ISL- Indian Super League

Top three ideal coaches to replace Stephen Constantine at East Bengal


March 27 2023
East Bengal coach Stephen Constantine Josep Gombau ISL

These tacticians can take the club to the heights that it deserves.

East Bengal once again could not qualify for the Indian Super League (ISL) playoffs after the conclusion of the 2022-23 campaign. Despite the haphazard nature of their preparations for the season, Stephen Constantine did his best to guide the team to a better finish in the table than last season when the Red & Gold Brigade came in the bottom place.

However, despite the arrival of players like Cleiton Silva, Ivan Gonzalez and more, finishing ninth was a disappointment for a legacy football club like East Bengal. Fans believe that the side should regularly secure ISL playoffs qualification and trade blows with other heavyweights of Indian football such as ATK Mohun Bagan, Mumbai City, Hyderabad FC, etc.

The Engish tactician is likely to be relieved of his duties as the club is planning to make major changes to the team yet again. New players are set to come in and the hierarchy will like to have a head coach who knows the league well and has achieved success in the past. Here are three ideal coaches that can replace Stephen Constantine:

3. Eelco Schattorie

The Dutchman last coached Kerala Blasters in 2019-20 following an impressive stint with NorthEast United in 2018-19. He lead the Highlanders to their first ISL playoffs. Eelco then was in charge of Oman Professional League club Al Seeb FC from 2021, but resigned four months later citing personal reasons. He is a coach who can make good use of the resources he has at his disposal, and the East Bengal challenge can be an enticing opportunity.

Eelco Schattorie during his KBFC stint (Credit: ISL Media)

2. Manolo Marquez

Manolo Marquez East BengalManolo Marquez at Hyderabad FC. (ISL Media)

Manolo Marquez is a head coach that is in high demand at the moment. According to various reports, a total of five ISL clubs are looking to secure his services before the start of the 2023-24 season. The Spaniard receives a lot of respect from fans and peers due to his achievements with Hyderabad FC in a short period of time.

The tactician is the reason behind the Nizams becoming ISL heavyweights after enduring a terrible inaugural season in the league. Under his leadership, Hyderabad FC won the ISL Trophy in 2021-22 and reached the semi-final in 2022-23. It will be tough to snatch him away from the Nizams and all other potential suitors, but it would be a sensational move that could turn East Bengal’s fortunes.

1. Josep Gombau

Josep Gombau East BengalJosep Gombau at Odisha FC. (ISL Media)

Josep Gombau is currently a free agent after Odisha FC let him go despite making it into the ISL playoffs for the first time ever in their brief history. The Spanaird’s dismissal did not sit well with the Juggernauts’ fanbase and neutrals who accused the club of being reckless and reactionary.

Josep Gombau has had two spells with Odisha FC and in both, he got the team to play eye-catching possession-based football in a short period of time. He is available and will be a good replacement considering his experience in Indian football and track record. Also, sources have claimed Gombau is in the radar of East Bengal management. Thus, if fans see the Spaniard taking charge after the Super Cup, it wouldn’t be a surprise.

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