ISL 2017/18: NorthEast United FC and Kerala Blasters' uncanny Premier League connection
The ISL has had its fair share of managerial changes this season, with three coaches being sacked after a poor string of results.
But Saturday's game between NorthEast United and Kerala Blasters will see a unique case of a Teacher and his students on the sidelines. Kerala Blasters' head coach David James and his assistant Hermann Hreidarsson have a unique connection with NorthEast United's head coach Avram Grant.
David James and Hermann Hreidarsson were both a part of the Premier League side Portsmouth, that was managed by Avram Grant in 2009/10.
The 62-year-old Israeli was technical director at Fratton Park from June 2006 to July 2007, before leaving to become director of football at Chelsea. But he returned to Fratton Park in October 2009 as the Director of football before being made Manager of the club after the release of Paul Hart.
Current KBFC head coach, David James signed on the dotted lines in 2006, staying with Pompey till they were relegated in 2010. Herman Hreidarsson was with Portsmouth from 2007 till 2012, before signing for fellow Championship side Coventry City on a six-month contract. In fact, David James was the captain of the Portsmouth side under Avram Grant that lost to Chelsea in the 2010 FA Cup final.
With Kerala Blasters being just four points behind the fourth-placed side Jamshedpur FC, James will look to utilise the trickery and lessons taught to him by Avram Grant to churn out the three points that would keep the Blasters in the hunt for a top-four finish.
Kerala Blasters desperately need the three points, and NorthEast United being unable to keep a clean sheet after their third game, it might be David James that could pull a win over his former coach.