Indian Super League (ISL) side SC East Bengal have mutually parted ways with Robbie Fowler and appointed Manolo Diaz as the new head coach for the 2021-22 season. Manolo Diaz has been in charge of Real Madrid reserve teams and a couple of Spanish third division sides over the course of his managerial career.
Robbie Fowler was in charge of SC East Bengal's inaugural ISL season
Robbie Fowler had initially penned a two-year deal with SC East Bengal for the club's first-ever campaign in the ISL. Fowler brought in a very different style of football which involved the typical physicality of the English game in contrast with the Spanish style of play inculcated by most ISL teams.
The Red and Gold struggled to get going in their first season of the ISL due to a delayed start in the recruitment of foreign and domestic signings. The Kolkata giants managed to amass a total of just seventeen points from twenty matches in the league, with three wins, eight draws and nine losses.
SC East Bengal finished ninth in the league standings, making it one of the lowest finishes for the Red and Gold in any competition in the past few years. The club's recruitment of newer players for the 2021-22 season was also delayed due to the lack of clarity from the club management in signing the legal agreement with the investors.
The Red and Gold have already lined up a competitive Indian roster and were expected to make their foreign signings. However, Fowler's sudden departure is a sign of a shift in policy by the team management as a newer style of football is expected to be played.
Manolo Diaz takes charge of SC East Bengal
Jose Manuel 'Manolo' Diaz Fernandez will take charge of SC East Bengal for the upcoming season. Diaz has had a managerial career span over the last twenty years. He has been in-charge of Real Madrid's youth and reserve sides in the Spanish lower league.
“In Madrid, we say 'Winning is in our DNA'. We love the pressure and expectation that comes with coaching a big club. Time is short and there is a long and difficult road ahead, but we will do our best to deliver good performances for all SC East Bengal fans."
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The 53-year-old has also managed clubs like Hercules, Ponferradina and Navalcarnerro in Spain. Diaz arrives at the fore with a lot of experience and will aim to bring out an attacking brand of football.