The players want to keep Nancy

The few players who participated in the end-of-season review went there to plead for a return of Wilfried Nancy.

Of the number, Djordje Mihailovic is the one who offered the most vibrant tribute to the one who helped him become a man over the past two seasons.

“He’s unlike any coach I’ve had in the past. He understands people, he takes time. During my first weeks here, I needed to mature and he understood that.

« He understood me like no other coach and that’s what helped me the most to progress as a player. »


We noticed it all season, the atmosphere was good within the group. The players worked hard, sure, but they mostly did it with a smile and that’s Nancy’s doing.

“My first impression was of a very humble and down-to-earth man. He is very laid back and laid back. He loves the game in a wonderful way,” said Alistair Johnston, who arrived last winter.

Photo credit: Joël Lemay / QMI Agency

Samuel Piette, who has known Nancy for over ten years, brought up an interesting point when talking about what her coach has brought to the club.

“It’s the feeling of being well in a club, in a locker room, of not playing while always feeling judged by a coach. Apart from Mauro Biello, it’s something I’ve always felt in other coaches.

“Everyone wants Wilfried to stay. He has changed almost everything at the club since his arrival, his philosophy is important for the group,” added Kamal Miller.


We understand better what Piette means when we ask Nancy to explain the philosophy he implemented when he arrived in 2021.

For him, there is a value that is at the heart of his concept and he does not budge from it.

« Trust. Without it, we cannot move forward. The players have given us the opportunity to have that confidence and there is a natural confidence that has taken hold and that is essential.

« My way of playing does not come from another planet, it is completely normal, but I have strong convictions. »

« The best season of my career » – Samuel Piette –


But if we want to dig into the details, we must admit that the implementation of his playing philosophy, focused on possession and offensive construction from the back, took time to put in place.

It’s completely normal since it’s a way of playing that is very effective, but counter-intuitive. Alistair Johnston has often mentioned that he must have forgotten everything he knew when he arrived in Montreal.

“Playing in this system really challenged me to discover new frontiers. It was a great springboard for me offensively.”

The Canadian side also underlined the way in which this philosophy of play was established in an effective way.

“We saw the growth between year one and year two. If he comes back, we’ll be very excited, but if he leaves, we wish him well and I don’t think anyone is going to blame him. »


As the players went to the podium before Wilfried Nancy and Olivier Renard, they were questioned a bit as if Nancy had left. That said, it’s still not entirely clear if he’s staying.

If he chose to try a new adventure, who could replace him with? Maybe we should look internally.

“It could be the best solution because there would be continuity, but it is not because a person is an assistant that he necessarily has the same ideas”, warned Samuel Piette who understands the interest that arouses Nancy among the other MLS clubs.

“I’m not surprised, it’s the Crew, Houston or another MLS team. Several teams would like to have a coach like Wilfried Nancy and Montreal too.


It’s less clear

Victor Wanyama is one who seemed on his way out since he confirmed a few weeks ago that he would not be back in 2023.

His speech had however changed when taking stock of the season and it could well be that his statement was a gamble.

« I’m going to take a vacation and I’ll look at my options with my family and then we’ll see. I have discussed with the club and I have not made a decision yet.

Pressed to clarify, the 31-year-old veteran then indicated that he was to meet his agent today to discuss the continuation.

Wanaima hit three million dollars this week, but a comeback would almost certainly come at a lower cost. At his age, he might be tempted to land one last big contract in Europe.

Photo credit: Joël Lemay / QMI Agency

Canada and the Cup

Alistair Johnston and Kamal Miller are two others who could flirt with Europe if they have a good World Cup with Canada.

“For all the players, the World Cup is the window for Europe, acknowledged Johnston. At the same time, I don’t think about that when I play for Canada, I just think about winning the match for my country, « he argued in very correct French before continuing in English to avoid misunderstandings. ‘Express.

“I’ve always had aspirations to play in Europe and I’ve always been clear about it, it’s a dream. This club has given me a great opportunity and I enjoy my time here. No matter what happens, I’ll be a winner. »

What we do know is that the team will have a different face in 2023 and Samuel Piette knows it too.

“I would have liked to cut and paste next season, but there are players who have even bigger goals. Like Djordje, the transfer was the thing for him.

“You don’t want to change a winning formula, but you have no choice. It’s unknown, but when Wilfried arrived it was also unknown and we see what happened.

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