Saturday, September 29, 2018

ISL 2018-19: With strong core and talented youth, onus on Miguel Angel Portugal to lead FC Pune City to first title

FC Pune City players in action against Jamshedpur FC during ISL 4. Image courtesy: ISL/SPORTZPICS

After failing to qualify for the Indian Super League semi-finals four years in a very row, FC Pune town finally skint the duck last season once they created it to the last-four beneath Ranko Popovic. The Serbian left the club at the tip of the season and therefore the Stallions roped in former Brazil U-17 and U-20 World Cup winning-coach Marcos Paqueta.

However, among a month, the Brazilian terminated his contract to hitch Brazilian giants Botafogo, going away Pune in a clumsy state of affairs. The club enraptured fleetly and brought in Miguel Angel Portuguese Republic, World Health Organization had left Old Delhi Dynamos at the tip of last season.

Much was expected from Old Delhi Dynamos last season when the Lions finished within the prime four within the 2 previous seasons before. However, the capital club finished in eighth place and additionally went call at the qualifying spherical within the Super Cup.

Despite finishing a unsatisfactory eight, Old Delhi terminated the season on the rear of a six-match undefeated run including credible attracts against 3 of the four semi-finalists yet as a 5-1 thrashing of metropolis. Portuguese Republic went back to Spain wherever he managed metropolis for a handful of months before Pune came vocation.

Despite the uncertainty close the coaching job employees, Pune did well to stay hold of their best players within the off-season. at the same time as ATK cooked variety of star players from alternative groups, the Stallions were able to win over their offensive combine of Marcelinho and Emiliano Alfaro to show call at the Pune orange for an additional season a minimum of.

Popovic heavily relied on captain Marcelinho and his deputy Alfaro last season and utilized an on the spot type of soccer to bring out the most effective within the couple. That meant managing to induce the ball to Marcelinho and Alfaro within the offensive third and hoping that the South Americans may invoke moments of magic. The couple fashioned a deadly partnership ahead of goal and combined to attain seventeen of thirty goals Pune scored last season.

Pune's strength clothed  to be their weakness come back the semi-final clash against Bengaluru. Marcelinho and Alfaro were like an expert bound by the well-drilled Bengaluru defence and while not a thought B to fall back on, Pune lost 3-1 on mixture.

Pune have addressed  the over-reliance on their offensive combine by sign language Iain philosopher, ISL's uncomparable top-scorer, yet as India international Robin Singh to require a number of the pressure off.

While philosopher is ill  from a knee injury which is able to sideline him till the tip of the year, his presence within the team are going to be key. within the Canadian, Pune have a tried goal-scorer and a player World Health Organization has expertise in taking part in in huge matches.

The 40-day break in Dec and January will give philosopher with time to induce acquainted to Portugal's type of play. once he will come to the team, philosopher are going to be sort of a new sign language for the club.

In new coach Portuguese Republic, Pune have an instructor World Health Organization prefers a possession-based type of play. whereas it took him time to implement his type of play in Old Delhi, his facet scored twenty seven goals with solely the four semi-finalists able to manage additional. The challenge for him is to be able to get the Pune team, wont to being additional direct, to play the pass, and to try and do it in pace.

Portugal's Old Delhi, however, had the worst defensive record as he saw his defence ship in thirty seven goals last season. With Pune, defence will not be a headache for the European. In Vishal Kaith, he includes a reliable shot-stopper World Health Organization finished last season with seven cleansheets, most within the league.

Gurtej Singh and Rafa Lopez fashioned a reliable centre-back pairing ahead of Kaith. With Lopez going away for Spain at the tip of the season, Pune have signed former Bolton Wanderers and Nottingham Forrest player Matt Mills to switch the European. The additionally brought on board Martin Bartholomeu Dias to grant them choices within the heart of defence.

In the full-back positions, Sahil Panwar and Sarthak Golui repaid the religion placed on them by Popovic last season because the couple enjoyed a fruitful season. Pune have signed the full-fledged combine of Ashutosh Mehta and Keenan Almeida to feature to their defensive ranks.

Marcos Tebar was one amongst Pune's best players last season however the European wasn't pleased with however he was born to the bench for each the semi-finals and after left the club to rejoin Dynamos. His exit may be a loss to the team as he would have flourished beneath Portugal's tutelage within the heart of heart. Pune have brought on former Celta Vigo player Jonathan Vila to switch Tebar.

Deployed in a very defensive heart role by Popovic, Adil Khan became a significant part of the Pune facet. The Goan, World Health Organization may play in defence, acted because the good foil for Tebar because the couple determined play from deep. Khan additionally established to be a threat from set-pieces and was Pune's third-highest goalscorer last season with four to his name. The headache are going to be on Khan and Vila to form the Pune heart tick. to produce competition to the couple, Pune have signed India U-23 player Ravi Shankar Sampingiraj. Pune additionally maintained the services of Marko Stankovic and 21-year-old Rohit Kumar, World Health Organization affected in his debut season.

Perhaps the players World Health Organization most get pleasure from Portugal's arrival are going to be the young Indian players within the Pune facet. At Delhi, Portuguese Republic allowed the likes of Lallianzuala Chhangte and Nandhakumar to play intrepidly and therefore the couple created their probabilities count. In Pune, Portuguese Republic can have AN equally gifted combine of wingers in Ashique Kuruniyan and new singing Nikhil Poojari to figure on along side reserve squad forward, Jakob Vanlalhimpuia World Health Organization affected Portuguese Republic within the season.

On paper, Pune have a balanced facet with a powerful core and promising young abilities capable of mounting a title challenge. What has to be seen is however quickly Portuguese Republic manages to induce his new team to adapt to his type of play.

FC Pune town squad

Goalkeepers: Vishal Kaith, Anuj Kumar, Kamaljit Singh

Defenders: Ashutosh Mehta, Gurtej Singh, Lalchhuanmawia Fanai, Martin Bartholomeu Dias, Matt Mills, table game Dorjee Tamang, Sahil Panwar, Sarthak Golui, Keenan Almeida

Midfielders: Marko Stankovic, Alwyn martyr, Rohit Kumar, Adil Khan, Ravi Shankar Sampingiraj, Jonathan Vila

Strikers: Marcelinho, Emiliano Alfaro, Ashique Kuruniyan, Robin Singh, archangel Fernandes, Jakob Vanlalhimpuia, Diego Taurus, Nikhil Poojari, Iain Hume

Updated Date: Sep twenty nine, 2018

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