It has not happen many times that a press conference generated so much talk but Garde brought up many interesting points but was also very transparent in his opinions about his squad. His comments generated some heated debate and difference of opinions among fans and reporters as well.
One stand out point that needs to be looked into is work ethic in practices. Garde brought up the fact that he did not see what he wanted out of those players who are not starters. He expects those players to prove themselves in practice and display that they deserve a spot in the starters.
He also pointed out some specific players including Dominic Oduro, Matteo Mancosu, Anthony Jackson-Hamel and Raheem Edwards. First off, Garde pointed out that he had made it clear that he would have liked to trade the player prior to the beginning of the season. He does recognize that the player has created scoring chances for himself in the little minutes he has played but also pointed out that the player did not convert those opportunities.
For the strikers Matteo Mancosu and Anthony Jackson-Hamel, Garde revealed information that was already somewhat known. Mancosu was injured and was not completely available for the coach to put in the game. On the other hand, Jackson is fulfilling the coach's expectations. Garde wants to see more out of Jackson during training sessions. It will be interesting to see if he faces adversity properly or if he folds under the pressure.
Finally, Raheem Edwards was briefly discussed by coach Garde. It was revealed earlier this week that Edwards expressed his displeasure with lack of playing time, but it is unclear if this information was true or purely a rumor. Garde although did reveal that the player was going through some off-pitch related difficulties. Garde is hopeful that the player will make it through this period as he expects big things of the young Canadian midfielders.
All in all, happy or angry, Garde put it all on the table and I do think he had relayed these points to the players prior to this press conference. I think by making the team issues public he's hoping it fuels the fire the players need to improve. The transparency is this presser was key and like it or not players not have the chance to prove Garde wrong publicly as well.
Good news on the injury front. Rod Fanni began practicing with the team again. Getting the veteran back in the lineup is going to be a key factor in May with 3 home games out of 5 and two road games against teams currently struggling.
Kyle Fisher, who underwent surgery last January, started running again. His recovery process will be long but it is exciting to see him getting back into training. The young center back surprised fans last season with his quality and warrior spirit. Getting him back will be a good thing.