ISL 2018-19: Over-reliance on wingers a problem for Delhi Dynamos

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ISL
Delhi Dynamos' stubborn strategy is pulling them down further into the abyss they are in...

Delhi Dynamos, who are yet to win a single game in the Indian Super League (ISL) this season, are in a rut . It has been a forgettable season for Josep Gombau who was brought in to set in motion a long-term strategy. On Wednesday, Josep Gombau's men succumbed to their seventh loss in 11 matches.

It makes sense to trust your head coach, hoping that the team will make a comeback at some point in the season but the least the fans expect is for the coach to come up with new ideas and plans.

"We failed to convert the chances. This is what has happened to us throughout the season. We played well today. It was a difficult game as Jamshedpur have a good team. They did a very good job. We had our chances, we started the game very well," Gombau said after the match. 

Creating chances and wasting them in front of goal has been the summary of the Lions ' season. It is not about luck anymore, it is about their persistence to play a certain way without having the required squad for it. 

Choudhary Goal Jamshedpur Delhi ISL

Delhi's trump card is their pace on the flanks. Lallianzuala Chhangte has started every single match and played 945 minutes for Josep Gombau on the flank this season. He has four goals and no assists to his name. Nandakumar Sekar has played fewer minutes but he has zero goals and one assist from seven starts. Romeo Fernandes has no goals or assists to his name in six appearances

It is evident that Delhi are dependent on 21-year-old Chhangte's pace and trickery from the flanks. He is the first to make runs in behind the defence and the go-to man for players in the attacking third. This has severely cut short the supply to Delhi's struggling foreign striker Andrija Kaludjerovic. 

It is great to have Chhangte's talent on the wing but the Serbian striker needs more supply. Surely, he might not threaten every time he is on the ball but he has to be made the focal point. Otherwise, what is the point of spending money on a foreign striker? Because the focus is on Chhangte, the opposition is quick to turn their attention on the young Indian winger and keep tabs on him. 

Tim Cahill Goal Jamshedpur Delhi ISL

Chhangte scored a good goal against Jamshedpur to give his team the lead but it didn't take Cesar Ferrando long to realize Delhi's insistence in playing the ball out to the wings. Even when they have the opportunity to pass the ball straight to the striker, they still opt to play it to the wingers - something which makes absolutely no sense at all. To blame their poor run of form on Kaludjerovic is daft as you can see the kind of deliveries which have been provided to him. 

What makes profligacy in the attacking third worse? Poor defending at the other end. Tim Cahill scored one of the easiest headers of his career from a 29th-minute corner-kick after Delhi had taken the lead only five minutes earlier. At the hour mark, the Delhi defence failed to clear the ball in time and a poor defensive header by Marcos Tebar gifted the ball to Farukh Choudhary at the edge of the box who slammed the match-winning goal home. 

The Lions were denied a spot-kick due to a handball by Robin Gurung in the second half that was as clear as daylight. But their lack of ideas, profligacy and defensive lapses meant that the final result was a deserving defeat. 

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