Indian Super League 2022-23 Season Review: Hyderabad FC
It was a case of so close yet so far for the Nizams in a joyous season.
Hyderabad FC proved in the 2022-23 season of the Indian Super League that they are one of the giants of Indian football. Their ISL Trophy triumph in the 2021-22 campaign was not a flash in the pan and the club will challenge for trophies. Manolo Marquez was excellent in his role as head coach and did not let the complacency or the loss of key players affect his team’s performance.
The Nizams finished second in the league table behind ISL Shield winners Mumbai City FC. It gave them a direct semi-final berth but that was the farthest the club went in their hopes of defending the title. Despite the pressure of stepping into the season as reigning champions of the ISL, Hyderabad FC did not crumble under it and gave a good account of themselves. They conceded the least amount of goals in the league and at one point were involved in a two-horse race for the ISL Shield.
Here is the 2022-23 season review in the Indian Super League for Hyderabad FC:
Bartholomew Ogbeche finished the season as the club’s top scorer in the league. Despite struggling for consistency, the striker produced goals at important times to give his team momentum and points. His leadership and partnership with Javier Siverio gave Hyderabad FC an extra outlet in attack. It will be interesting to see if the Nigerian continues to enjoy a starting place in HFC or if another club pounces on the chance to sign him.
Laxmikant Kattimani was in sensational form at the start of the season until picking up a season-ending injury six games into the term. Gurmeet Singh stepped into his place as a replacement and gave a brilliant account of himself. He kept seven clean sheets in 14 matches, proving to be a major part of Hyderabad FC’s solid defensive record.
Akash Mishra was one of the most consistent players for Hyderabad FC in the 2022-23 campaign. While he could not get an attacking contribution, his overall role in the team was significant. He made Khel Now’s ISL 2022-23 Team of the Season and also earned his place in the Indian national team for the Tri-Nation Friendly Tournament, thanks to his performances in the league.
The Underperformer of the Season
Joel Chianese was disappointing on an individual level for Hyderabad FC. His performances lacked precision and impact. He was the main creative outlet in the team and could not produce enough goal contributions to justify his place in the line-up. A lack of options in the No.10 role kept Chianese in the squad for the most part of the season. Hyderabad FC need to bring in someone like Javi Hernandez or Iker Guarrotxena in order to mount a stronger challenge next season.
Players like Borja Herrera and Mohammad Yasir played important roles in the success of the team. Odei Onaindia’s return to Hyderabad FC was fruitful in the end as the Nizams conceded the least amount of goals in the league. The side lost players like Laxmikant Kattimani and captain Joao Victor for long periods and yet did not succumb to pressure, keeping on the heels of Mumbai City FC for a major part of the season.
Hyderabad FC 1 – 0 ATK Mohun Bagan
FC Goa 1 – 3 Hyderabad FC
Hyderabad FC 6 – 1 NorthEast United FC
Manager’s Report Card
Sad but true, Manolo Marquez has decided to leave Hyderabad FC at the end of the season. Reports suggest, he is joining FC Goa. He was reportedly under the radar of five ISL clubs. That should be self-explanatory of the impact that the tactician is having on Indian football.
He was exceptional in setting up his team and his tactics were on point. The Spaniard adapts his tactics according to the opposition and that is one of the secrets to Hyderabad FC’s success.
Lessons to be learned
Hyderabad FC must plan better for injuries to key players next season. They also need better quality in terms of domestic players. The presence of someone like Jeakson Singh or Anirudh Thapa would evolve this side even further. Improving the squad depth should be a high on priorities for the club ahead of the upcoming season.
While it may be tough for some fans to hear, it is the right time to sever the association with Bartholomew Ogbeche. Furthermore, a new foreign player that fits the No.10 profile needs to arrive at the club. Someone like Javi Hernandez or Adrian Luna should be a great option.
Winning the ISL Trophy last season was a massive moment for all the Hyderabad FC fans. It was obvious that it would be tough to replicate that feat in the 2022-23 season. However, the positive start to the campaign gave a lot of hope. Seeing the club go toe-to-toe with Mumbai City FC for the top spot in the league table was a joy to watch.
As a fan, it is tough to see Manolo Marquez leave and join another ISL competitor next season. Looking at the season, it was a positive one. It was unlucky to lose in the semi-final on penalties.