ISL 2018/19: How the Big guns of ATK fared so far?
A new coach, a new set of players and a new season. But the story remains same for ATK. The two-time champions are languishing at the bottom of the table and are the only second team who have failed to register a point this season. The other team is Chennaiyin FC, who won the title in the previous two seasons, are also having the same fate as ATK.
The Kolkata club failed to keep their reputation when they finished ninth in the previous season. One of the main reason behind it was the coaching conundrum.
ATK appointed British coach and Manchester United legend Teddy Sheringham as their head coach at the start of the season. Sheringham had a fallout with the management and decided to quit. Assistant coach Ashley Westwood took over the rein. He too had to be let go after failing to produce results. Finally, marquee player Robbie Keane played the role of coach-cum-manager as ATK finished a disastrous campaign.
This year, the ATK team management started from scratch. They have appointed experienced British coach Steve Coppell and injected new blood in the team such as Manuel Lanzarote, Andre Bikey, Kalu Uche, John Johnson. But the results didn’t go as expected after the first two matches.
Though there are a lot of matches to go and ATK have a good chance to revive their season, one should be cautious as the old proverb goes, ‘morning shows the day.’
Let us look at the three big guns of ATK and how they fared after the two matches:
#3 Kalu Uche
Nigerian Kalu Uche had a dream debut in ISL last season with Delhi Dynamos. Being made the captain, Uche scored 13 times in 15 matches. His goal-scoring ability caught the eye of various teams' management and finally, ATK procured the talented striker.
Surprisingly, Uche has failed to show the glimpses of his talent so far. The sole reason for this is ATK coach Coppell and his strategy. He decided to field Manuel Lanzarote as the lone striker in both the matches and benched Uche. Though Uche came on as a substitute in both matches, he has little time to make an impact.
Uche is a potent striker and has the ability to change the course of the match within a few moments. Benching him would only invite trouble. So we can expect Coppell will change his mind and Uche would be seen against Delhi Dynamos on October 17 right from the start.