When Steve Coppell mentioned that Jamshedpur FC are to sign Wellington Priori, a defensive midfielder, in the January transfer window, questions were raised over their transfer policy.
A team which boasts of the best defensive record in the league and among those who had scored the least number of goals, why would they need another defensive player in their squad?
Also back in the summer, Steve Coppell and Ishfaq Ahmed wanted to sign a striker and a creative midfielder in the team, two deals which didn’t go through and in came Izu Azuka as a last minute replacement.
So why on earth would Jamshedpur want Priori and what would he add to their game? It must be remembered that Coppell's side played Pattaya United in the pre-season where Priori was up against them and put in an impressive display.
The last two matches on home soil have exactly shown Coppell’s plan. With Mehtab Hossain not being at his best due to injury concerns, the English coach has had to field Trindade Goncalves in a defensive role when instead he can play in an attacking role. Mind you, Trindade isn’t the best of defensive players with the natural tendency being to move forward.
In came Wellington Priori, who along with Memo, has helped Jamshedpur dominate matches. Against Kerala Blasters, he didn’t let the opposition create a lot of opportunities through the middle.
While Delhi Dynamos started on a strong note, they eventually fizzled out when Priori and Memo began to take charge of the proceedings. Vinit Rai, Paulinho Dias or even a shoddy Matias Mirabaje, who hardly made any impact after coming on, came second best against the Brazilian brilliance.
The Uruguayan medio has to be among the worst players to have represented Delhi. After playing a part in their opening win against FC Pune City, he has been shoddy to say the least. Add to that his injury worries and indiscipline which earned him a four-match suspension.
Delhi once again paid the price for their poor selection of foreign players as Memo, who played for them last season, exactly showed what it takes to control a game.
They never allowed the opposition to grow into the game as Priori was involved in almost every attacking move of Jamshedpur. Miguel Angel Portugal seems to have had no answer or plan on how to win the midfield battle. His team stopped playing after taking a 2-0 lead midway through the first half. The lack of experience in the ranks was evident as they couldn’t find a way to pressurize Jamshedpur FC. Instead they just fell back and allowed the pressure to build.
Delhi have improved lately but as Portugal said, “We need three-to-four goals to win (a game) as our defence is not that strong.”
This sentence pretty much sums up their season.