The 35 year old Khalid Jamil is one of the youngest and most promising coach on the Indian circuit, having taken over the senior side of Mumbai FC way back in 2009.
Since then, the former Indian midfielder has performed nothing short of miracles, in keeping the poorly funded Mumbai-based side in the league.
Last season was a wake-up call of sorts for the coach and the club hierarchy, as they just about managed to escape relegation, with the result being, that Jamil has been given more time during the pre-season to build a team that could take Mumbai FC forward.
N.D Opara Will Spearhead Mumbai FC's Attack In The Federation Cup...
Giving details about the club’s signings during the summer window, Jamil informed, “We have signed Yusif Yakubu, who though will not be available for the Federation Cup, due to family problems. ND Opara will spearhead our attack, and we have Evans Quao too this season.”
“Justine Stephen, the ex-Mahindra United player, has signed for us. William Colaco from Dempo has also joined the club, he is a talented right back. Gabriel Fernandes has signed from Sporting Clube de Goa, who is a talented striker. Subhash Chakraborty has signed up and so has James Singh from HAL SC."
“Meanwhile Ebi Sukore and G.Friday have left Mumbai FC for Shillong Lajong, while Malswamkima and Keegan Pereira have left for Salgaocar. N. Dhanachandra has gone to Prayag United,” the Mumbai FC coach further added.
As revealed by Khalid Jamil, the club has signed a couple of impressive foreigners in the shape of Yusif Yakubu and Evans Quao. ND Opara is also a striker, who has a tendency to blow hot and cold, but on his day he can be a lethal finisher.
James Singh adds experience to the midfield, while the likes of William Colaco and Kamaljeet Kumar will add options in defense for Mumbai FC.
The last couple of seasons saw Mumbai FC only just finalizing their team before the season began. This time though, the situation has been less chaotic and Mumbai FC have had a good, long pre-season, as revealed by Khalid Jamil himself.
“I am happy with the pre-season we have had. We started early this time round, with training from 13th July, and we have played practice matches against 5 sides, including good teams like Pune FC, Air India and Dodsal. I am satisfied with our results in these games.”
TACTICS AND FORMATION
About the tactics and formation that Mumbai FC shall employ this season, Khalid Jamil told Goal.com, “Our tactics depend on the players we have and the scenario of the game. Though I personally prefer a 4-4-2 with good width and crossing. We like to keep a high line and press forward, keeping a good tempo.”
Goal.com View – As revealed by the Mumbai FC coach, the club can be expected to play a direct style of football, utilizing the physicality of Abhishek Yadav, ND Opara and Yusif Yakubu upfront.
Losing the likes of Cavin Lobo is a big loss for the side, as he provided good width and added creativity to the club.
So the onus shall be on S. Kuttymani, Nicholas Rodrigues, Gabriel Fernandes and John Coutinho to provide the delivery from out wide.
James Singh and Evans Quao will be expected to provide steel in the middle of the park, keeping things ticking over.
At the back, much is expected of young academy graduate Ritesh Perambra, who is expected to partner Afghanistan International Haroon Fakruddin Amiri in defense, with Kamaljeet Kumar, William Colaco and Faizal Rehman the top options at wing-back.
K. Sharath is expected to line-up in between the sticks.
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Khalid Jamil is happy with the squad at his disposal and stated, “We have a good team. Yusif Yakubu will join the squad after the Federation Cup, so ND Opara will spearhead the attack in Federation Cup. Evans Quao will provide a good option in midfield, while Ritesh Perambra and Haroon will be a good defensive pairing. Gabriel Fernandes and John Coutinho will provide good options out wide.”
Goal.com View -
With Yakubu ruled out, ND Opara will be a vital player upfront during the Federation Cup. Abhishek Yadav continues to provide experience and a good presence in attack.
Evans Quao shall play a vital part for the team, while Kuttymani and Nicholas Rodrigues can be expected to play a more important role in the team, as the season progresses and when the club needs more experienced players.
Haroon is one of the most versatile players in the I-League, capable of playing almost in any position, be it as a striker, or as expected this season, as a centre-back.
FEDERATION CUP HOPES AND GROUP RIVALS
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The Mumbai FC head coach stressed on the fact that there would be no easy games in the Federation Cup. He said, “Shillong Lajong are a good team. They had good performance last time round in the I-League. I have heard Pailan are a very good and changed side this time. There is nothing to add about Dempo, they are a great side. We hope to win the first game against Shillong Lajong, then we can think about the second tie.”Goal.com View – With all the three other teams also being I-League clubs, this is definitely one of the tougher groups of the competition. While Mumbai definitely look in better shape than last season, but then so do Lajong and Pailan, while Dempo should be out of reach for all the three sides. But Mumbai FC might look to make the most of any slip-ups made by the Goan side.
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