ISL 2019-20: 5 Reasons why Kerala Blasters failed to qualify for the knockouts in the last three seasons

Kerala Blasters have failed to qualify for the top four in the last three seasons. (Image: Representative)
Kerala Blasters have failed to qualify for the top four in the last three seasons. (Image: Representative)
Modified 26 Feb 2020

After two finale finishes in three seasons, it was expected that Kerala Blasters would eventually prevail as the Indian Super League Champions in one of the upcoming seasons. However, things failed to fall in place for the Kochi-based side in the next three seasons and the Blasters have not managed to make the cut for the top four ever since. 

With a combination of bad man-management, lack of transparency and communication, the Blasters have always looked a weaker and vulnerable side against almost all sides in the Indian Super League.

Let us analyse the top 5 possible reasons for such an abrupt fall for the Blasters in the last three seasons.

#1 Inconsistent forwards

Kerala Blasters
Kerala Blasters' star signing Dimitar Berbatov was average in the 2018-19 season.

Kerala Blasters have always struggled with the quality of their forwards. In the 2017-18 season, the Blasters only managed to score 20 goals in the entire season from 18 games. Their highest-scorer Iain Hume also managed to only notch up five goals.

Guðjón Baldvinsson and Dimitar Berbatov, despite boasting of an impressive CV, could score just one goal each throughout the season. With just seven goals from the top players of the side, Kerala Blasters never looked a formidable and threatening side.

The Blasters underwent a significant roster change in the season that followed with little success. The goal tally of the Blasters fell to just 18 goals from 18 games with the highest-scorer being Mates Poplatnik from Slovenia and Slaviša Stojanović from Serbia, scoring four goals each. The Balkan forwards were extremely inconsistent as their predecessors of the previous season.

With the appointment of Eelco Schattorie followed by Bartholomew Ogbeche from NorthEast United, things were supposed to change in favour of the Kerala Blasters. The Blasters showed early intent and capability to score lots of goals but it eventually fizzled out as well in the 2019-20 season.

With no support from the support strikers, the team completely became dependent on Bartholomew Ogbeche to find the goals. Ogbeche scored 15 goals out of the total of 29 goals scored by Kerala Blasters. The distant second was Messi Bouli with 8 goals.

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Published 26 Feb 2020
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