After Wim Koevermans chose his team for the Palestine international friendly, Goal.com looks at 5 players who should have made it to the final 23....
Arnab Mondal:- Thedefender has been a prominent face in the Kolkata football circuit for the last few years now. He was part of the Prayag United side until last season, where he made steady progress and went on to become a formidable presence at the back for the Kolkatan outfit. It was therefore not surprising that the East Bengal officials roped him in for the current season. The stopper has not disappointed them, as his co-ordination with Uga Okpara has ensured that East Bengal is the side to concede the least numbers of goals this I-League.
They had even managed to keep 9 clean sheets in their first 10 outings in the league. Arnab had also scored a very important goal for his side in the Federation cup final. Koevermans has chosen Raju Gaikwad over the former Prayag United player, but it can be questioned how someone who has rarely played for his side can be picked over a tested individual. The 24 year old centre-back will certainly feel frustrated over his omission.
|Mumbai FC's Gabriel Fernandes has been a consistent performer|
Gabriel Fernandes:- This young Mumbai FC striker cum winger is one of the few Indian forwards who have been impressive for their side throughout the season. He has 4 goals to his tally till now in this edition of the I-League. Fernandes has paired up well with the talismanic Yusif Yakubu upfront to guide the Mumbai side to a respectable position in the league. The team, which had mostly been a regular bottom table finisher in the last couple of years, has managed to stay in the top half for most of the season. The efforts of this talented goal-getter would have been properly rewarded if he had gotten a chance in the National squad for the Palestine friendly.
Harmanjot Singh Khabra:- The experienced East Bengal midfielder has been in prime form this season. He is one of the few 'utility' footballers available in the country, who can play in almost any position depending upon the team's necessity. For example, he has played as a right back this season in absence of Naoba Singh, whereas also as a winger when Morgan opted to play two defensive midfielders. The Punjab boy has also scored a few goals, the one in the suspended Kolkata derby being the most famous one. The inclusion of him would have given the midfield more stability. With Sanju Pradhan facing a nagging injury problem over the last few months, Khabra would have been a good replacement and his long standing co-ordination with Mehtab Hossain could have been properly utilized.
|Anas has been a pillar at the back for Pune FC|
Anas Edathodika:- Pune FC has emerged as the surprise package in this season’s I-League and Anas has been the pivotal figure in their defense. The Indian centre back, who had earlier played for Mumbai FC, is known for his tackling and heading. Along with the likes of Chika Wali and Gurjinder Singh, he has provided the Pune defense with the necessary stability. He has built on a decent first season with the Red Lizards and improved even further this time round and it would not have been illogical to expect this talented defender getting chance in place of players like Shouvik Ghosh, who have been part of porous defense.
Subhash Singh:- On the periphery of Indian football team for some time now, Sushil Singh was dealt with yet another blow after being not selected by Wim Kovermans in the 23-man squad against Palestine. With almost all the Indian strikers facing a goal-drought, Singh has been an exception with 4 goals to his name. The young Indian striker has become an indispensible part of the Pune FC team in the last couple of seasons. Apart from his goal scoring ability, his dribbling abilities at pace also provide the team with a different aspect.
Koevermans has included 4 strikers in the 23 man squad. But with Chhetri being out of favour at his club and both Manandeep as well as Sushil Kumar Singh being out of form, Subhash could have gotten a call, as apart from Joaquim Abranches, he is the only other forward to have made a sizable impact this campaign. Now he has to wait another few months for his turn.
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.