If recent rumours are to be believed, Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler may very well be making the trip to India to spend a few months as head coach of ISL club East Bengal FC. 45-year-old Fowler's most recent managerial assignment was with Brisbane Roar in Australia. However, with the Covid-19 pandemic and Fowler being away from his family, he decided against staying at the club.
After confirming their spot in the upcoming Indian Super League season, East Bengal signed several players, including a few high-profile signings. Eugeneson Lyngdoh, CK Vineeth, Rino Anto, and Keegan Periera will all feature together for the first time since their days with Bengaluru FC. The management of the club have also managed to rope in Iranian midfielder Omid Singh.
However, in spite of all these developments, the issue of appointing a solid head coach looms over the management. In recent weeks, several top names have been linked with the job, including the likes of Eelco Schattorie and Robbie Fowler.
Eelco Schattorie or Robbie Fowler?
On the face of it, Eelco Schattorie seems to be the best man for the job. The 48-year-old Dutchman has a fantastic record as a coach in the ISL. He guided NorthEast United FC to the playoffs of the tournament. Moreover, he has also managed the 'Red and Gold' when they were in the I-League in 2015.
The appointment of Robbie Fowler, on the other hand, would ensure that the management of East Bengal would get a high profile name on their books, something that would possibly interest the fans and the players alike. Robbie Fowler also boasted a fairly good record as coach of the Brisbane Roar in the A-League.
Having spent eight years with Liverpool, Robbie Fowler is an undisputed legend of the club. Apart from being part of the 'Spice Boys' of Liverpool, the 2000-01 season etched Robbie Fowler into the club's history when he was instrumental in them winning the treble. He scored 17 goals in the season and appeared in all three finals, scoring in the League Cup final against Birmingham City and the UEFA Cup Final against Sevilla.
While Eelco Schattorie might not have the same credentials as Fowler on the football pitch, his meticulous coaching methods have ensured his success in Indian football. He remains the only coach in NorthEast United FC history to take the club to the playoffs in the ISL.
At the moment, the Dutchman is the clear favourite to take over the Red and Gold of East Bengal, having managed the club for a short while in 2015. It remains to be seen who the club signs.