Goal Canada reported that Marco Schallibaum will not be the Montreal Impact head coach in 2014. As the status of Schallibaum and the head coach position were in limbo, it is no surprise to hear that news but the Impact has since denied that it has parted ways with the Swiss head coach.
Owner and President, Joey Saputo, reacted on twitter about the Goal.com report and also a tweet from Chicago's Guillermo Rivera putting Frank Klopas' name as a candidate being considered by the club.
So some random person posts a tweet and a journalist writes an article and you all ASSUME, it's a done deal. #thanksfortheconfidence.— Joey Saputo (@JoeySaputo) 14 Décembre 2013
There is no new news, I said that I wanted to properly evaluate the situation. Sorry it taking longer than some of you would have wanted.— Joey Saputo (@JoeySaputo) 14 Décembre 2013
As discussed earlier, almost a month ago, the options for the Impact were pretty clear but making a decision has its consequences.
Keep Schallibaum: The Sword of Damocles
Even at his first year as the Montreal Impact head coach, Schallibaum was on borrowed time with a 1+1 contract. With the obligation of making the playoffs, the Swiss coach had the pressure of winning right away, with the consequences that we saw.
After being on top of the league at the mid-season point, the Impact went through a free-fall, symbolized by a '' hard to forget '' playoff game.
Being the '' safest '' choice for the club, if Schallibaum returns, he will not have any margin of error and will feel the Sword of Damocles hanging over him. Without the club's MVP for the first 3 games of the 2014 season, (Marco Di Vaio's suspension), the odds are already against Schallibaum.
If he continues not to have a significant input into player procurement, does he even need to come back?
Biello, Eullaffroy: Are You Risk Averse?
The default option for most clubs is to revert to the assistant coach or someone inside the organization to fill a head coaching gap -- whether it's on a temporary or permanent basis. Mauro Biello actually meets both criterias, representing the club's values and history.
Biello has been an assistant coach since 2011 (last year of NASL) , after he retired as a player, and has never hidden his ambitions to claim the head coaching position, after Jesse Marsch was let go. But putting him in as the head coach must pose a risk for the Impact or else his nomination would have been made official.
Now comes Philippe Eullaffroy, the Academy Director, who has joined the coaching staff in 2013, alongside Biello and Youssef Dahha. As someone already inside the organization, Eullaffroy is the most qualified person inside the club to coach a team.
Eullafroy earned a UEFA "A" coaching license and a Canadian National "B" license, giving him the credentials to lead a team. Even as a striker with Ligue 1's Troyes, Eullafroy is more credible as a whole. His role as the Academy director also gives him a distinct advantage as Joey Saputo is investing a lot of time and money into the youth of the club.
But both Biello and Eullafroy still represent a risk for the club as both are inexperienced as head coaches at the professional level. The plan did seem to have Schallibaum give his experience help to "train" a Biello but that plan is not panning out.
Biello has an advantage being closer to the European players , notably Marco Di Vaio and has their vote of confidence. Should that vote really matter if you have older players coming and going?
Klopas, Rennie: Experience vs the Club's Structure
As the name of Frank Klopas came up in recent days, it is only normal that the Montreal Impact has and is considering other options.You could have inserted Martin Rennie's name and it would not have been a scandal to hear his name come up.
The longer Schallibaum was not brought back officially, the more likely is the Impact looking for an experienced coach.I initially thought that the club will not take the MLS route anymore as per head coaches. Not that the club does not believe in MLS talent but no experienced coach will come alone like Schallibaum did.
If Klopas is an actual candidate, it would make sense for him to bring his staff meaning that Mauro Biello could be out of the picture.If not excluded from the staff, Biello would definitely not have as big of a role as he intially had.
It will also be interesting to see how player procurement is handled within the club as we might see a Klopas or Rennie (for e.g.) ask for more power in decision making alongside Sporting Director, Nick De Santis.
No matter which option the Impact selects,with all the roster changes needed (and already happening) and the prospect of instability for the head coaching position, Status Quo does not exist anymore.
With that prospect, the possibility of having continuity does not seem likely at the eve of the club's 3rd year in MLS.
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