Delhi Dynamos haven’t had the best of seasons last time around. They finished a lowly eighth in what was truly a humbling affair after a change in the club management.
This time around Delhi have made quite a few changes in the hope of making the cut and thereby, clinch their first ever title. In this piece, we look at the strengths and weakness of the squad assembled by the Lions for season five of the Indian Super League (ISL).
Delhi and Miguel Angel Portugal parted ways with the club owner questioning the coach’s tactics and the coach pointing at the club’s paltry budget. Young Spanish manager Josep Gombau joined the Delhi Dynamos this season from A-League side Western Sydney Wanderers.
Gombau has vast experience, coaching in Asia. He won two league titles in Hong Kong with Kitchee FC and Australia’s premier knock-out competition, FFA Cup, with Adelaide United. In Gombau, Delhi have a successful coach at the helm and they will hope that the club does well under the Spaniard’s tutelage.
Indian players: Narayan Das, Rana Gharami, Bikramjit Singh, Pradeep Mohanraj, Siam Hanghal, Daniel Lalhlimpuia, Shayan Roy
Foreign players: Francisco Dorronsoro, Gianni Zuiverloon, Martin Crespi, Marcos Tebar, Rene Mihelic, Adria Carmona, Andrija Kaluderovic.
Delhi Dynamos completely changed their foreign contingent and brought in seven new players. Amongst those, Marcos Tebar and Rene Mihelic has the experience of playing in India before. This will be Tebar’s third season in the ISL and second at Delhi Dynamos. The Spanish midfielder returns to Delhi after spending a season at Pune last time. Tebar is an influential player at the heart of midfield and he will be vital to Delhi's hopes this season.
Andrija Kaluderovic will be expected to bang in the goals and fill the void left by Kalu Uche who joined ATK. Carmona is one of the creative players who has the ability to split the defence. Mihelic too is a dead ball specialist and his addition has certainly strengthened Delhi’s attack.
Among the Indian recruits, the most valuable signing for Delhi is India international defender Narayan Das. With Pritam Kotal already in the side, Delhi now have two of the finest full-backs in the country.
Strength & Weakness:
Dynamos’ biggest strength is their midfield this season. They have several options in their central midfield this season. The arrival of Pradeep Mohanraj, Marcos Tebar and Bikramjit Singh have definitely bolstered the squad.
A major drawback of the current Delhi squad is the average height of the players. The majority of the squad are below six feet which includes the foreign players. Except Marcos Tebar and Sajid Dhot, nobody else are taller than six feet in the outfield. The teams who prefer to play long balls will clearly have an advantage over Dynamos this season.
Also, they do not have a backup at left-back to cover for Narayan Das.
Goalkeepers: Albino Gomes, Francisco Dorronsoro, Shayan Roy
Defenders: Amit Tudu, Gianni Zuiverloon, Jayananda Moirangthem, Marti Crespi, Mohammad Sajid Dhot, Narayan Das, Pritam Kotal, Rana Gharami
Midfielders: Adria Carmona, Nanda Kumar, Marcos Tébar, Romeo Fernandes, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Siam Hanghal, Pradeep Mohanraj, Bikramjeet Singh, Vinit Rai, Rene Mihelic, Shubham Sarangi
Forwards: Andrija Kaluđerović, Daniel Lalhlimpuia, Seiminmang Manchong