Delhi Dynamos' Indian Super League (ISL) season has been as frustrating as it has been woeful. Not only are they the only team still without a single victory in the league this season, the team just has not been playing well.
Head coach Josep Gombau would disagree though. On Monday, his team once again created chances and failed to score for 90 minutes against Bengaluru FC. After the match, the coach said,
“If you see our games, from the very beginning we had the same problems. We are probably one of those teams who are creating the most chances in a match. We are at the bottom but I think we are playing good football but we are missing chances.”
Isn't finishing chances an important aspect of 'good' football? Merely dominating possession, playing a lot of passes and threatening to score don't make up a good football team. Delhi Dynamos should have been leading by a minimum of three goals at half-time. Instead, they lost the match 0-1 at full-time. And this has been the story of their season so far.
If it had been the case of one or two matches, lack of goals despite creating chances could be attributed to luck or off-days. But when profligacy has become the central theme of Delhi Dynamos' season, it is a cause for concern. Gombau either needs new players who can finish or needs to improve the current crop.
The Lions aren't contesting to 'play good football' and remain winless. The objective should always be to win games and earn a play-off spot but Delhi haven't shown signs of improvement in front of goal.
Delhi's strength lies on the flanks but the wingers have been attempting to deliver balls to an area which has been the team's biggest weakness. Also the final delivery inside the box isn’t the best. Nandhakumar Sekhar and Lallianzuala Chhangte have threatened from wide areas and both players have been found wanting with their final product.
The blame should also go to the team's misfiring department - strikers. Delhi Dynamos and Chennaiyin have put in the most number of crosses so far this season (122 crosses). However, the three strikers in Delhi's squad have scored a total of a single goal.
Andrija Kaludjerovic had a good season for Rad Beograd in the Serbian league 10 years ago. He did score 20 goals in 2016 but it was for Zalgiris, a club from Lithuania. The 31-year-old Serbian striker has simply failed to deliver in ISL and Daniel Lalhimpuia has failed to step up when required.
Gombau also said that he will not be looking to bring in new players in January but it is in public knowledge that they went in for Emiliano Alfaro before ATK priced them out of the deal. Surely, he can't go on about playing 'good football' if his team stays clueless in front of goal?
Delhi played their first game after an 18-day break and still Adria Carmona has only lasted for 60 minutes. The former Barcelona attacking midfielder has completed 25, 29, 30, 18, 44, 60 and 60 minutes in the seven games so far. The Spaniard is their most creative player and he isn't fit to last beyond 60 minutes. If you look at his statistics of the past season, you would know that Delhi have signed a player who is unfit. Gombau cannot escape criticism and needs to be held responsible for poor signings in the summer.
Time for Delhi to introspect in what has been yet another disappointing campaign.