We can talk CONCACAF Champions League hangover as much as we want but the most recent 2-1 loss to the Portland Timbers had nothing to do with that. One should be more worried at the low attendance for the club's first MLS game at Stade Saputo where 13,020 people attended the game.
For now, the hangover is in the stands and not on the pitch..
Once again, we come back to managing our expectations on what the 2015 edition of the Bleu-Blanc-Noir can do. The most concerned person, Frank Klopas, does not hide his high-level of expectation for a group that he has built during the 2014-2015 off-season.
At the end of the day, the accountability is on me. I'm the head coach but I need to see a lot more from my players
Harsh and unwarranted critics of Frank Klopas have come hard and early and they are understandable up to a point. The critic is not the issue but the substance used is more of a reflection of our inadequacies to fully comprehend the inner-workings of a professional club.
Politics, decisions and human relations are an integral part of what really happens behind closed doors. And guess what? I don't know what is happening behind the curtain.
But what I can comment on is the truth that is lying there on the pitch, at least my version of the truth.
In its infant days in MLS, the Montreal Impact has quickly taken a short-term solution approach to take on Don Garber's league and has only gotten short-term rewards. That approach has paid off dividends during the magical CONCACAF Champions League run that saw the club have a taste of the CCL crown only to see Club America crush that dream.
Precise planning and hard work paid off for Montreal in the CONCACAF Champions League. Though, a coach is only as good as the trophies he won.
How do you make the switch in MLS?
Back to the reality of a grinding schedule and " parity " in MLS, the club's sporting project has never really taken off as per its identity on the pitch. After solely depending on Marco Di Vaio to score goals, we are back at square one with Ignacio Piatti needing to be the catalyst every game. The good news is that the 2015 edition has a stronger back-line, more attacking punch and depth in the midfield.
The biggest challenge is to make all the pieces work together while handling egos, favouritism, result-driven parameters and all in between.
Piatti: Too Selfish
If Montreal needs Piatti to be a 2015 MVP candidate to thrive in the Eastern conference, the Argentinean offensive midfielder has been frustrating his partners as he keeps the ball too long and tries to do everything by himself. That behavior is not unknown if you look back at this illustrious career but he needs to make everyone around him better.
Let the strikers frustrate themselves by not scoring on the chances you create for them instead of alienating Jack McInerney and Dominic Oduro early in the season.
Call it lack of trust, lack of chemistry but give it name and fix it. It comes back to previous articles and tweets I wrote in which I specifically state that Nacho is not a #10. Though the classical #10 will make mistakes and take risks, Piatti does not have that technical quality to play in that role and is more efficient as a second striker or winger, very dangerous around the box.
I must add that the team overall need to be more dynamic around the box and create spaces by making more runs. But that means that everyone needs to be on the same page as per intentions and effort.
If quick breaks and counter-attacks is your identity, embrace it.
The depth at midfield has had its disadvantages as team captain Patrice Bernier find himself on the bench. His situation confirms that he is not in Klopas' plan and footballistically, that is fine: it's the head coach's perogative.
Now, does it make sense that Marco Donadel, Calum Mallace and Eric Alexander are in front of Bernier when Nigel Reo-Coker plays right back? Personally no but I am biased as I enjoy the Brossard-native's passing skills and sharp distribution.
6 out of 10 ain't bad
6 teams out of 10 will be making the playoffs in the Eastern conference. Getting 3 points as soon as possible is crucial but this Impact team has nothing to do with the 2014 edition and is not far from breaking through. At the end, the concept of '' CCL Hangover '' is coming up prematurely as the teams has played differently in both competitions.
The MLS season is far from over.