ISL 2017: 5 reasons why ATK can win the title
From being crowned the inaugural Indian Super League (ISL) champions in 2014 to bagging their second title in 2016, Atletico de Kolkata - re-branded as ATK, after their split with Atletico Madrid, have come a long way. Changes in marquee players, head coaches and team compositions have been a constant for the Red and Whites, but what hasn’t changed over the course of three years, is their habit of winning.
Unlike previous seasons, in which ATK were coached by Spaniards and most of the foreigners were from the same country. This time around it will be a British affair. After parting ways with Atletico Madrid, ATK hired former England and Manchester United striker, Teddy Sheringham as the head coach while United graduate and ex-Bengaluru FC gaffer, Ashley Westwood was named the technical director. So, fast-paced attacking football could be on show for the ATK fans.
Although this constant rejig every year isn’t beneficial for any football team, here are some of the reasons why the ATK domination is set to continue!
#1 Robbie Keane’s goal-poaching skills
Persisting with the formula of selecting offensive players as marquee, ATK have brought in the Republic of Ireland legend, whose goal-scoring statistics are astounding. Hugely successful spells at Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and LA Galaxy, coupled with 68 goals at the international level speak volumes about the Irishman’s class in front of goal.
He may be 37, but Keane’s experience of the rough and unforgiving English football days is just what is needed in this league. Also, seldom in his career has the striker faced fitness worries, so that holds him in good stead ahead of the gruelling season.