ISL roundup: Kerala Blasters close in on ex-Man City manager, Atletico Madrid confirm ATK split
Kerala Blasters are never away from the spotlight as one of their former players, Michael Chopra has all but confirmed the ongoing negotiations between ex-Manchester City manager Stuart Pearce and the club.
In a Twitter post, Chopra said: “Stuart Pearce could be next @KeralaBlasters manager very interesting #you #heard #it #first”
Chopra, who played for Kerala Blasters in the 2014 and 2016 seasons of the Indian Super League, was ineffectual during the Men in Yellow’s run to the ISL final under Steve Coppell last year, scoring just a single goal in the competition.
Coppell has had minimal talks with the Kerala Blasters hierarchy owing to a communication breakdown, and his departure from the Kochi-based outfit is almost confirmed if reports are to be believed. Pearce has a long managerial CV, but he hasn’t had extraordinary success in his career so far. The 55-year-old, popularly known as “Psycho” during his playing days, has also been in charge of Team GB and England in his time as a manager so far.
Should Pearce land in Kerala, the Blasters will have another British head coach for ISL-4. The Kochi-based club have already appointed former Shillong Lajong head coach Thangboi Singto as their assistant coach.
Atletico Madrid confirm split with Atletico de Kolkata
Spanish giants Atletico Madrid and two-time ISL champions Atletico de Kolkata have finally parted ways following three years of association that proved to be highly fruitful for the Kolkata outfit.
As reported by the Telegraph last weekend, ATK’s majority stakeholder Sanjiv Goenka confirmed that the partnership between his club and Atletico Madrid has ended. Spanish publication Marca has now shed light on the Madrid club’s side of the story, quoting their club executives: “For us, India is a very important country and Calcutta a very dear city. But we either need to develop or leave.”
That puts an end to the biggest success story in ISL’s short history. With ATK appointing Ashley Westwood and Teddy Sheringham, the club are headed in a new direction before the start of the biggest ISL in history where ten teams will play and the league will run for five months.