Marco Balbul is expected to resign as the NorthEast United head coach imminently, according to sources. It is also believed that a unilateral decision was made following a poor start to the season.
The Israeli was appointed the Highlanders' boss ahead of the 2022/23 Indian Super League (ISL) season. However, it has not been smooth sailing for the 55-year-old, who tasted defeat with the ISL outfit in eight games on the trot and was sent off twice for getting into altercations with the referees.
Expectations were not high among the NorthEast United faithful even before the 2022/23 campaign, but nobody expected them to go winless for eight consecutive games.
Alberto Annese frontrunner to take over NorthEast United reins
In the hopes of reviving the season, former Gokulam Kerala head coach Vincenzo Alberto Annese is expected to be appointed the head coach until the end of the season. It is fair to say that the Italian will be left with a mountain to climb following a woeful start to the season for the ISL outfit.
The 38-year-old parted ways with Gokulam Kerala after guiding them to back-to-back I-League victories in 2021 and 2022. He was also named the I-League's best coach for the 2021-22 season.
Vincenzo coached the Armenian U-19 side before having spells at JFK Saldus, Bechem United, Ahli Al-Khaleel, PSIS Semarang, Liria Prizren in Latvia, Ghana, Palestine, Indonesia, and Kosovo, respectively.
Before moving to Gokulam Kerala in 2020, he was Belize's head coach for a year. He helped the South American country finish second in the 2019 CONCACAF Cup.
Gokulam Kerala averaged two goals per game under this tutelage. NorthEast United fans will be hoping for the same after the Italian takes over the reins of the club.
NorthEast United will take on Chennaiyin FC at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati on Saturday, December 10. We have to wait and see if Alberto Annese will be on the touchline against the Marina Machans.