ISL 2018-19: 4 Reasons Why David James Deserved to be Sacked by Kerala Blasters
Easy come easy go.
The story of David James' second stint with Kerala Blasters has been just that.
James grabbed a job that was not his - Kerala Blasters had sacked Rene Meulensteen at the start of 2018 - and got away with it for a season-and-a-half before the fans realised that it was all a sham.
It's not like Kerala Blasters did any better under James anyway. Meulensteen, who joined with an impressive CV after having served under Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, could help Kerala produce only one win in seven games.
Picture this - the team collected seven points at the halfway stage under Meulensteen last season. Now, with only six games to go for Blasters in the league phase, KBFC have accumulated only nine points and are not in the contention for a spot in the ISL playoffs.
The truth is that James' sacking has come a bit too late for the Blasters. The club let the show go on as long as it could and only decided to act when the league took a break for the 2019 Asian Cup in January.
One must feel sorry for the fans who had to bear with some atrocious football for over eight weeks now. Day in, day out, James promised them that there's a process and that it was all working.
It wasn't. The results are out for everyone to see.
Dimitar Berbatov had warned you.
#1 Poor recruitment and retention
In the 12 games that they have played, Kerala have scored only 12 goals. Only ATK are worse with 10.
A lot was expected from CK Vineeth, who is one of the top-paid athletes in the Blasters squad. He missed chances that a forward is expected to tuck in and is not enjoying the best of form.
Slavisa Stojanovic was brought on as a replacement for Iain Hume but has flattered to deceive. Matej Poplatnik was expected to share the scoring duties with Stojanovic but both have together contributed only five goals.
This, from two recruits expected to fill in the void for the two-time finalists.
The disparity in the salaries is also huge. Since a couple of the Indians and the foreigners are paid a lot more than others, James had to go with a young bunch of Indians to stay within the salary cap. And among them, only Sahal Samad and Seiminlen Doungel have turned in acceptable shifts.
Steve Coppell, the current ATK coach who led Blasters to ISL final in 2015, feels recruitment is the most important process that helps in defining a club's success.
And bad recruitment has clearly let Blasters down.