Didier Drogba made his MLS appearance as a Montreal Impact player against the Philadelphia Union. His entrance was cheered on, his charisma was felt instantaneously and for a few minutes, everyone just watched on to get a glimpse of magic.
At the end, only the result would be remembered as the Impact fall 1-0 at home to the Union , a loss they could not afford. With such a bad record during away games, maximizing points at home while taking advantage of games in hand put the Impact in an excellent but theoretical position.
Frank Klopas has stated many times that the team needs to avoid at all cost losing back to back games. With this weekend's loss, this has only happened twice this season. Not many teams have done better than Montreal but the frustration around that loss is palpable, tangible and emotionally draining for players, staff members, media and fans.
As the #FireKlopas has started to pick up more steam on twitter, it brings us to an interesting cross-road which doesn't mean that the club is thinking about it. But I wanted to talk about this trend and the fact that Klopas is definitely not liked.
#FireKlopas : Why it makes sense
As the squad was re-hauled during the 2014-2015 off-season, the club's expectations were getting higher and higher. The CONCACAF Champions League proved that making a cup run has become the club's speciality and challenged Club America for 135 out of 180 minutes.
As those expectations rose, results were needed and only came after 3 losses and 2 draws to start the MLS season. But within those results, a style of play was never really defined as the team depended on individual talent and an almost-perfect goal-scoring efficiency to get results.
That same "lack of philosophy" , if you want to call it, has shown its ugly head during road games in which the team has been underwhelming at best.
#FireKlopas : Why pulling the trigger is insane
It would be unfair to put all of the blame on one man as the Impact is too strong of an institution to give Klopas full control of the club's destiny in MLS. As much as recruitment decisions might come from the technical staff (Adam Braz and in extension Nick De Santis) and from the coaching staff (Frank Klopas), the decision process has always been described as being done as a unit.
The unfortunate impression that I have from the vibe around Klopas' critics is that he should take the blame on everything that has gone wrong for the Impact while not getting a shred of praise for the team's overnight transformation. Should we just ignore that there is a whole staff working with the head coach?
My character is closer to Kofi Annan's and other UN Secretary -Generals where I feel that the truth always lies in the middle. A long-term solution to build around a real playing philosophy is needed and it seemed that Klopas was a perfect fit to embrace that philosophy as said by then Sporting Director, Nick de Santis.
Having already broken the record for longest tenure held by an Impact coach in MLS, Frank Klopas might not be the most experienced coach before coming to Montreal. But the club has a responsibility to support its coaching staff through thick and thin.