ISL 2018-19: 3 Things David James has to do Right to Outwit Bengaluru FC
The Kerala Blasters FC are one team in the Indian Super League who have had fairly contrasting campaigns in the last four editions.
The Yellow Army reached the finals on two occasions, in 2014 and 2016, but lost both the times to ATK. They reached the finals under David James in 2014.
Peter Taylor took charge of the Men in Yellow in 2015 but they had a disastrous outing as they finished rock bottom of the table -- with three wins, four draws, and seven losses.
Steve Coppell again brought some respite to the ISL franchise from South India as they reached the final again in 2016.
However, misery struck the Blasters again when Rene Meulensteen was picked as their head coach for the 2017-18 ISL Season.
In the first seven matches of the campaign, the Sachin Tendulkar co-owned side were struggling and could manage just four draws, one win, and two defeats.
Rene Meulesteen was relieved of his duties and David James, who had helped the Men in Yellow reach the final in 2014, was again named as the head coach mid-season.
As expected, the Tuskers showed more maturity and fared far better under David James. They won five, drew three, and lost three matches under him.
However, the damage had already been done at the start of the season and Kerala Blasters FC would go on to finish at sixth position on the table.
It was an established fact now that the Men in Yellow play well under David James and work cohesively with him. As a result, the former English footballer was retained as the head coach.
The club has started well under the guidance of the legendary goalkeeper. They got a 2-0 win against ATK in their first match of the 2018-19 ISL season in what would have seemed like a revenge match for the Men in Yellow. Next up, the Kerala Blasters FC drew 1-1 with both Mumbai City FC and Delhi Dynamos in their 2nd and 3rd games.
The Kerala Blasters will be taking on Bengaluru FC on 5th November in what will be an extremely important tie for them.
The Manjappada would have not forgotten the 1-3 and 0-2 defeats by the Bengaluru-based franchise last season.
What better way than treating their fans to the clubs' first-ever win against Bengaluru FC and that too at home.
In this article, we analyze three things David James must do to defeat Bengaluru FC.
#3 Establish a fixed starting Line-up
David James kept the exact same starting line-up for the first two matches this season, with four foreigners in the side -- Matej Poplatnik, Slavisa Stojanovic, the Serbians Nikola Krcmarevic and Nemanja Lakic-Pesic.
However, he did make a couple of changes in the starting line-up in the match against Delhi Dynamos. Goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh, who had been good in the first two games, was surprisingly benched and Naveen Kumar was given a chance to perform between the sticks.
Matej Poplatnik was also brought later on in the third match, with local star CK Vineeth getting the start in place of him.
The 30-year-old midfielder Vineeth did not disappoint as well as he scored Kerala's solitary goal in the match.
It is still intriguing that David James only opted for three foreigners in the starting line-up in the match against Delhi out of a possible five.
While most other coaches go with five foreigners in the starting line-up, Kerala's gaffer entrusts local talents to do the job for him and get the desired results.
With still two more matches to go before the match against Bengaluru FC, David James has time to fix his go-to starting XI and figure out how many foreign players he should incorporate in it.