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Top 5 ISL and I-League coaches who are expected to leave next season

Gregory has already confirmed that he is leaving Chennaiyin FC
Gregory has already confirmed that he is leaving Chennaiyin FC
Nived

The curtains have come down on the 2018-19 season of the Indian Super League (ISL) and I-League with both Bengaluru FC and Chennai City FC etching their name into the history books of the respective competitions, after being crowned champions at the end of their respective pulsating campaigns.

While the domestic football season in India proved to be a memorable experience for some this year, a few others were left disappointed at the outcome of what kicked-off as a promising journey.

Some high-profile names like David James and Miguel Angel Portugal were sacked during the ISL season with a few I-League clubs, including former champions Aizawl FC and Mohun Bagan, also wielding the axe to provide some casualties on the touchline.

In addition to the aforementioned names, several other coaches are also expected to make their way out of certain clubs as they aim to seek greener pastures.

John Gregory has already confirmed that he won't be in charge of two-time ISL champions Chennaiyin FC next season, but others like Jorge Costa, who extended his stay for another year at Mumbai City FC, could have another shot at glory next year.

In this segment, we take a look at the top five ISL and I-League coaches who could leave their clubs ahead of the new season:

Also see : Gold Cup Standings, Copa America Standings, Womens World Cup Bracket


#5 Sachin Badadhe (Minerva Punjab)

Badadhe (R) with Menendez (L) of East Bengal
Badadhe (R) with Menendez (L) of East Bengal

Sachin Badadhe's rise to prominence within the Indian footballing circuit has been nothing short of spectacular. The Maharashtrian coach ran a tea shop before marking his advent into professional coaching and later winning the I-League as an assistant coach under Paul Munster at Minerva Punjab last season.

Despite their unprecedented success and the march to the I-League title in 2017/18, Minerva struggled to replicate similar fortunes in the recently concluded season and their ill-fated title defence forced Munster to resign from the managerial role.

Ranjit Bajaj turned to Badadhe to take over at the club on an interim basis for the remaining few games of the season in February, and the caretaker manager mustered a solitary win out of three games in charge of the club.

Although Badadhe has played an integral role under Munster in the previous two seasons, it is highly unlikely that Minerva will appoint him on a permanent basis for the upcoming season as they aim to do better than the second-bottom finish they managed this term.

As such, Badadhe could be in line to be step down into the role of a deputy again or even leave the club as the former champions aim to ring in the changes in a bid to try and put the disappointment of finishing at 10th-place behind them.

#4 Cesar Ferrando (Jamshedpur FC)

Ferrando failed to guide Jamshedpur FC into the playoffs
Ferrando failed to guide Jamshedpur FC into the playoffs

Cesar Ferrando was roped in by Jamshedpur FC for his debut in the ISL this term after the departure of former manager Steve Coppell at the end of last season. Despite making headlines through the signing of Tim Cahill, the Spaniard failed to secure a place in the playoff stages of the competition.

The 'Men of Steel' finished just outside the top four, after falling two points behind North East United, as their hopes of progressing to the semi-finals evaporated quickly on the back of a few inconsistent displays.

Although his achievement is commendable for a first-timer in the ISL, the club would have expected to land a place in the playoff stages considering the backing Ferrando received to rope in a high-profile signing like Cahill to go with several other key foreigners.

However, the team started their season with a five-game winless run and struggled for consistency, while also being held to a massive nine draws (joint-highest in the league) from their 18 games during their league campaign.

Despite the shortcomings from the season, there has yet to be any official word on Ferrando's future at the club, but he could be in line to be replaced by a potential successor before the upcoming season.

#3 Bino George (Gokulam Kerala)

George had stepped down to the role of technical director in the past
George had stepped down to the role of technical director in the past

The only constant at Gokulam Kerala seems to be the number of changes the club undergoes from time to time and it makes you wonder if the Malabarians actually have a roadmap as such for the future.

Bino George is well regarded for his services with respect to developing the game in Kerala and has nurtured some of the best young talents to have emerged out of the football-loving region of the country.

However, the franchise opted to appoint Gift Raikhan with just two games remaining in the recently concluded season in a bid to try and put an end to their barren run of form. George took up the role of technical director then, and it remains to be seen whether he will opt to stick with the club next season.

The 42-year-old will not be short of suitors and may even be persuaded with the right offer, especially considering the constantly revolving policies at Gokulam Kerala that saw the club sign as many as 20 different players throughout last season.

#2 Khalid Jamil (Mohun Bagan)

Jamil was appointed in the second half of the season
Jamil was appointed in the second half of the season

Khalid Jamil returned to management in the I-League after his one-year stint with East Bengal when he was appointed as the replacement to Sankarlal Chakraborty at Mohun Bagan in January.

The Kolkata giants were sixth in the league table when he took over and Jamil did not do himself a lot of favours with a fifth-place finish by the end of the season.

Mohun Bagan started brightly with consecutive wins over Minerva Punjab and Neroca FC under Jamil, but the embarrassing defeat in the Kolkata derby derailed them towards the fag end of the season.

Jamil's side suffered a demoralizing 3-1 defeat at the hands of Indian Arrows in February and although they salvaged some pride with a late win over bottom-placed Shillong Lajong in the final game, there is very little evidence that suggests there won't be any changes next season.

The strong performance from bitter rivals East Bengal under the Quess corporation is expected to put pressure under the Mariners, who could undergo an overhaul in the summer to try and muscle their way into being title contenders again.

#1 Steve Coppell (ATK)

Coppell endured a disappointing season with ATK
Coppell endured a disappointing season with ATK

Steve Coppell probably endured his most disappointing season as a manager in the ISL with ATK during the fifth edition this year. The Englishman, who boasts of wealthy experience as a coach, failed to make the best use of his resources at the Salt Lake Stadium, as ATK failed to qualify for the playoffs yet again.

The two-time ISL winners had finished second-bottom in the previous edition of the competition and loosened their purse strings last summer to try and muscle their way back into the top half of the table.

However, despite the impressive addition of players like Manuel Lanzarote, John Johnson, Kalu Uche and Edu Garcia, who joined the club alongside Pritam Kotal in January, ATK flattered to deceive under the guidance of Coppell.

The former ISL champions finished in sixth place and five points adrift of North East United, who occupied the final playoff spot, to cap off yet another disappointing season. Coppell's tactics were meek and he was found out comprehensively by his opponents during certain games.

ATK also finished as the second-lowest scorers in the division with just 18 goals despite the addition of Uche, Lanzarote and Everton Santos to their squad this term, and many believe their underwhelming season could spell the end for Coppell.

Edited by Aaditya Narayan

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