Farewell to Bengaluru FC's midfield maestro Johnny Menyongar
The fact that I write this with a heavy heart, considering the fact that I didn’t know that a man named Johnny Menyongar existed merely a year ago, is testament to the profound connection the club Bengaluru FC and its players has developed with its ever-growing fan-base. The club announced earlier today that the Liberian wouldn’t continue playing for the Blues next season.
Playing in possibly one of the most physically strenuous and under-appreciated positions on the football pitch, Menyongar’s effortless ball-control and ability to out-fox his opponents in and around the half-way line ensured that Bengaluru FC won the mid-field battle on a regular basis throughout the 90 minutes. His immaculate passing and exquisite through-balls gave “Westwood’s Blue Army” a lot to cheer for all through the season.
Having signed for the newly crowned Champions in mid-July last year, Menyongar scored two all-important goals – one apiece against Salgaocar and Mohammedan. He brought a semblance of sanity to the otherwise chaotic mid-field battle typical of an I-League match with his calm demeanour. Apart from contributing immensely to the lethal Bengaluru FC offense he stood strong in front of the rock-solid centre-back pairing of John Johnson and Curtis Osano, despite standing at only 5 feet 5 inches off the ground.
Here’s a Bengaluru FC posession video in their game against United SC. This is the epitome of Menyongar’s inch-perfect orchestration in mid-field.
Rumours of the club in talks with 3-4 players from England started doing the rounds following the announcement that came as a shock to several of the Bengaluru FC faithful. Adding substance to the rumours is Ashley Westwood’s travel itinerary as he travels back home where he was reported as saying that he would consult his peers and scout for players to strengthen his squad.
At his time here in the Garden City, Menyongar has not only won the I-League title, but has won all our hearts – truly the unsung hero of the Champions. On behalf of all Bengaluru FC fans, I’d like to wish him all the best for the rest of his career. Replacing the 33-year-old genius will be a tough task for Ashley Westwood.
Farewell, Johnny Menyongar, with a tear.