The rumor that had been circulating for several days that CF Montreal coach Thierry Henry would leave the organization was confirmed Thursday morning by the club.
As suspected, the difficulties caused by the public health rules linked to the pandemic had a major impact on the decision of the former great French player.
Henry was looking straight ahead at another season away from Montreal and away from his family. According to technical director Olivier Renard, this situation was becoming impossible to live with.
“Around February 10, he told us that a family situation forced him to come home to his children in London. It was only a few days later, during a telephone conversation, that I felt that things were not going in the right direction. “
Henry told the club that it would be very difficult for him to leave his family again for a full season, for the second year in a row.
Renard and chairman Kevin Gilmore have also made it known that the rumor of him leading Bournemouth in the English second division was unfounded.
Henry is now free to join the team of his choice, but compensation must be paid to the club in due course.
The two clans separate amicably, which remains very positive for a club which often has stormy separations with some important members of the team.
Wilfried Nancy is the boss while waiting
CF Montreal training camp will open in 11 days and pending the announcement of a new coach, assistant Wilfried Nancy will be the master on board.
He is not the interim head coach, but he will lead the squad for now.
“I don’t plan on taking more than two weeks to make my decision,” said Renard. I have to speak to some candidates, but one thing is certain, the man who will be selected must adhere to the philosophy of the club. “
The Impact is a club in reconstruction that will focus a lot on the youth in 2021 and the new coach must embark on this project.
However, Nancy, who has been an assistant with the team since Mauro Biello’s years, seems to be the perfect candidate. He worked enough as an assistant to finally get his chance.
He has nothing of the international profile of Thierry Henry, but he was already part of the process. If the club wants to ensure a quick transition, Nancy is the man for the job. Otherwise, the new coach will have to adapt very quickly to a team he does not know.
Worse still, if he comes from Europe, he will have to get to know the league, a crutch that the club has already experienced on more than one occasion, and that it will not want to relive again. Rémi Garde and Marco Schallibaum took a long time to adapt. Impact fans had their share of coaches from elsewhere, who did not know MLS at all.
Nancy knows the league like the back of her hand. He will have little pressure on his shoulders given that the club will play far from Montreal and in addition, expectations may be very low.
All the conditions are therefore met for Nancy to become the next head coach of the club, a man who rose through the ranks of the club from the academy.
Laurent Ciman will add bite
Renard has previously explained that Ciman, who was confirmed as an assistant on Wednesday, will not be the club’s next head coach. However, his arrival will inject a dose of energy into his team.
“He will occupy the post of assistant coach, we know Ciman, he’s a person with a lot of character. He played with emotion. We had Henry’s agreement to hire him, even as a player, but for a number of reasons it didn’t work out. “
Renard and Ciman have known each other well in the Belgian national team, so there is no hiding place between the two men.
Renard also denied a rumor that had been circulating on social media for a few weeks that the club had contacted former Argentina star Gabriel Batistuta to take on the role of head coach.
The organization could not confirm Thursday where exactly CF Montreal will be located for the 2021 season, but explained that they were doing everything to make the players and their families feel as comfortable as possible.