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Schattorie: Our strikers were too static

Eelco Schattorie: Douhou’s creative instinct the best in the league

Schattorie: Our strikers were too static

Sandip Saha

The gaffer of the Purple Brigade conceded that a point in an away match against Pune FC is a good result, but also stressed his team was not up to the mark...

United SC did well to comeback and draw against Pune FC who dropped their first points at home. Nikhil Kadam gave the home side lead in the 77th minute which didn’t last long as K.Asif equalized soon.

Coach Eelco Schattorie had mixed feelings as he felt his team should have scored at least four goals in the first quarter of the game but was quick to add that they could have travelled back to Kolkata empty handed.   

“Firstly, I could see today that we were physically tired. That is not an excuse. After our game against East Bengal, we had to travel right away and so we didn’t have time for a decent recovery and neither could we do much on the eve of the game. I could see that we were not really fit. It was a bad game. I was not satisfied with even a point.

“I think we could have lost, but on the other hand in the first half, especially the first twenty minutes we could have scored four goals. Souvik (Chakraborty) got ahead of the goalkeeper, then Ranti (Martins) has an open chance to put it into the net and then the corner which was saved by the goalkeeper. In the opening minute, Pune had a good chance. It was Douhou (Pierre) who played that through ball. The second half wasn’t good at all with my strikers- Vineeth, Ranti and Eric (Brown). They weren’t moving, doing the tactical job I told them to do and that led to a poor performance. I wasn’t happy at all.”

The absence of Lalkamal Bhowmick is affecting the Kolkata outfit as they are far too dependent on Brown to create chances and if he has an off day, the team lacks creativity.

“First of all, my captain (Deepak Mandal) was absent on the right wing. I don’t play with wingers I play with my right back and left back as wingers and they need to attack and the replacement for my captain lacked the attacking technique to reach ahead as he’s more of a defensive player and that’s one attacking player less.  But in the midfield, I’m still missing Lalkamal and of the players who played today, only Eric is the one who should create the opening. The rest do their job properly but they aren’t creative players. Today that wasn’t the main problem however. The main problem was with my strikers, who were too static.”

Schattorie didn’t mince words when describing the performance of Brown and also pointed that Mustapha Riga was in an offside position in the move which led to the goal scored by Nikhil Kadam.

“Eric didn’t play the last match. I was extremely disappointed by his performance today as he wasn’t moving too much. Eric was a little bit lazy today. The goal that they scored was offside. The first shot was offside. I’d like to see it again on television. If I’m wrong, so be it. The second shot from which they scored was okay. If Eric at that moment covers the space then nothing is wrong.”

The Dutchman believes that the All India Football Federation (AIFF) must plan the fixtures of the I-League in a much better way which shall allow the players to recover which shall also reflect in the standard of the game played.

“The next seven games, we have a lot of away games. In two weeks I hope to have Lalkamal back. Then again there is the question on how fit he’ll be. Overall, the result today I can live with. Like I said we had four or five big chances in the first, but the second half was all Pune FC. They were battering us. They had good chances, so overall 1-1 is okay but still, that is generally the difference in football, I want to see if that goal was offside. For the upcoming games, I don’t understand why the federation has to plan all those games so short on each other. I had a player who was sick in the left back position and he made himself strong, to play, as I didn’t have any other player, to fill in the void. But also, these things changing of the weather etc. are all excuses and that is for everyone to say, but on the other hand, the circumstances that we are in, it puts extra pressure on us.”

Douhou Pierre was the player whom Schattorie praised after the game and had asked his players to earmark him as the most important cog in Pune FC’s line-up. It must be noted that before United SC were hit by financial crisis, they had expressed an interest in signing Douhou. 

“I told my players that there is only one player in Pune FC - Douhou, who has the quality to pick out a through pass, as he sees it. I don’t know any other player in the league who has that creativity. If I look at Pune, they have a decent organization. The way we started we created four good chances, but after that we dropped and didn’t play football the way we want to play football. That has its reasons, I think in part with physical aspects of travelling and I think we played a very strong game and secondly the absence of playmakers.”

“In my opinion if play with the striker (Riga) they have, Douhou and him are players who go for the ball. They are not easy to defend. There was no special plan for Riga. I only told the defender that he will go for the ball so it’s easier to mark him. Although he fooled Anupam Sarkar one time, but overall we did okay against the striker.”         

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