Kerala Blasters and Rene Meulensteen have decided to end their association following their woeful start to the 2017-18 Indian Super League (ISL) season. The decision after the club suffered a 3-1 defeat at home to Bengaluru FC on New Year’s Eve.
The Yellow brigade have failed to make much of an impression this season despite having signed high profile players such as Dimitar Berbatov, Wes Brown, Sandesh Jhingan and Chekiyot Vineeth.
After seven matches, they find themselves in the eighth position having picked a mere seven points. What must be pointed is that the club have played five home games and have only won a single tie.
After his stint at Manchester United as an assistant coach at the end of 2012-13 season, Meulensteen went on to assist Guus Hiddink at Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala where he went on to take over as manager after Hiddink left. But he was sacked only 16 days into the job.
He took over Fulham FC in November 2013 but was sacked in February following poor results, with German manager Felix Magath replacing him. The Dutchman had another unsuccessful stint at Israel's Maccabi Haifa.
Rene Meulensteen said, "I like to thank the management, staff, players and amazing fans for this experience and wish them well for the future.”
CEO of Kerala Blasters, Varun Tripuraneni said, “The club likes to thank Rene for all the hard work in his time at the club. The replacement would be announced soon."
Interestingly, this isn't the first instance of the club having parted ways with their coach during the course of the season. In the second edition of the ISL, Peter Taylor was also given the boot after a string of poor results.
Kerala Blasters play host to FC Pune City on January 4 at the Janawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Kochi. Thangboi Singto will be temporarily in-charge of the proceedings before the Blasters announce replacement for Meulensteen.