In a shocking move, AS Monaco have elected to fire well-respected manager Leonardo Jardim after four seasons with the club. Monaco currently sits 18th in the Ligue One table, even though they are also battling in the Champions League, and certainly need a change of some kind to salvage an uneven season.
Team Vice President and CEO Vadim Vasilyev said in a deeply respectful statement that, "Leonardo has established himself on the bench of AS Monaco as a reference in Europe and leaves behind a very positive balance sheet. His passage will remain as one of the most beautiful pages in the history of the club. Leonardo will still be part of the AS Monaco family."
The now-former manager added that he was grateful for his time with the Red and White. "I've always given my very best and worked with passion. We achieved some great victories together and I'll always keep those memories. Daghe Munegu."
CONFIRMED: Leonardo Jardim has been sacked as Monaco manager pic.twitter.com/jpGreTSa5Q— B/R Football (@brfootball) October 11, 2018
Perhaps Jardim's greatest hour at Monaco was seeing his team do the seemingly impossible and win the Ligue One title in 2016-17. Led by Premier League wash-out Falcao and youngster Kylian Mbappé, Monaco was able to dethrone the mammoth Paris Saint-Germain and instantly became everyone's favorite team in the French league.
With all that being said, Jardim was in some ways a victim of circumstance at Monaco. He was absolutely brilliant at cultivating young talent within his youth academy and sides and helped introduce the soccer world to some absolute diamonds like Anthony Martial, Bernardo Silva, Thomas Lemar, Fabinho, and the aforementioned Mbappé. Just imagine how incredible this team would be today if the powers that be could have held on to some of these players. They certainly would not be in the situation they currently find themselves, mixed up with Reims, Nantes, and Guingamp at the bottom of the famously tepid Ligue One.
Leonardo Jardim is an elite coach of the highest regard. He will certainly land on his feet, and perhaps, find a better job in the near future. There is, of course, the powder keg in Manchester that is bound to erupt at any moment. Maybe he could find himself working once again with Martial and the Red Devils. Maybe he can take over at Bayern Munich or even Real Madrid, two other teams that are vastly underperforming under new managers.
The point is that Jardim is an exceptional mind in this sport and he could easily turn around a system that is ready and eager for change. He has the winning pedigree, but more importantly, he has an eye on young talent that is simply unrivaled in today's game.
On the other hand we have Monaco, a team that is reportedly looking to a former player to relight the torch, that being Thierry Henry. The French great started his career in the Red and White before making the move first to Juventus and later to a little club in London called Arsenal. It would certainly be interesting for a rookie manager to take over such a club, but shouldn't he hone his head coaching chops in a lesser league like Stephen Gerard and Frank Lampard are currently doing? This could work spectactularly well or could end up completing obliterating the club.
For more on Jardim and other coaching changes, including whether or not Thierry Henry will actually step in at Monaco, keep it locked on to FancredSports.com.