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ISL 2018-19: Will Jamshedpur FC end their curse and make to the play-offs?

3:13 pm AEST 28/9/19
Delhi vs Jamshedpur ISL 2018-19
The Men of Steel have revamped their squad ane brought in experienced Spanish manager Antonio Iriondo to make it to the ISL play-offs…

Jamshedpur FC is one of the two clubs who had joined the Indian Super League (ISL) in 2017 after the league decided to add a couple more teams and make it a 10-team affair.

The Tata Group have been involved in Indian Football for more than 30 years by running one of the best academies in the country, the Tata Football Academy (TFA), Since 2017, they decided to come to the forefront and start a professional club from the Jamshedpur.

Jamshedpur FC recruited some big names of Indian football like Subrata Paul, Mehtab Hossain, Anas Edathodika in their debut season in a bid to begin their campaign in style.

They had also roped experienced British manager Steve Coppell who had made Kerala Blasters runners-up in the third edition of the ISL. The club invested heavily in infrastructure and refurbished the already existing JRD Tata Sports Complex and made it the home stadium of Jamshedpur FC.

The Men of Steel, as Jamshedpur FC are popularly known as, had a roller coaster of a season and were inches close to making the playoffs in their maiden season but missed out by a whisker.

In their second season, Jamshedpur brought in another high profile coach Cesar Ferrando who had the prior experience of managing Atletico Madrid. Ferrando injected some Spanish flavour into the squad by recruiting four new Spanish foreign players. But the signing which made the headlines was that of legendary Australian footballer Tim Cahill.

The Men of Steel began their campaign on an impressive note and their possession based style of football attracted eyeballs. Ferrando’s men had an above average season but once again they missed out on making it to the play-offs by inches, most of it because of their defensive frailties that undermined their attacking fluidity.

In their first two seasons in the ISL, Jamshedpur FC have tried two contrasting philosophies. While in their first season, English coach Steve Coppell brought in the pragmatic counter-attack based football, in the second year, Ferrando introduced the attractive possession based football. Unfortunately, none of the philosophies could propel them to the play-offs.

This year they have roped in another Spanish coach Antonio Iriondo who brings in vast experience to the club. They have blended youth and experience in their squad. While three youngsters from the Indian Arrows side, Jitendra Singh, Narender and Aniket Jadhav have joined, they have also roped in India international and former Kerala Blasters star CK Vineeth who brings in the much needed experience among the Indian contingent.

Only time will tell if Jamshedpur FC will be able to end their curse by finally making the cut for the play-offs this season.