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ISL 2018-19: No lessons learnt from last year’s disaster at Delhi Dynamos

7:34 AM GMT 31/10/2018
Delhi Dynamos NorthEast United
Delhi’s 2018-19 season is very much resembling that of what they endured in the last edition…

When news of FC Pune City sacking coach Miguel Angel Portugal broke out, Delhi Dynamos owner Rohan Sharma took to Twitter and mocked some of the earlier statements of the Spanish coach.

This, at a time, when his team only had a two-point lead over Pune, who have two matches in hand too.

“People living in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones,” is a proverb and probably relevant in Delhi and Sharma’s case.

Delhi have played six matches, scored three, looked clueless in attack, especially in the last two matches. Interestingly, they have played almost half of their quota of home matches already. They were lucky not to lose to Chennaiyin FC at home with Francisco Dorronsorro being in top form.

“In Mumbai, we lost but we had 20 shots on goal and just six on target. We had 19 crosses, we had more than 400 passes, 555 touches, 58 per cent possession. Everything is there, but the most important thing is to score goals,” said Gombau after the 2-0 defeat to Mumbai.

The point is that if aimless passing or some pointless crosses which do not even reach the striker were the yardsticks, Delhi would have topped the Indian Super League (ISL) table. Unfortunately for Sharma and co, that isn’t the case.

Gombau hasn’t used their most creative player Adria Carmona enough. Yes, Marcos Tebar has been injured but the manner in which the team has been set-up, it doesn’t inspire confidence.

The only goal scored by striker Andrija Kaludjerovic was also thanks to Sandesh Jhingan being on the ground due to a knock. The goal was a  product of desperation and persistence rather than any particular skill. Against Chennai when Gombau threw in Carmona, he substituted Kaludjerovic. 

Shubham Sarangi, who was a number nine in the India Under-17 team until last year, was used as a midfielder by Gombau and his technical staff.

Delhi, so much for their ball control and pass-and-move brand of football, struggled to get the ball out of their own half especially in the first 45 minutes against NorthEast United.

Even the usually resolute Dorronsorro looked shaky in between the sticks. While Gombau has rightly complained about the fixture schedule as they played five games in 14 days, the question to be asked to the coach is as to why he hasn’t rotated his squad? Is it because he doesn’t trust the rest of the personnel? They have had the same back four in each of those games despite the frenetic schedule. Even though Rana Gharami and Pritam Kotal have made several mistakes, Gombau has opted not to hand a start to Sajid Dhot or Jayananda Moirangthem.

Why not instead play with Albino Gomes in goal and play more foreigners in attack?

It’s time for Sharma and Delhi to take stock of the situation and probably poke fun at others only when their own house is in order.

As of now, the joke is on Sharma.