East Bengal coach Khalid Jamil has come under severe criticism from both, fans and officials after his side lost 1-0 to arch-rivals Mohun Bagan on Sunday in the Kolkata derby. After the defeat a plethora of cracks and fissures have cropped up, both on and off the pitch centering around Jamil.
While former East Bengal players are questioning his team selection, there is also a strong undercurrent of tension with some current senior players of his squad.
Bhaskar Ganguly, former national and East Bengal goalkeeper, did not mince words after the Red and Gold went down to Mohun Bagan. "He (Khalid Jamil) did not feel the need to discuss with me and neither did he take any advise from Manoranjan Bhattacharya before the game. He should immediately discuss with Manoranjan on how to tighten up the defense," said Ganguly to Bartaman.
He even went on to raise string of questions about Jamil's tactics and team selection. "Why is Arnab Mondal being used as a bench warmer? Why is Rafique not being deployed in midfield? Why is Katsumi not playing on the wings? When will the defenders learn to avoid conceding from set-pieces? A thousand questions can be raised on Khalid's coaching."
Arnab Mondal was rewarded with the captain's arm band at the start of the season. But Mondal has failed to impress Jamil and hence is being ignored. In the post match press conference Jamil openly blamed his defenders for failing to mark Kingsley Eze, who went on to score a free header.
"We have failed as a team and to blame a single department is not right," said Mondal in the aftermath of the derby.
The veteran defender did not hide his feelings after not making into the starting XI.
"I am disappointed as I am not being able to play in I-League. But I am not angry on anyone. I train hard and I don't know where I am lacking, as nobody has told me that."
Jamil has preferred Gurwinder Singh as the defensive partner of Eduardo Ferreira ahead of Mondal in the derby. But apart from being a bit slow, the Indian defender has failed to keep his temper in check and was frequently involved in heated exchanges with Bagan players.
It was surprising to find that Mohammed Rafique who led the team against Aizawl was excluded out of the squad. On Sunday morning, he was informed by a club official that he has not been included in the squad. "I am in the dark in this regard. Only he (Jamil) knows why did he take this decision," said Rafique to a regional newspaper.
East Bengal officials have also had a word with the former Mumbai FC coach and have made it clear that they are far from satisfied with the results and progress of the club. In the Calcutta Football League (CFL), East Bengal were unable to beat Bagan and Mohammedan Sporting as they were held to a draw on both occassions.
The next match on the 9th of this month against Shillong Lajong has become even more important for Jamil now as they are in desperate need of three points.