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I-League 2017: Mohun Bagn fans bark resignation orders to coach Sanjoy Sen after Indian Arrows match

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321   //    30 Dec 2017, 14:18 IST

Sanjoy Sen is under pressure from his own fans (Photo: I-League)
Sanjoy Sen is under pressure from his own fans (Photo: I-League)

Sanjoy Sen, in a brief span of four years, has performed enough to be listed as a top five coach for Mohun Bagan in the club’s 128 years of illustrious history. In his very first year of inception he had won the 2014-15 I-league, a silverware till then elusive from the club’s cabinet for 13 long years.

Thereafter he followed his success with an Indian Federation Cup Championship the very next year. Meanwhile he had also chalked up two second-places in the I-League as well. But all that was relegated to oblivion when Mohun Bagan drew with the ‘youngsters’ – Indian Arrows – that too who were depleted to 10 boys at about the 65 minute mark. This was MB’s third draw on the trot and the result has probably thrown their chances of winning the title out of their reach.

While Sen was walking back to his dressing home, the irate fans peeked over the concrete walls from above to shower down demands of his resignation hollering “C%$#@a Go back”, “S#@^a resign”, further peppering it with choicest vernacular expletives. It was for the very first time in his club’s tenure that this well-respected coach was subject to such a barrage of interjections.

When asked to express his reaction against such oblique sentiment, Sen took it on the chin to explain, “It is only normal. When you are successful the same spectators will fall at your feet. And it’s pointless to blame them, they are obviously crestfallen. But how many chances can a team be given to score. These can’t be excused time and again. Arrows had only once opportunity in the entire match against Shilton Paul (the MB goalkeeper) and they scored. He has been repeatedly told to be alert in counter-attacks. I am not blaming the umpire or even Shilton for that matter. This draw has no value. It is more shameful than a defeat. As a coach this result is a disgrace to me.”

But is it all lost for MB? Sen wore his mathematical hat to reason, “In the past we have been in a similar position. We have 10 points in 6 matches. When we were in a better position in past years we had about 13/14 points in 6 matches. But it is true we have made our work more difficult for us. Its high-time we wake up or else all will be lost. To draw three home matches is worse than defeat”.

Sen did clarify the reason for conceding, when he said, “We had unnecessarily taken the pressure on to ourselves soon after leading. Even in the half time I had told them to play more freely. Again in the second half I had told them to play a passing game but they resorted to playing the long-ball, that too down the middle.”

He also rued about the absence of leadership quality in today’s starting eleven. He in fact blamed the absence of distinct leadership in conceding the goal in a counter-attack while also acknowledging his tottering mid-field. Speaking about his center-line, he said, “There are a lot of deficiencies in their picking up the second ball or distributing them properly.”

Sen closed the conference by stating that few changes may be required in his squad for the next match. One can only hope that changes may return them to their winning ways.

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Sudipto Mullick is a freelance writer and contributes on various subjects for The Statesman, Delhi Press ( magazines Woman's Era, Alive and their websites) and few other news portals.
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