ISL 2017: Rating Kerala Blasters' foreign preseason tour
Kerala Blasters have finished their foreign preseason tour and will conclude the final leg of their preparations for the 2017-18 Indian Super League (ISL) back home in India. The Men in Yellow spent time at the Marbella Football Centre in Spain and played four friendlies during their almost month-long stay there.
Here are the basic statistics from Kerala Blasters' preseason camp in Spain.
Matches played: 4
Goals scored: 4
Goals conceded: 4
Clean sheets: 2
Here are their results:
11th October: Kerala Blasters 1-0 Athletic de Coin
18th October: Kerala Blasters 1-1 Juventud Torremolinos
23rd October: Kerala Blasters 2-0 Real Balompedica Linense
26th October: Kerala Blasters 0-3 Marbella FC
After a good start to their campaign by winning against Athletic de Coin, the Blasters played out a draw against Juventud Torremolinos before registering another win over Real Balompedica Linense. However, in their last preseason game, Kerala Blasters suffered an embarrassing 3-0 defeat to Marbella FC.
Apart from that final game defeat, the Kochi-based club performed well in their first three matches considering they were the club's first under new head coach Rene Meulensteen. The Dutchman is an experienced campaigner and has tested a few new things out but the team is yet to gel properly, judging by the wild swing in results during the preseason. New signing Courage Pekuson also got on the scoresheet which is a good sign for the club.
The likes of Dimitar Berbatov and Wes Brown played their first games for the club during the four games. Brown, the five-time Premier League winner with Manchester United, even captained the Blasters during their opening game against Athletic de Coin.
While not much should be read from preseason performances, it seemed the Blasters under Meulensteen had been coming through well until that mishap against Marbella happened. That said, the season is still some way off and there is enough time for Meulensteen to iron out the issues and start the new campaign - which starts against ATK on 17th November - on a winning note.
On that note, after looking at the results and the performances, it is safe to say the Blasters had a positive preseason tour of Spain but have room to improve ahead of the new season.