The Montreal Impact carried out its season review today, as sports director Olivier Renard, coach Thierry Henry and several players addressed the media.
The Impact’s 2020 campaign officially ended last Tuesday, with its elimination in the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League. As for its MLS career in 2020, the Impact saw its end in a playoff game in early November after finishing 10th in the standings in the East.
Renard has also made two transactions since Tuesday, bringing young Canadian defender Kamal Miller and promising American attacking midfielder Djordje Mihailovic to Montreal.
Here are some quotes to remember:
(See his press briefing in the main video)
“It shows a bit, what I said a year ago (…) there is a lot of difference in the average age in the team. There is still room for new players. Will it still be young or a little older, it will depend on the profile. “
“The experience of a career does not mean personality. In this group, he lacks personality. “
“We have international places to fill and that will be seen in the next acquisitions.”
“The priority is to improve. I know that the world is expecting a great goalscorer or an offensive player, but if we look at this year’s Impact, the problem was not particularly in attack. ” That said, he’s looking at his options anyway.
“The goal is that in general, the total osmosis of the team is better.”
“It’s not a question of the budget, it will stay more or less the same every year. It’s a question of how we’re going to spend it. “
“The last match (against Olimpia last Tuesday) was probably the most difficult for everyone. Nobody wants to go. But I liked the fighting spirit of the group. ”
He liked the progress of Luis Binks, Zachary Brault-Guillard and Amar Sejdic.
He believes he has not paid too much for Djordje Mihailovic.
“I have not had an answer to my email with the offer (…) very sincerely, I do not think that Bojan will come back to us next year.” Bojan already knew at the end of the season that his option would not be lifted.
“I want to thank Jackson (for going to play last Tuesday’s game), quite honestly, I have nothing to complain about since I came here.”
“In terms of budget and space, everything will depend on these famous TAM or designated players. (…) In wanting to strengthen the team, do we want to take a good player, or several by entering them into the TAM system? “
“I know that sometimes a player can make a difference, but you have to see the whole club. (…) Normally, we left to make 3-4 players in the next few weeks, but will there be a big player in there, I cannot tell you at the moment. “
“If we look back at the year which is soon over, it’s been really long (…) we can keep our heads high.”
“On arrival, we saw a team that was going to fight, an idea of the game that still needs to be refined. We try to recruit players who go into the register of what we are trying to do. “
“I have said it often and I will say it again: a team that is courageous, not only when you run after the ball, but when you have it.
“I think Sam (Piette) has grown this year, he talks a little more in training, he’s not afraid to face the players and say what he has to say.”
“Jules, our physical trainer, had to do the impossible (…) I hope it won’t be like that next year, but if it has to be, we’ll be ready.”
“I learned a lot. There is something super important for me and the staff. When I see the hatching of a Sejdic, the progression of a Sam Piette. Luis Binks, it was his first year (…) On a sporting level, I learned with them, I suffered with them. ”
Mihailovic: “a lot of skill with both feet, he can score, he can pass, interpret spaces well (…) this acquisition went without saying for us.”
Bojan: “I respect people’s choice. (…) There are rules which give the player a choice. I still have enormous respect for Bojan, that doesn’t change. ”
“I had been told about Romell (Quioto) as a difficult player to manage. I really haven’t seen this. I like players with character (…) he was really good, we missed him when he was injured. “
“Luis (Binks), I was always going to give him a mental and physical challenge (…) this is his first year where he played football against men, where there is waiting, repeated matches , new attackers, he responded really well “even if everything was not perfect.”
“When you have to do things that you haven’t really done before, you have some questions, but there is no better person to answer these technical and tactical questions than Thierry Henry. (…) We sometimes have the impression that he is part of the team as a player. “
“In the end, you realize that if we put you in a new position, it’s because the staff believes you can bring what they are looking for.”
“We couldn’t find an excuse not to fight on the pitch, no matter what the circumstances (…) there are always times when you fight a bit, but in general, it’s something that ‘we wanted to find in every match. “
“I like the direction it’s going, a young team, American or Canadian players, players fighting for the jersey. This is what we are doing, it is going in the right direction. (…) We have a certain backbone and we have to build around it. “
“The only thing I don’t like is that I’m becoming one of the oldest on the team even though I’m just 26!”
“I want to be an important part of this club. My role will be, with young people, from Canada and the academy, to show them the values of the club and to take my responsibilities as a leader. I’ve been here for three and a half years, but I’m getting more and more comfortable. ”
“Kamal (Miller) is a very good player, I like him a lot, like no one else. (…) Before the match against Olimpia, I texted him to say “I don’t know if you are happy with the exchange, but I am” (…) He is happy too. “
“He’s (Kamal Miller) a big guy, he’s solid, he’s good with the ball (…) We had a good player, but also a good guy who will fight for the jersey and the city. “
“One of my shortcomings as a person, I’m someone who doesn’t like to hurt people, who doesn’t like to be hard on people (…) instead of saying the real things and being hard on the person. This is something I need to improve, not to be afraid to be critical, to be hard on others. Not to be afraid to take my place and say certain things that I don’t like. Basically, I’m not a bad person, but you have to distinguish between what I say on the pitch and what I am after when we go to dinner as a team. ”
“I’ve learned a lot about myself, on and off the pitch this season. Henry is one of the reasons I wanted to play for MTL. I’m grateful for what I was able to learn from him, even though he may have been asking with me. ”
“I have to thank the coach for trusting me (…) to have played so many games, I have to thank him.”
He hopes to participate in U20 World Cup for England.
“It’s no secret that my goal is to go play in Europe one day and I hope to have that chance with Bologna one day. (…) There are errors that I have to get out of my game if I want to access them. I am far from being a finished product. ”
“A very positive experience (of being a captain). (…) I was proud to lead the club as captain, I think I did that well and it was an honor to be chosen by Thierry. “
“The Euro is coming, but otherwise the future is open. I would love to stay in MLS, but I’m looking at my options to see which is best for me. ”
“I had no option. My contract has expired and the club is not interested in continuing. I understand, this is the business. I loved Montreal and I would have liked to stay, now I have to focus on my future. ”
“I’m very satisfied with my season, to have been able to help the team, that’s the most important.”
“People have the right to their opinions, I have nothing to say about it. But I was able to show who I was on the pitch and that is the most important. And with my work and my seriousness, I was able to do it. “
“It has been a difficult year for everyone, not just at the club. I learned a lot coming to a new city, a new team, but thanks to my hard work this section was a success for me. ”
“I consider it my best season, I’m very happy about it. Even though I couldn’t play a lot in front of the fans, I felt the support of the public and that helped me through a very difficult year. ”
“I’m still very young (laughs)! I want to continue to help this group and lead by example through my work. I consider Montreal a great club that deserves the best from everyone. ”