Will the past determine the future of Piatti?
Montreal finally ended their seven-game losing streak (now 4-14-5, 17 pts), but are still at the bottom of the Eastern Conference despite beating the Chicago Fire 1-0 at home. Whether this win will boost the team’s morale in order to give them a positive attitude facing the final segment of this season, it remains to be seen.
This victory will also be remembered as it signaled the debut of Argentine Ignacio Piatti, Montreal’s newest DP. Brought on to solve the Impact’s deficiencies attacking goal, Piatti introduced himself the wrong way as he declared that he hoped to make a good impression with Montreal in the hope to gain a contract with a more glamourous team like New York or Miami as soon as possible.
It was a gaffe that made the Impact fanbase doubtful about Piatti’s commitment with the Canadian side. Regardless of his intentions beyond 2014, the 29-year-old Argentine is now at Stade Saputo, and fans are hoping he will settle into the lineup helping the team get out from the doldrums.
What kind of player is Piatti and what can Impact fans expect from him? Piatti is a gifted footballer, a fine dribbler, that only recently started to show his full potential. After a first, failed stint in Europe with the French side Saint-Etienne, Piatti made a name for himself with Independiente.
The good displays at home in Argentina gained him the chance to play in Serie A with Lecce in 2010. But his stint in Italy was unsuccessful. Piatti experienced a lot of up and downs in the Italian first division, failing to exhibit his talent and showing just flashes of brilliance during his two seasons stint.
His Serie A high came on December 2010 when, during a home game against Chievo, he was able to score twice, securing his team finals result of a 3-2 victory. However, Piatti quickly felt out of favor with his manager, Gigi De Canio, because of his of mixed performances. The relationship between player and manager reached the low point on December 12, 2010 in a match against Napoli.
During the game, with the score at 0-0, Piatti had an attempt saved by Napoli’s goalkeeper. In that sequence, the Argentine attacking midfielder made his manager crazy, opting to go for an individual effort rather than provide an easy assist for his teammate, the Nigerian forward Edward Ofere, who was unmarked just in front of the net.
From that point, the Piatti-De Canio relationship completely broke down. The strained relationship between the Argentine and his manager lead to a substantial benching of the attacking midfielder for the remainder of that season. Things don’t get better the following season, as Piatti struggled again until his contract ended at the end of that campaign.
Generally speaking, Piatti is a good footballer, a technically gifted one: he can easily overcome 2 or 3 players with his dribbling and he’s also able to provide good through balls. The Argentine has the skills to become a playmaker and make the difference on the field. He’s suited to play as a No. 10 trequartista behind the forward in a 4-2-3-1, but his ability and his speed with the ball make him also able to be successfully lined up out wide in a three-man offense.
He already showed some sparks of his talent this past weekend in the 53rd minute against the Fire on his MLS debut. Surely, Piatti needs to find the right environment to perform well and made an impact, a thing that lacked at Lecce where, tactically, he was not a fit into his team’s tactics.
That said, in the end, Piatti has now arrived to become a key player for the Montreal Impact for the next several years. If the tactical approach in Montreal is there for him to thrive, with good finishers alongside him, they should get more out of Piatti than seen in Europe.
Michele Tossani is a football tactician with a Ph.D. in History. Michele resides in Florence, Italy and is a tactical analyst for Futbol-Tactico.com