Hyderabad FC may not be scoring goals but they are playing beautiful football | Indian Super League 2023-24
Hyderabad FC have had the worst start to an Indian Super League (ISL) season since their debut campaign in 2019-20 by losing five of the eight games that they have played so far.
The Nawabs have drawn three of their games and with just three points to their name, they sit at the bottom of the standings.
The Hyderabad FC fans, who flock to the Maidaan in Gachibowli in numbers, have been left distraught by the apathy shown by the players on the field when it comes to chasing down loose ends or trying to convert created chances into goals. But the fact of the matter is that the Nawabs are playing beautiful football.
Some of the transitions from defence to offence made by Hyderabad have been exquisite, and it would require audiences with less delicate hearts to not appreciate that. Long passes have become the order of the day, and their recipients add their signatures to them with their touches.
The results, quite unfortunately, are not going their way. In their previous game against Mohun Bagan Super Giant on Saturday, the Nawabs maintained an equal share of the possession and looked like they were about to thread the Mariners' defensive line on a lot of occasions.
However, the word 'almost' takes significance here as they failed to get even one ball past custodian Vishal Kaith. They put away a total of 12 shots, but only one was on target.
This statistic underscores the intent that the Nawabs have, only to be thwarted by their reticence in front of goal. How the supporters of the club can understand this best is by being patient, for Hyderabad are going through a transition at the moment.
The departure of former head coach Manolo Marquez has left a gaping hole in the day-to-day running of the club, and the new management has naturally taken some time to get comfortable.
Hyderabad FC have a lot to offer this season
Sportskeeda has learnt that there is some muted unrest brewing among the Hyderabad FC supporters, who claim that the new management now has eleven competitive games under their belt (eight in the ISL and three in the Durand Cup) and a return of just one win in them (3-0 against Tribhuwan Army in Durand) is not satisfactory by any means.
However, the fans of Hyderabad will be jumping the gun if they become impatient already. All great ideas take time to come to fruition, and the ones being introduced by new head coach Thangboi Singto and first-team coach Conor Nestor need to be given time to flourish.
Hyderabad, despite lacking an out-and-out creative midfielder in their side (the vacuum has grown after the departure of Spaniard Borja Herrera), have created a flurry of chances in all the games that they have played. The problem, however, has been in converting them into goals.
To be sure, the strikers' union, consisting of young Goan Aaren D'Silva and new signings Jonathan Moya and Felipe Amorim, is working overtime in training and trying hard to score goals, and a little bit of patience with them will be appreciated.
Moya, as is known, has already got off the mark owing to his late header against Punjab FC. D'Silva and Amorim have looked rusty, but one can only expect them to get better as the season progresses owing to the quality they have.
All three of the aforementioned missed the game against Mohun Bagan with injuries, and Australian winger Joe Knowles had to play as the lone centre-forward. He gave his all throughout the 90 minutes but could not quite put a ball past Kaith.
Hyderabad FC's midfield, led by skipper Joao Victor was a notch above their opponents as Petteri Pennanen and Sahil Tavora did the dirty work for their side and recycled balls consistently.
Victor has been one of the top players for Hyderabad FC this season, also filling in to help his centre-backs Chinglensana Singh and Nim Dorjee Tamang out in times of need. Unfortunately, Hyderabad's defence does not seem as watertight as it did last season.
The departures of Odei Onaindia and Akash Mishra to FC Goa and Mumbai City respectively seem to have left gaping holes, with no able replacements being found as yet.
Vignesh Dakshinamurthy, who was signed from Mumbai City, has failed to make the left-back role his own, with young Mizo midfielder Mark Zothanpuia becoming Singto's first choice in the position of late. This is a real shame given that the Yellow and Blacks had to pay an undisclosed transfer fee for the former.
Hyderabad FC managed to put in a few crosses against the Mariners on Saturday, but the problem yet again lay in putting them on target. It is no secret that the Nawabs have been near-awful in the final third, but they have progressed well, and one can expect them to yield results soon.
The supporters of the club would do well to be patient with the ideas of the new management and not let the unrest within them distract the players' headspace.