Amrinder Singh: A leader embodying Mumbai City FC's bravery, courage and determination (Exclusive)
- Amrinder Singh pulled off a sensational save against Jamshedpur FC recently to ensure that the Islanders remained on track for the top four.
On the 6th of February 2020, Jamshedpur FC and Mumbai City FC embroiled themselves in a tense and titanic tussle. The Red Miners, courtesy Noe Acosta, had surged ahead whereas the Islanders had restored parity through Amine Chermiti.
As the seconds ticked by, the Mumbai Football Arena was engulfed with palpable nervous energy, considering the hosts would’ve ceded the top four initiative to Chennaiyin FC had they not registered a victory.
And, in the 84th minute, time stood still as Bikash Jairu launched a cross off the left flank for Sergio Castel. As the ball hung in the air, the thousands in attendance waited with bated breath, although there seemed an inevitability about the outcome, in light of the Spaniard’s rich scoring form.
Yet, at that juncture, a certain Amrinder Singh popped up as the Islanders’ Guardian Angel and repelled Castel’s effort via a remarkable save. The Mumbai Football Arena erupted in joy and the decibel levels went a notch higher when Bidyananda Singh secured three points, minutes later.
Consequently, several lauded the custodian’s moment of brilliance while also raving about Mumbai City FC’s ability to keep fighting till their last breath.
In an exclusive chat with Sportskeeda, Amrinder opened up on that particular save, stating,
We train every day to make saves like these. It is only because of the training I have put in over the years that helps me come up with such performances. Personally, for me though, I’d rather prefer a game where I make no saves and keep a clean sheet rather than another where I make 10-12 saves but concede goals.
Furthermore, the keeper talked about the team’s attitude throughout the season with a particular emphasis on the contest against Jamshedpur FC a few days ago. He said,
We conceded early against Jamshedpur FC and I saw a real team spirit throughout the match. We knew that we needed three points and at half-time, I could see on everyone’s faces that they wanted to win. We never felt like we would lose and regardless of the result, we just wanted to leave everything on the pitch. And, at that point, I knew that we were going to get the win we required.
To put things into perspective, the determination, hunger and the tendency to die for each other had initially played a pivotal role in convincing Amrinder to join the club. He recalled,
When I had first come to Mumbai, I loved the team environment and how everyone was very supportive of each other. We all did things together and if one of us had problems, we would all solve it together. And, right from the start, I connected with the city and the club really well.
In fact, the Islanders’ propensity to valiantly confront their challenges is something that stems from their leadership group, comprising Jorge Costa and of course, Amrinder.
On countless occasions, the Portuguese has stressed the importance of being able to handle pressure in the most adverse circumstances and preparing oneself adequately to thwart whatever obstacles are sprinkled along that path.
Amrinder, too, echoed similar thoughts, maintaining that the responsibility of being the captain brought the best out of him, thereby also emphasising that he wouldn’t have it any other way.
I always try to motivate the boys and ensure that everyone understands their roles and how we need to execute them. Also, we talk about tactics and across the team, there is an immense amount of trust, meaning that we are able to play excellently as a team.
Additionally, the shot-stopper offered a sneak peek into his modus operandi before matches, stating,
I am someone who likes to keep improving all the time. I want to train well and learn whatever I can and I try to reduce my weaknesses as much as possible. Even when I’m with the national team, it’s all about how I can keep enhancing my game and keep pushing Gupreet for the spot. Both of us are best friends and we relish the healthy competition.
The aforementioned mindset came to the fore at Bengaluru FC a few seasons ago when Amrinder, akin to numerous other Indians, had to adapt to the slick passing style deployed by Albert Roca. However, he did so without a fuss and ultimately, fitted into that system like a glove.
Subsequently, one couldn’t help but ask the custodian on how he planned to tackle FC Goa on the 12th of February, which incidentally, is another must-win fixture for the Islanders if they are to make the semi-finals of the ISL.
Obviously we all are very excited and are looking forward to it. I personally don’t like to look into past records and I am a person that treats each day as a different day. On 12th, it will be a new game and challenge and we know we must return with three points. And, it is imperative that we concentrate in the present.
Thus, over an enlightening conversation, the Indian had chatted about the characteristics that have made Mumbai City FC such a hard nut to crack and the mechanisms that enable him to give the best account of himself.
And, rather unsurprisingly, both dovetailed exquisitely, thereby casting Amrinder as the ultimate protagonist for the Islanders. In fact, for the average onlooker, the keeper might not be the most flamboyant cog Mumbai boast in their myriad arsenal. Yet, none embodies the spirit of the club more than the Indian.
After all, when moments of reckoning rear their faces, Costa wants his troops to not back down and stand up to be counted. Rather thankfully, he has a leader aka Amrinder Singh, who personifies that to the tee.
And, if someone still harbours any doubts over the above, maybe they might want to consider rewinding the clock to the 84th minute in the encounter between Mumbai City FC and Jamshedpur FC.
Published 09 Feb 2020, 18:17 IST