East Bengal ended their otherwise ignominious league campaign on a good note as they inflicted a 4-0 defeat on minnows Mumbai FC. Goals from Bikash Jairu, Wedson Anselme and a brace from Willis Deon Plaza saw the Red and Golds finish their season on a high after the departure of Trevor Morgan.
Morgan had faced the brunt of the fans as he overlooked the new signings and continued to field a team as per his preference. The irate fans demanded results but the team failed to conjure anything fruitful. Consequently, a number of crucial departments lacked the firepower to deliver on matchdays.
A significant bunch of the players never made the cut and continued to be on the bench even when the team kept losing. On the other hand, there were players who in spite of their good form, were dropped from the starting eleven to make way for others. Team selection was a major worry as the coach seemed out of ideas.
These factors sabotaged any potential title winning aspirations of the team and they ended up in the 3rd spot.
As East Bengal gear up for the Federation Cup, we take a look at five players who should start every game to add consistency to the team.
#5 Arnab Mondal
A long-serving member of the club, Arnab Mondal has time and again proved his mettle in the centre-back position. He has flourished in the Indian Super League setup with Atletico de Kolkata but has not been able to make the cut this season, owing to injuries and lack of form.
His reading of the game was there to see in the triumphant Calcutta Football League campaign for the Red and Golds. His astute positioning imparts an upper hand in one on one situations. Subsequently, he is currently the first choice of coach Stephen Constantine for the national side.
In the upcoming Federation Cup, Mondal should be given a permanent spot alongside Ivan Bukenya to consolidate the central defence. Veterans like Gurwinder Singh and Anwar Ali should not be risked in the upcoming tournament, allowing Mondal to gel in with the team.
Since East Bengal seem most vulnerable after the break with the average time to concede being 48 minutes, someone with quicker legs should be preferred.
Player to replace- Gurwinder Singh