BY Rahul Bali Follow @rahul_atma on twitter
The latest round of games in the I-League supplied no end of drama and farce, as well as a collection of stunning goals. Here we pick out the five things we learned from this week's action…
|Ranti responds in style
“Ranti (Martins) should give returns according to the payment he receives from the club. Not that he was bad but he must do better on the chances he is getting,” was what coach Eelco Schattorie said following their defeat to Salgaocar FC. The Nigerian took the criticism aimed at him in the best possible manner and responded in some style. He scored two crucial goals, including the winner, which sealed an important three points for side as they downed Churchill Brothers 3-2 after trailing by two goals. It wasn’t surprising to see Schattorie praise the effort of Ranti in the aftermath of the result. If Ranti gets ball, he will score hundred percent,” said the Dutchman.
|Pune FC struggle without Meyer and Angus
Calum Angus had to be substituted in the 21st minute however even while he was on the field, the Red Lizards were on the back foot. They hardly created any openings and their only real chance came at the death. Mike Snoei has been critical of teams not playing an attacking brand of football and being set up defensively. While he may be correct and we do not contend that, however in the absence of James Meyer, Nikhil Kadam and Anthony D’Souza, Pune FC struggled in a similar manner when Churchill Brothers and Mohun Bagan faced them with a number of players out injured. So to set up your team defensively and earn a draw from an away fixture isn’t really a sign of being defensive but just pragmatic. Sporting Clube de Goa were the better side by distance and also kept the ball better than their opponents.
|Take your chances, else you'll pay for it
Bengaluru FC coach Ashley Westwood has every reason to feel distraught. They were the better side, kept the ball for most of the time, had a man’s advantage and still ended up with a point as Climax Lawrence scored the equalizer. Siam Hangal and Thoi Singh missed gilt-edged chances for the away side as Bengaluru never really took the opportunities that came their way. They should have strolled to victory and instead allowed Mumbai to take a point from the tie.
|Falopa needs to keep calm
When your team, which is arguably the strongest on paper, loses, questions will be raised. It is of paramount importance for the coach not to lose his patience and instead pick fights with media personnel. Marcos Falopa should instead focus on getting the defensive discipline which East Bengal had under former coach Trevor Morgan back as they are conceding far too many goals. Salgaocar FC could have scored a few more had it not been for their profligacy upfront. Chidi Edeh doesn’t seem in top form while the rest of the side has to introspect and get back to winning ways.
|Who is to blame for Churchill's poor fitness
Mariano Dias was busy attending the first module of the coaching pro-license in Mumbai during the pre-season as Sukhwinder Singh was undertaking the pre-season training of Churchill Brothers. Sukhwinder Siingh has resigned from his position as the technical director and in came Subhash Bhowmick who didn’t take long to point towards the poor fitness of the players which highlights a poor pre-season regimen. “You can manage the situation with tactics for the first 60 minutes. But the kind of fitness our side has, strategies come to no use after the hour mark,” he remarked.
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