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ISL Final, Bengaluru v Goa: Road to Summit Clash - 3 reasons why Blues are favourites to grab ISL 2018-19 trophy

EXPERT COLUMNIST
Top 5 / Top 10
1.04K   //    14 Mar 2019, 08:00 IST

#2 Goa has continuity, Bengaluru has an upgrade


Carles Cuadrat (left), who served as Albert Roca's assistant, has brought his flavour to Bengaluru FC
Carles Cuadrat (left), who served as Albert Roca's assistant, has brought his flavour to Bengaluru FC

Goa are one of the two sides in the ISL who have retained the services of their head coach. That decision to have Sergio Lobera coach the team for one more season has seen them achieve tremendous success. The same, however, cannot be said against the other side that retained the services of the head coach, Chennaiyin FC, who finished bottom of the pile.

Bengaluru were also hoping that Albert Roca but the Spaniard left to spend more time with his family, prompting the club to appoint his assistant Carles Cuadrat as Roca's successor.

Goa have continuity and that's extremely important in a game like football. Lobera, free of distractions, has improved Goa's defence in such a way that they have the joint-most clean sheets this season at 8 after keeping just 2 last season. That said about the defence, the attacking flair of Goa's strike force has continued.

ALSO READ: Bengaluru turned it around at Kanteerava in style

The importance of continuity was not lost on Bengaluru winger Udanta Singh, who commented:

"I feel that continuity is always important in every sport. When coach Roca came in, he set up a philosophy of football and he had a vision about how the game has to be played.
"And though it was tough to see him leave, we were very lucky that in coach Carles we got someone who shared that philosophy and, more importantly, knew the players he had in the team. It was a very important factor in making sure that the team wasn’t affected."

Cuadrat has, sort of, continued the work done by Roca but he has added his own little things to the side. If you could say Roca is an old fashioned taskmaster, Cuadrat is more of an approachable buddy to his players.

He's more adaptable than Roca and that was seen in the second leg semifinal against NorthEast, where he took off defender Juanan Gonzalez and replaced him with an attacker Luisma Villa, leaving just three at the back. Bengaluru scored their opener soon after and then went onto win the semifinal.

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Cuadrat is more pragmatic too. He doesn't shy away from changing his formations any time in the game depending on the situation. We've seen Bengaluru play a 3-4-3, 4-2-3-1 and 4-3-3, with some of their players like Rahul Bheke and Harmanjot Khabra comfortable in playing at any position in the defence and midfield.

In Lobera, Goa have continuity. But in Cuadrat, Bengaluru have a Roca upgrade.

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