#5 Willis Plaza to Churchill Brothers
Churchill Brothers were severely threatened by the prospect of relegation as they headed into a must-win game against table-toppers Minerva Punjab on the final matchday.
They needed to win that game at all costs, literally! And as a result, the brilliant business minds in the boardroom called Willis Plaza up and asked for a favour. After being released by East Bengal, Plaza was serving a short stint at Mohammedan when this geeky offer came his way. He grabbed it with both hands and played the full game as Churchill Brothers succumbed to a 0-1 defeat and got relegated.
- East Bengal Samachar
#4 Armand Bazie's shortcut to the title
Maybe East Bengal thought selling Armand Bazie to a fellow title rival was going to be harmless.
Bazie signed for the champions after failing to usurp Al-Amna and Katsumi Yusa at East Bengal's midfield and as he looked for alternatives, the Warriors swooped in to take advantage of the situation and a month later, he earned his league winner's medal. East Bengal finished the season on fourth.
#3 Ansumana Kromah, the master of misses.
A string of poor outings led Mohun Bagan to release their summer signing Ansumana Kromah midway through the season. And guess who popped up in hope of taking advantage of the situation? Arch-rivals East Bengal.
East Bengal probably thought there was more to the striker but the story resumed from where it halted. The Liberian forward kept missing chances, scored 0 goals in his 7 games with the Red and Golds and the team ended up fourth on the table.
Ansumana Kromah's one-year long stint in Kolkata has yielded him two goals from 15 appearances. But hey, atleast he played (poorly) for both Kolkata giants in one season!
#2 The mid-season mayhem!
Churchill Brothers and Chennai City, two teams who were languishing at the bottom of the I-League table, opted for an overhaul of their foreign contingent in January.
Looking back at the overhaul that they then thought would solve all their issues, one has to feel sorry for both clubs. Aleksander Rakic's displays looked promising in parts and it was the same with Mechac Koffi (who also managed to notch a terrific goal during his stint) but while the former failed to perform consistently, the latter had to give up to an injury that left Churchill distraught.
Maybe, better scouting and choice of players in the summer would have helped a disastrous end to the season.
- I-League Media
#1 The legend well past his prime
Odafa Okolie is a legendary figure in I-League, no doubt. But any striker past his prime is destined to struggle when he is surrounded by much younger players in the top-tier of Indian football.
The 32-year-old signed for Gokulam Kerala FC as Bino George dreamt of the resurgence of an old legend who scored goals for fun. Three games without goals, plenty of missed chances and lost possession later, the club had enough and let go of Okolie.
The coach's explanation was that the club tried to find him a quick solution at a position that needed strengthening and with Gokulam Kerala being afforded little time by the AIFF before the start of the season to organize transfers, they went in for the easiest option.
A few months later, Henry Kisekka joined the team and helped them beat Mohun Bagan, East Bengal and Minerva Punjab all in the space of 10 days.