What did Thierry Henry say about Columbus Crew coach Wilfried Nancy?

Columbus Crew They set off in search of continental silverware on Saturday night, seeking to become only the fourth American team to lift the CONCACAF Champions Cup.

The Crew enters 2024 as MLS Cup champions and the hottest team in the league, transformed under the guidance of the head coach Wilfred Nancy. The Frenchman joined ahead of the 2023 campaign and led his side to the MLS Cup as Columbus beat Los Angeles FC in last year's final.

His first coaching role came in 2021 when fellow countryman T.JHenry Henry He stepped down as head coach of CF Montreal. Nancy, who had previously been part of Henry's coaching staff, has stepped up. Speaking to The Athletic, Champions League winner Henry praised Nancy's incredible rise.

“For him to be the first black coach to win an MLS Cup,” Henry said.I couldn't be prouder to be a small part of his journey“.

“It's important to have your philosophy… Will has his philosophy, it doesn't matter what tactics and form you have.”

Wilfred Nancy's philosophy distinguished him

When Thierry Henry took over as coach of Montreal, he brought in his coaching staff from a previous position at Monaco. However, he chose to keep Nancy, who was serving as first-team assistant coach at the time.

I kept him because I knew his mind, and I knew where he wanted to goHenry explained. “My philosophy is very close to his, so I knew there would be no conflict or so from the beginning. The one thing that was very important to me was to maintain the essence of the club.

What is that philosophy? Wilfred Nancy, with some exceptions, adhered to Front foot, high octane 3-4-3 formation Which he started in Montreal. His team takes risks and looks to dominate matches, both on and off the pitch.

During his eighteen months at Columbus Crew, the duo of Aidan Morris and Darlington Nagbe were the centerpiece of his team, both positionally and stylistically. The two central midfielders are skilled on the ball and relentless when it comes to winning it back, covering the Earth at an alarming rate. However, within these strict requirements, Nancy allows his team to play informally, interpreting his established principles as they see fit.

“The way I see it, it's expression, having freedom, creating something, You need concepts, and within concepts, then players can move freely, because they respect the game and they respect the concept. The Columbus coach recently explained that it's a matter of attitude and relationship.

The first black coach to lift the MLS Cup has introduced the league to a new, fearless style of play and it's reaping the rewards. However Crews performed on Saturday night, his impact on Major League Soccer and soccer in the United States is undeniable and his place in the league's Coaching Hall of Fame is beyond doubt.


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