MLS News: Former Aston Villa manager takes Garde at MLS side Montreal Impact
What's the story?
Ex-Aston Villa and Lyon manager Remi Garde has been announced as the new manager of Major League Soccer Eastern Conference team Montreal Impact.
The appointment of the Frenchman was made public knowledge on Wednesday, the 8th of November, via Twitter. Garde replaces former Impact Manager Mauro Biello, who was a popular man at the club.
This is following Impact's dreadful campaign in the Eastern Conference this year, which saw them end the season in 9th place.
In case you didn't know...
When Tim Sherwood was sacked by Aston Villa a few games into the 2015/16 Premier League season following a poor start, former Arsenal footballer Garde (he made 31 appearances for the Gunners) was chosen as the man to take over the reins at Villa. This was because Garde had impressed in his previous spell with Ligue 1 side Lyon FC.
Unfortunately, his time at Villa was a failure, mainly because club owner Randy Lerner refused to help him in the January transfer market that season, even though he had promised to do so. Garde was sacked after 20 games at Villa Park and Aston Villa were relegated to the Championship that season.
Since then, he hasn't managed any club, until now.
Montreal Impact are one of three Canadian clubs in the American MLS, and made their debut in the league in 2012.
They play their home games at Saputo Stadium, which is named after their owner Joey Saputo.
Impact's highest finish in the Eastern Conference was 3rd, in 2015, and they have never won the MLS Cup. Their biggest success so far has been their runners-up finish in the CONCACAF Champions League, also in 2015.
The most prestigious footballer to have played for Impact in their short history is former Chelsea player and legend Didier Drogba, who played for the club from 2015 to 2016.
The heart of the matter
At a press conference two days ago, Remi was unveiled as the Montreal Impact manager.
Impact Owner Saputo said that the club believe Garde’s tremendous experience, vision, knowledge of the game and also intimate understanding of youth development would give Montreal Impact a new beginning 'at every level'.
Garde himself professed he was 'very happy' to become Montreal Impact's manager, and that he would bring the 'convictions' and 'ideas' that he had developed from his time at Lyon as both a manager and a player before that, to the MLS side.
He also stated he would apply the 'attacking philosophy' instilled within him in France to Impact's team as well.
With Montreal Impact not qualifying for the MLS Play-offs, Garde can now prepare the club for the new league campaign in March 2018 to his liking, with over five months to do so.
A few new signings in the MLS transfer window would be clever in my opinion. The current players at Impact are not good enough, as 2017 proved.
This news about Garde and Montreal Impact was a bit of a surprise, as there were no rumours linking him with the manager's job.
However, it is a relatively big name for Impact, considering Garde's previous success at Lyon FC and his reputation from his playing days at Arsenal and France.
Hopefully Garde can help guide Montreal Impact into the play-off spots in the Eastern Conference in the 2018 season. Who knows, they may even be in with a shot at winning the MLS Cup.
As a Villa fan myself, I would forgive Remi for wanting to forget his time at Aston Villa. I would tell Montreal Impact fans that, in my opinion, he was not to blame for the club's terrible results and subsequent relegation.
He is an exciting young coach who has plenty to offer to Montreal Impact.