We still have to wait for another 8 games to know whether East Bengal would be able to capture their dream or not. British coach Trevor James Morgan had expressed his feelings a couple of weeks ago about not being able to fulfil his desire this season. But at the same time, leaders Churchill Brothers’ draw against Mumbai FC and their defeat against Sporting Clube de Goa today is surely going to give the Kolkata giants a chance to close the points gap between them and Churchill. Their coach who has won many trophies in his coaching career with East Bengal, but doesn’t have any I-League title under his belt, would want to make the most out of this opportunity.
East Bengal got the desired start this season in the I-League with consecutive wins, but lack of in-form strikers has really been a problem for the Red & Gold Brigade. The problem is still there and as a result, East Bengal missed some genuine goal-scoring opportunities in their previous few matches. Robin Singh and Manandeep’s inconsistency led the British coach to rely solely on his foreign striker Edeh Chidi, who, despite being on the second position in the list of top goal scorers in I-League, wasn’t able to play his natural game so far as the extra pressure of dragging the East Bengal forward line left a significant mark on his game. Also, we have seen that Chidi’s partnership with Robin and Manandeep didn’t click well in the matches so far. Meanwhile, East Bengal has just signed their fourth foreigner and striker Andrew Barisic, who has huge experience of playing in some reputed clubs in Australia as well as Germany. Though he has played only a single game so far, his inclusion in the team might solve the frontline problem for East Bengal.
Penn Orji, who bagged the award of East Bengal player of the season in the previous season, hasn’t been lucky this season as his form was not impressive at all in the matches so far. It may be possible that he just needs a little bit of rest as he has led the East Bengal midfield in all the games since last season. Also, it might be possible that opponent coaches are have got a hold of Morgan’s tactical movements and how he use Penn in the mid-field and the wing as a free player.
Barisic might solve this problem as other clubs’ coaches are not familiar with his tactics and skills. Besides his huge experience, he might also add some extra sharpness in the East Bengal forward line up. If he can have a good understanding with Chidi and Mehtab, then it is quite possible that Churchill will be under immense pressure, as the Kolkata giant are desperate to get their dream, the I-League title.Published 02 Feb 2013, 00:23 IST