Federation Cup: 5 Things We Learned From The Group Stages

The New Season In Indian Football Was Flagged Off By The Federation Cup. Goal.com's Ayush Srivastava has a look at five things we learned from the group stages of the Cup...
The Federation Cup has thrown up some shocking results and performances, with several teams who were expected to be top contenders going out with a whimper while clubs that were expected to be also-rans have proven to be giant-killers.

Goal.com has a look at five conclusions that could be drawn at the end of the Group stages of the Federation Cup.

Money Can Buy You Players But Not A Team: Mohun Bagan must have realized that the hard way during this Fed Cup. While an attacking trio of Sunil Chhetri, Odafa Okolie and Jose Barreto would strike fear in most opposition defenders heart’s, the triumvirate have lacked any sort of co-ordination and have been wasteful in front of goal.

The defence has also looked all over the place and the midfielders seem to be lacking in fitness.

While there is plenty of time for the team to get its act together, Steve Darby must emphasize to his team the necessity of playing as a team to succeed.

Set For The Drop?

The relegation contenders:  While a lot can change between the Federation Cup and the start of the I-League, the Cup gives a good idea as to which of the teams have improved during the off-season and which of the outfits shall yet again be embroiled in a relegation battle.

Four teams that, based on their Fed Cup performances, wouldn’t surprise anyone if they end up battling for survival at the end of the season are Chirag United Kerala, HAL Bangalore and the two Mumbai-based clubs Air India and Mumbai FC.

All four have had a largely forgettable Fed Cup and they have looked clueless in front of goal and confused in defence.

The quartet have a lot of work to do between now and when the season begins, if they are to have a good season ahead.

No Second Season Jitters For The Goans...

No Second Season Jitters For Salgaocar: The Goans, who were surprise winners of last year’s league title, will be under the scanner this campaign, as everyone waits to see how the team reacts under pressure.

However the team has passed its first test with flying colours, as they have looked the same exciting outfit of last season and the team will be hopeful of adding the Federation Cup to their trophy cabinet.

East Bengal Have The Depth And Quality...

East Bengal Will Be A Formidable Outfit: While their city rivals Mohun Bagan have been making all the noise this transfer window, East Bengal have assembled a star studded and more importantly a solid team with depth under Trevor Morgan.

With the luxury of having quality players to call upon in each position, the Kolkatans will be a formidable opposition to face in any competition and seem well suited to go the distance in the League this time round.

Carlton Chapman's Team Surprised Many With Their Performances...

The North-East Now Has Teams To Match Its Passion: Royal Wahingdoh grabbed all the attention when the qualifiers stunned Mohun Bagan in their first game of the group phase. They followed it up with another stunning victory over Churchill Brothers before a loss to North-East rivals Shillong Lajong ended their campaign.

Both the teams, Lajong and the Royal’s, will have provided their fans with plenty of hope for the coming season. While Carlton Chapman’s team will be looking for a promotion push this term, Lajong will be looking forward to a solid season in the I-League.

Both the clubs have not only shown trademark vibrancy and creativeness in attack, but they have also added focus and concentration in defence, the lack of which used to so often be their un-doing.

While of course Lajong had made the finals of the Fed Cup two seasons back and ended up getting relegated from the league that same season, what needs to be highlighted is that back then they were playing in front of their fans and in familiar surroundings, while this time they have done well in a weather far different from what they are used to in Shillong.

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