone expects a great scorer or offensive players. But when you look at the statistics for this year, the club’s problem was not necessarily offensively, ”he said.
The Impact finished the season tied for 5e rank, among the 14 formations in the East, for the goals scored, with 33. But last for the nets conceded (43).
Thierry Henry has also underlined that his club had “taken a lot of goals on individual errors”. ” Too much. ”
“Yes, there is research against specific positions. But the goal is that in general, the total osmosis of the team is better, added the sporting director. We have identified players and I hope that in the coming days and weeks that can come to pass. Normally, we left for three, four players in the next few weeks. Will there be a big one in there? I cannot answer you at the moment. ”
Little details on what these next takes could be, therefore. However, there is a certainty about what they will not be.
“Players who are not at the end of their careers,” he said.
The Bojan case
If you still cherish this slim hope of seeing Bojan again in the blue-white-black uniform, Olivier Renard may turn you off greatly.
“The offer is in its mails. I still have not had an answer. Quite frankly, I don’t think Bojan will come back to us for next season. ”
This adventure would therefore have lasted only a little over a year.
Renard would have liked the Spaniard to make himself available against CD Olimpia on Tuesday. And he killed two birds with one stone by emphasizing, on the contrary, the presence of Anthony Jackson-Hamel, who played his last match with Montreal.
“I understand that when you don’t have a 2021 contract, it’s risky to get injured. But what’s the difference between playing against Olimpia and having played against New England three weeks before? [Bojan] already knew at that time that his option was not exercised, ”asked the sporting director.
“But that’s not my criticism, he’s grown and mature enough to make his decisions. In saying that, I want to thank Jackson instead. There has been a lot of criticism about his professionalism. But quite honestly, I haven’t had any complaints since I arrived here. ”
Olivier Renard would have liked other players to follow AJH’s example and show up on the pitch in Orlando this week. Or, at least, that they accompany the club, even if it means asking not to play.
“I learned and suffered with them”
It has been said and written thousands of times that 2020 has been painful for the team. About the transition to this new season which is fast approaching, coach Thierry Henry said this. Smirk.
“Already, I hope it will not be worse… Are we satisfied with the season? No. But at least we can keep our heads up. A lot of things have gone against us. And we tried to stand up each time, not to give up. ”
He hopes not to relive all those “cuts” – long trips and quarantines – and play the games at home.
Then he had good words, in different respects, for Sejdič, Piette, Binks, Brault-Guillard, Diop, Quioto. And thus summarized, in the company of his group, this year which will have marked the history of professional sport.
“I learned and suffered with them. ”
Quioto and Binks on the honor roll
Romell Quioto was named Impact player of the year. It is not a surprise. The Honduran forward led the team in the MLS regular season with eight goals, including two game-winning goals, and six assists in 19 games, including 17 starts. His eight goals scored are a personal high for him in an MLS season. “I had been told about Romell as a difficult player to manage. I really haven’t seen this. I like players with character. It is always easier to try to stop a player at the level of character than to try to give it, ”commented his. coach, Thierry Henry, during the end of year review. England defender Luis Binks has been named the club’s defensive player this season. He played 21 regular season games, including 20 starts. It was also ranked at 11e rank on the MLS Top 22 Under-22 List.
The arrival of Montreal FC?
Radio-Canada recently revealed that the Impact would change its name to Montreal FC next year. The club management had never officially reacted. She did it on Friday afternoon. By this very short press release. “Now that the 2020 season is over in all competitions, the club would like to confirm that there will be an important identity change that will be unveiled in 2021. We invite you to follow our platforms to find out more. ”
“My dream would be to have a completely Canadian, even Quebecois, team that represents Montreal. Why not ? I like the direction we are going. A young team, North American players. At the end of the day, that’s what we want. Players fighting for their jersey, and I think that’s what Olivier Renard and his team are doing. The only thing I don’t like is that I’m starting to be one of the oldest on the team! ”
“I’m happy with my season, I consider it the best season of my career. And happy to have been able to help the team too, that’s the most important. Not having been able to play at Saputo stadium very often with supporters, not having been able to feel the support of the fans as we usually feel, that was very special. But despite everything, I felt the love and respect of the audience and it helped me through this very difficult year. ”
“I’ve never made it a secret, my goal is to play in Europe one day. Hoping that Bologna FC gives me the chance eventually. But I have to cut mistakes from my game to get to the next level. I know what to do. I am not naive enough to say that I am there. Knowing what to do, I can apply myself to it well in training and games. ”
“The club didn’t show me any signs that they wanted to keep me. Sometimes that’s how it goes. I have been a professional for 12, 13 years, I know that. We had a great time in Montreal my family and I. I wish I could have stayed, but now I have to look ahead and focus on my future. ”