thumbnail Hello,

Each of Goal's correspondents select their own XI, before eventually settling on a combined team, which represents the best of the lot from the 2012-13 season...

A long drawn I-League season has finally come to an end, and after going through a list of top goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders and forwards, Goal now has a look at the team of the season, with each of our correspondents choosing a best XI, before choosing a combined XI.

Ayush Srivastava's Best XI


Sandip Nandy

Churchill Brothers SC

 

Naoba Singh
East Bengal


Bilal Najjarine
Churchill Brothers SC




Wahid Sali
ONGC F.C




Gurjinder Kumar
Pune FC


 

Beto
Churchill Brothers

 



Mehtab Hussain
East Bengal


 

Lalkamal Bhowmick
Prayag United S.C


 

C.K Vineeth
Prayag United S.C.

 



Ranti Martins
Prayag United S.C


 

Khanthang Paite
Pune FC



Sandip Nandy has completely rehabilitated his reputation this season in Goa, and even forced himself into national team reckoning and makes the grade as my first choice goalkeeper, narrowly edging out T.P Rehenesh and Karanjit Singh.

There were several good choices in the centre of defense, but in my view, Bilal Najjarine, until he left mid-way through, was the best player in the league, and deserves a place in the starting XI. To play alongside him, I have chosen Wahid Sali, who has been integral to ONGC’s rise this season. Gurjinder Kumar’s stellar season has been missed by many, but the left-back has matured into India’s best in that position, while Naoba Singh only just edges out Denzil Franco for the right-back slot.

The midfield is a mix of some steel and creativity, with Mehtab policing the area in front of the defense, allowing Lalkamal Bhowmick the liberty to don the role of a playmaker. Beto meanwhile has been the talisman behind Churchill’s title triumph, and was arguably the most influential player in the league this season.

In attack, the Prayag United duo of Ranti Martins and C.K Vineeth get the nod. The Nigerian yet again finished as the league’s top scorer, while Vineeth topped the list amongst Indians, for the second season running.

Khanthang Paite picks up the last slot, having put his career back on track with a loan move to Pune FC, and was particularly in good form in the first half of the season. Providing good width and trickery down the wing, Paite also got some important goals for his side.

Atanu Mitra's Best XI

Sandip Nandy

Churchill Brothers S.C

 

Deepak Mandal
Prayag United SC


Uga Okpara
East Bengal




Anas Edathodika
Pune F.C




Syed Rahim Nabi
Mohun Bagan


 

Milan Singh
Pailan Arrows

 



Mehtab Hussain
East Bengal


 

Lenny Rodrigues
Churchill Brothers


                                

  Beto

Churchill Brothers

          

                   Chidi Edeh
              East Bengal


Ranti Martins
Prayag United


I would go for Sandip Nandy in goal, as he has been the best in the business this season. Though Prayag’s defense didn't always come up with a solid display in the league, Deepak Mandal was consistent and was also dangerous while overlapping. Uga Okpara was rock solid and Anas Edathodika was similarly brilliant for the Red Lizards. Syed Rahim Nabi is the left back in my team for his brilliant performance throughout the season, although a few of them did come further up the field.

When you need a defensive midfielder who can tackle and distribute the ball with elegance, Mehtab Hossain is the first name that strikes your mind. Milan Singh and Lenny would add some creativity to this side.

Roberto de Silva will play as an attacking midfielder behind the talismanic Nigerian duo of Ranti Martins and Chidi Edeh, who have been in phenomenal form this season.

Anselm Noronha's Best XI

Sandip Nandy

 Churchill Brothers S.C

 

Denzil Franco
Churchill Brothers


Uga Okpara
East Bengal




Chika Wali
Pune F.C




Syed Rahim Nabi
Mohun Bagan


 

 

Lalkamal Bhowmick
Prayag United SC


 

Beto
Churchill Brothers






Douhou Pierre
Pune F.C





Nicholas Rodrigues
Mumbai F.C


 

          

                   Odafa Okolie
              Mohun Bagan


Ranti Martins
Prayag United

 


No doubt about Nandy's selection for the obvious reasons.

Denzil, according to me, is the best right wing back and has always managed to keep the ball rolling along the right flank. He has sent in a lot of crosses - short and long - which have often led to goals or come close.

Chika Wali and Uga Okpara are two solid defenders, good in the air, with confident and clean tackles inside the box. Nabi gets picked as a versatile left back who has played across the pitch for club and country during the season.

Lalkamal Bhowmick has to make do with a place on the wing, as he was too good to be left out, thanks to his creative streak and work-rate, but gets pipped by Douhou Pierre and Beto in the central midfield slots, with both the players scoring and creating goals, that kept their respective sides in the league's title race.

Nicholas Rodrigues makes it down the left wing, on account of his accurate deliveries into the box from out-wide.

Ranti Martins and Odafa Okolie make for an easy pick in attack. Give them the ball and you expect them to score!

 

Srinivasan Mohan's Best XI

 

Sandip Nandy

                                                             Churchill Brothers S.C

 

Denzil Franco
Churchill Brothers


Uga Okpara
East Bengal


Wahid Sali
ONGC F.C




Syed Rahim Nabi
Mohun Bagan


Beto
Churchill Brothers

 



Mehtab Hussain
East Bengal


 

Lalkamal Bhowmick
Prayag United S.C


Pratesh Shirodkar
Sporting Goa

 



Odafa Okolie
Mohun Bagan


 

Nicholas Rodrigues
Mumbai FC


 

Nandy showed this season, that he has still got it even though he's 38 years old now.

Denzil Franco in my view was more often than not, amongst the top performers in I-League games featuring Churchill Brothers. Wahid Sali and Uga Okpara were the reasons for ONGC and East Bengal’s defensive stability. While Syed Rahim Nabi is a dangerous outlet down the left wing.

Lalkamal Bhowmick is the best playmaker the country has now and would form a good partnership alongside Mehtab Hussain, who was yet again a stellar presence in midfield for East Bengal.

Pratesh Shirodkar is one of the finds of the season, as he was a constant in almost all of Sporting's games while Beto’s record speaks for itself. Nicholas Rodrigues meanwhile was one of the under-rated gems of this season.

Odafa Okolie upfront was the reason for Bagan's escape from relegation.


Goal's Combined XI

Sandip Nandy

                                                             Churchill Brothers S.C

Anas Edathodika
Pune FC

 

Uga Okpara
East Bengal


 

Wahid Sali
ONGC FC



Lalkamal Bhowmick
Prayag United

 



Mehtab Hussain
East Bengal


 

Lenny Rodrigues
Churchill Brothers



Beto

Churchill Brothers


C.K Vineeth
Prayag United S.C.

 



Ranti Martins
Prayag United S.C


 

Nicholas Rodrigues
Mumbai FC



After much deliberation, the Goal team settled on the above line-up.

Sandip Nandy was a unanimous choice in-between the sticks, while Anas Edathodika and his fellow Kerelaite Wahid Sali pipped out some tough competition for a place in the starting XI, with Uga Okpara chosen as the third centre-back, owing to his stellar showing for East Bengal this season.

His club-mate Mehtab Hussain and Lenny Rodrigues form an effective partnership in midfield, with Lalkamal Bhowmick, who was Eelco Schattorie's main playmaker, also making the cut.

Brazilian Beto is chosen in an attacking midfield position, thanks to his brilliant performances for the Red Machines, whom he led to the league title.

C.K Vineeth and Ranti Martins had great individual seasons for Prayag United, with both providing a great attacking threat throughout the year. The under-rated Nicholas Rodrigues takes the final berth, with Mumbai FC's strikers flourishing this season, thanks to his pin-point deliveries into the box.

Follow Ayush Srivastava on 

How do you stay up with football when on the move? With http://m.goal.com –your best source for mobile coverage of the beautiful game.

Related

From the web