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ISL 2018-19: 3 Managers who need to get their act together

Avik Roy
Top 5 / Top 10
1.37K   //    11 Oct 2018, 12:17 IST

ATK coach Steve Coppell [Image: ISL]
ATK coach Steve Coppell [Image: ISL]

The Indian Super League season 5 has well and truly started. With four points apiece, five teams are sitting at the top of the table, separated by goal difference.

In the previous four seasons, only two teams have lifted the trophy, ATK and Chennaiyin FC. This time, there is hope that a new one will conquer.

Though nothing much can be said after just two matchdays (except Delhi Dynamos and FC Pune City who have played one match each), but considering FC Goa’s form, they are going to be a team that one should watch out for.

Jamshedpur FC and Bengaluru FC have some talented youngsters in their ranks and will not be far behind. Kerala Blasters had a chance to claim the full points until the last minute goal from Mumbai City FC player Pranjal Bhumij.

However, there are a few teams like ATK, Chennaiyin FC and Mumbai, who need to go back to the drawing board. ATK and Chennaiyin have failed to draw points this season for their awful performances.

Chennaiyin at least played well in their first match against Bengaluru FC. But ATK have failed to inspire in both their matches. They conceded a goal in the dying moments against NorthEast United. Considering their terrible show last season, something magical needs to be done.

The following are the three coaches who need to get their act together:

#1 Steve Coppell (ATK)

British coach Steve Coppell has a long history with ISL. He is one of the most successful coaches in the tournament’s history. In his first stint with ISL, he led Kerala Blasters all the way to the final, which his team have lost on tie-breakers. In the previous edition, he guided ISL debutants Jamshedpur FC to the fifth position.

Watching his expertise, ATK management hired him at the start of the season. He not only failed to deliver results after two matches, but questions are also being raised with his tactics.


Though he didn’t have any say on the player recruitment, but the kind of team he has, one could easily expect a much better performance.

ATK signed Manuel Lanzarote to solve their goal-scoring problem. Lanzarote is not a striker and likes to play as an attacking midfielder who could feed balls to the forwards. That was the reason for his success with FC Goa.

But Coppell is playing him as a lone striker. Going by the previous two matches, it was clearly seen Lanzarote has failed to adapt his new role. Coppell should now get him back in his usual position and bring in Kalu Uche as the striker.

In fact, Uche hasn’t found a place in the starting line-up in both the matches, which is another mistake from Coppell. Given his goal-scoring ability, Uche deserves more and benching him will only hurt ATK’s fortune.

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