Tag Archives: II

Kerala Blasters – ISL Season II Preview

Kerala Blasters, Hero ISL, Indian Super league, Season, 2, II, Football, Soccer, League, India, kochi, Kerala

 

 

Kerala Blasters, Hero ISL, Indian Super league, Season, 2, II, Football, Soccer, League, India

Kerala Blasters had an amazing first season, they exceeded all expectations by reaching the finals of first season. Blighted with ownership issues KBFC remained low key during the ISL auction but picked up some good players in the player draft. They have roped in an experienced Coach in Peter Taylor who will replace David James who was the marquee player/ manger last season. Trevor Morgan, former East Bengal coach remains as the assistant coach.

 

 

Blasters have recruited former Westham Goal Keeper Stephen Bywater, who will replace David James as the foreign keeper this season. Experienced custodian Sandip Nandy and Mohun Bagan goal Keeper Shilton Paul are the other goal keepers in the squad. Bywater will be the first choice keeper, otherwise we will see Sandip Nandy replacing him in the lineup.

 

 

Blasters have recruited former New Castle defender Peter Ramage who is expected to play a crucial role this season. Former Spanish International and World Cup winner Carlos Marchena (Marquee Player), Sandesh Jhinghan and Marcus Williams are the other stand out players in defense.

 

 

In the middle of the park, Blasters have a variety of options. Portuguese player Joao Coimbra and former Barca trained Josu is expected to start in the middle. CK Vineeth with his blistering pace could earn spot on the left. The other options in midfield are Cavin Lobo, Shankar, Mehtab Hussian Ishfaq Ahmed, Pulga and Peter Carvalho.

 

 

The real struggle for Blasters last season was scoring goals. They managed to score only 11 goals last season and out of that 5 were scored by Iain Hume who has then moved on to reigning champions ATK. Management seems to have put in a lot of thought to avoid the goal drought by signing some good talent upfront. The forward line-up of Chris Dagnall, former Arsenal man Sanchez Watt, Antonio German, Mohammed Rafi and Manandeep Singh, is quite a formidable one.

 

 

Blasters conceded only 11 goals last season, the lowest among all the teams. They will be looking to improve upon this record this season. With a great home support, Blasters could again be the surprise package of this season.

Indian Super League Season II – Northeast United FC Team Preview

North East United, Hero ISL, Indian Super league, Season, 2, II, Football, Soccer, League, India

 

North East United takes on Kerala Blasters in their Indian Super League season II inaugural match. Here is a preview of the team from Aditya Shandilya.

North East United, Hero ISL, Indian Super league, Season, 2, II, Football, Soccer, League, IndiaNortheast United FC had a dismal outing in the inaugural season of ISL last year despite starting out well as they finished at the bottom of the table. Though it was hardly a reflection of the talent at their disposal. Their management now had put disappointment behind and rebuild the squad with some good acquisitions. The heart of the highlanders remains the northeastern players as all domestic players are from that region of country.

Starting from the goal post, in Lalthuammawia Ralte of I League runners up Bengaluru FC they notched up a jewel. Ralte appeared in each and every game of BFC this season and managed a lot of clean sheets. Gennaro Bracigliano has been handed a goalkeeping coach cum player role this season. His quality was obvious in ISL 1 with Chennaiyin FC and it provides north eastern club with added options along with their young Kerala born GK T P Rehenesh. They have the advantage of having two good Indian goalkeeper in Ralte and Rehenesh.
In defence they have retained Miguel Garcia and snatched Kerala Blasters FC most reliable defender in ISL 1 Cedric Hengbert. Garcia is the player of the season for Sporting club de Goa this time around and is credible center back. Hengbert and Garcia may come up as a strong defensive wall in, if  they click. Along with them will be Aibor Khongjee who was recently is called for national duty against Iran after his stellar show for Shillong Lajong in I-league. If Farias go for four center back then Robin Gurung , Raju Yumnum and Zohmingliana Ralte have to compete for the spot in opening 11. While Ralte is centre back who is good in the air on the other hand Robin and Yumnum are left back with Yumnum played 16 games for Pune FC last season.
In midfield they have their marquee signing Simao Sabrosa to rely upon and if he still match fit then he can team up with Bruno Arias who switched from Delhi Dynamos. But the pick of the auction for highlanders, Seityasen Singh will be the key  man in midfield if the team have to succeed. His performance in I league for Royal Wahingdoh make him the second best midfielder after Eugeneson Lyngdoh and team’s assistant manager Santosh kashyap will know what Seityasen exactly brings to the team. Sanju Pradhan, Boithang Haokip and Marlingki Suting provide options in the flank alongside Bengaluru FC’s Siam Hangal and Alen Deory. Midfield looks very versatile and experienced as well.
Coming to the forward line, the surprise grab by Northeast United is Nicolas Velez. The Argentine is in tremendous form for Warrior FC of S league by netting 21 goals in 26 appearances. If he can replicate the same showing in ISL then he will turn out to be the buy of the season. In Holicharan Narzary we have a very talented partner who is now pretty successful in the national scene as well. Boubacar Sanogo, their latest signing is also a goal machine, he may not be at his best but provides much needed experience in forward line while Ghana’s Francis Dadzie is also a young prolific striker in good form. This makes North East’s forward line a formidable one.
So now it is up to NEUFC to come out all guns blazing in Indian Super League.

Ratings :

 

Goalkeeper : 

8

 

 

They have picked good foreign and a best Indian goalkeeper and so there is less to worry on this front.

 

Defence : 6

They are short on options as far as foreign players are concerned. Injury to any of them will be a huge concern.

Midfield : 7

 

They will rely lot on their marquee player Simao Sabrosa and Seityasen Singh. These players have to perform for highlanders to succeed. Seityasen is key between their transition between defense and attack and as he has been in good form recently.

Forward : 7

 

They have the players who can score goals but lack of Indian players up front may cause problem in cramped tournament like this. Injury to Holicharan Narzary  is injured and this could disrupt their plans. His timely recovery is important for Cesar Farias’s team.

Coach:
As far as Cesar Farias is concerned, the ex Venezuela coach have a reputation of bringing less fancied squad to the top as coach of Venezuela junior and senior teams. His assistant Santosh Kashyap also made his name during his stint at Royal Wahingdoh during last I league season. Both

believes in strong midfield so they may go for 4-4-2 or 3-4-3 formation.

Formation & starting line-up : 4-4-2 or 3-4-3

 

Ralte, Garcia, Aibor, Raju, Hengbert, Simao, Bruno, Seityasen, Sanju Pradhan, Holicharan, Nicolas

 

Player to watch:

 

Nicolas velez. He is well acclaimed striker as of now and many Asian clubs will be keeping a keen eye on him. Easily makes him the most important player for Northeast United. Last time around highlanders struggled due to their lack of goals, mainly due to the failure of James Keene and Durga Boro. Hopefully Velez will step-up and make up for the paucity of goals for North East United.

Tactial Preview of Mumbai City FC – ISL Season II

Mumbai City FC, Hero ISL, Indian Super league, Season, 2, II, Football, Soccer, League, India
 

Anelka’s inexperience as a manager would be Mumbai City FC’s biggest weakness this season says Maulik Mehta. Here is an excellent tactical preview of Mumbai City FC from him. Read on.

Mumbai City Football Club the team with a lot to prove this season!! Restricted by injuries to key players in the inaugural season their campaign didn’t had a happy ending.The club’s hopes were dashed last season as they finished second from the bottom of the table in the eight-team competition. However, having assembled a squad of powerful, attacking players for the second season, the club looks a rejuvenated side aiming to finish their unfinished business.

Mumbai City FC, Hero ISL, Indian Super league, Season, 2, II, Football, Soccer, League, IndiaPersonally with the embarrassment of riches MCFC possess in attack they should employ a 4-1-3-2 formation or a 4-4-2 diamond primarily at home or against goal shy teams who come to sit back and defend. Norde & Moritz should cut inside allowing the fullbacks to net in crosses from wide and form a potent attacking threat. However, the presence of only one defensive midfielder in the form of Juan Aguilera will make them susceptible on the break. Also, non-tracking back by wingers could be an issue that could be looked upon by the opponents. Any alterations could include the involvement of L.Ralte on the wings or as an attacking midfielder that could allow Sunil Chhetri to form a terrifying partnership with the French superstar. Ashutosh Mehta & L.Mawia could be used in the right and left full back spots especially when the games come thick & fast. However any injury to Subrata Paul would disrupt their whole campaign since their backups Albino & Debjith are young & lack big match experience. It would be fascinating & interesting to see who replaces and how they cope when Subrata Paul isn’t around.

Mumbai City FC, Hero ISL, Indian Super league, Season, 2, II, Football, Soccer, League, India

A more holistic approach could be used during away matches where you need to make sure you don’t concede early and keep the match tight and counter attack the rivals. They can use a 4-4-1-1 formation without the ball and a 4-2-3-1 formation during ball possession which could keep them compact as well as maintain stability during attack as well as in defense. They could use piqiounne & subhash singh mainly in the second half to hold the ball up and run at the defenses which could eventually lead them to a goal or two.Also Gabriel Fernandes mainly a right wing player known for its attacking prowess as well as tracking back could come on to preserve the goal lead.

Personally speaking I can’t see Mumbai city employing a back 3 with the lack of wing backs slots. The Indian pair of Gabriel & Rowilson along with much talented Brandon Fernandes could be used predominantly from the bench.

Mumbai City FC, Hero ISL, Indian Super league, Season, 2, II, Football, Soccer, League, India

Anelka and Piqiounne could be used in alternate matches however I don’t see both of them starting in a single match. Also, Subhash Singh with the wealth of stamina and pace could be used from the start, however I do question his ball holding skills. Honestly Subhash Singh could be destructive on the right flank or as a 2nd striker. The likes of Mortiz, Norde, Chettri & Cmovs would remain the players to watch out for MCFC this season.

This season MCFC may not be the favorites but they do have a great team lined up. However it remains to be seen how Nicolas Anelka manages and sets his team up. Most ISL Teams have Managers with wealth of experience & it remains to be seen how Anelka copes with the demanding nature of the league. This could turn out to be their biggest weaknesses. Also, they do have a tendency to concede 3goals though their requisite power packed midfield has the capability to score 4 and win it for the team.

Personally, I do think they will finish just outside the top 4 not because they don’t have a great side mainly because other sides are much stronger than MCFC.

Follow the author of this preview – Maulik Mehta on twitter here.

Lucio is the Marquee Player for FC Goa

Lucio, Brazil, ISL, Hero,  Inter Milan, Bayern Munich, FC Goa, Leverkusen, Football, Goa, Soccer, Champions League, Winner, Indian Super League, Season 2, IILucimar Ferreira da Silva (born 8 May 1978), commonly known as Lúcio has signed by the Goan franchise for the second edition of ISL.

We had reported about this development earlier.

The Goan Franchise has gone ahead and confirmed the signing.

In his career spanning over 17 years, he has played for top European clubs like Bayern Munich, Inter Milan and Bayer Leverkusen. He last played for Palmeiras in Brazil. Lucio won the 2002 World Cup with the Seleção, Champions League with Inter Milan in the 2009-10 season and a league treble with Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga. This is a top class marquee player. Good luck to FC Goa for the second season.