Indian Super League: Kerala Blasters close to agreeing terms with David James as coach
David James on his way back to Kerala?
Former England international David James is all set to return to India with the Indian Super League later this year if talks with Kerala Blaster go smoothly, sources have told Sportskeeda. The Blasters who are on the lookout for a manager have seemingly gone back to James, who duly filled the role for the 2014 season. The former Liverpool keeper, in fact, was also their marquee signing in the inaugural season of the ISL.
However, last season saw the Kerala Blasters bring in former England U-21 manager Peter Taylor to guide them through the tournament with James nowhere in the scene. James’ place as the marquee signing last year was filled by Spanish international defender Carlos Marchena.
However, after a disappointing season which saw the Blasters finish at the bottom of the table in 2015, the Sachin Tendulkar-led franchise decided to cut ties with Taylor and Terry Phelan was appointed as the interim coach.
It was widely expected by many that the Blasters would turn to Spaniard Juan Ignacio Martinez who has a track record of managing a number of La Liga team including Levante, Real Valladolid and Almeria amongst others. However, things look to have stalled at the negotiation stage with the 51-year-old.
And now the Indian Super League team has turned their gaze on the former England keeper to take charge for their upcoming season. James played 12 games for the Yellow and Blue brigade in their debut season of the competition and helped the team reach the playoffs after coming fourth in the league.
The boys from down under then pulled off a surprise in the semi-finals when they beat Chennayin F.C. 4-3 on aggregate before eventually going down in the final to Atletico de Kolkata.
James has spent an illustrious playing career that spanned over two decades. Having played for five different Premier League clubs, he won the League Cup with Liverpool in 1995 and the FA Cup with Portsmouth in 2008. The enigmatic James was also capped 53 times by England between 1997 and 2010.
The former keeper, who is regularly seen on British television as a pundit, started off his coaching career in 2013 at Iceland before moving back to England to take a coaching job with Luton Town later that year.
Sachin Tendulkar and co. would now look to put behind their disastrous last season behind them and hope for a repeat of their first venture in the league that came under James. Whether or not they go back to James to bring back the glory days would certainly be worth keeping a tab on.