New cards in Wilfred Nancy’s deck

We had a nice surprise when Balu Tabla’s late-match double allowed Montreal to defeat the Halifax Wanderers in the Canadian Championship quarter-finals on Wednesday night.

It’s not that we doubted the talent of the young man, but on the contrary. He’s come a long way this season.

Injuries, including a particularly stubborn thigh, made it possible for him to take his first outing with the team during this meeting.

For that reason alone, there is reason to rejoice at the return of the young prospect to the club.

Wilfried Nancy Blue has known a drum for a long time. It should be remembered that the midfielder made his debut at the age of 17.

What does the coach want to see from the midfielder at the end of the season?

Without hesitation, he replied: “Persistence and perseverance.” He scored two goals and helped us win this match.”

“He is a talented player, but he has to be consistent and that is his goal. We have to see if he can be consistent in negative times.”

“There is no more comparison”

When he arrived with the first team in 2017, Ballou was a gem and has been frequently compared to Alphonso Davies, and then to the Vancouver Whitecaps.

We know the rest. The first was transferred to FC Barcelona by Impact at the time and the second to Bayern Munich at the beginning of 2019 where he has thrived since then while Palo returned to Montreal in 2019 on loan to be transferred permanently.

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“The comparisons were a long time ago,” said Wilfred Nancy. There is no more comparison. He is a player who has to live in the moment and move forward.”

“He knows very well that expectations are good, but there are no others. And you can advance at any age.”

Since returning in 2019, Ballou has played only nine encounters with the team, including just one as a starter.

Not to mention we gave up a bit on his case, let’s just say the beautiful promises were behind him. He was also credited with his reputation as a tough player while forgetting that he was past his teens.

This long period of inactivity seemed to have brought out the best in the young man. We also got the impression we had another Balu Tabla ahead of us during the post-match press conference on Wednesday.

“You have to be professional, and that doesn’t mean it wasn’t,” Nancy insisted. But this requires work and rigor.”

more maturity

According to Samuel Peet, who crossed paths with Ballou when he arrived in Montreal in 2017, his young teammate has changed a lot this year.

“Of course Balo has been on the sidelines for a long time due to his injury, but even if he has been left out, he has appeared in every training and is always happy to be a member of the same team. If not directly involved.”

Upon his return from Barcelona, ​​Palo began to change according to Peet.

“He has come back and since then he has shown more maturity. He is training hard even though it is not part of the immediate plans.”

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In Ballou’s comeback plan, Wilfried Nancy stressed the importance of the U-23 team, something his predecessors did not have at their disposal.

“The U23s are a tool to help gamers perform well,” says Nancy. If I see a player needs minutes of play, I’ll send him along with U23 so he has the rhythm.”

“We saw with Baloo, Matko [Miljevic] et Lacey [Lappalainen] They lack rhythm. They can be in the squad or go under 23 as with players who have come back from injuries.”

Tess Larson

<p class="sign">"Tv geek. Certified beer fanatic. Extreme zombie fan. Web aficionado. Food nerd. Coffee junkie."</p>

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