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ISL 2023-24: Mohun Bagan part ways with Juan Ferrando, reappoint Habas

Published at :January 3, 2024 at 4:13 PM
Modified at :January 3, 2024 at 4:23 PM
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Alen Philip Mathew

Juan Ferrando won the coveted ISL title in 2022-23 with Mohun Bagan.

Mohun Bagan Super Giant has officially announced the departure of head coach Juan Ferrando and his replacement with predecessor Antonio Lopez Habas just halfway through the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 season. The 42-year-old Spaniard, who joined the club in 2021, led them to the coveted ISL title in 2022-23, but recent struggles and inconsistent results have resulted in his departure.

Fan Frustration Mounts, Management Pulls the Plug

Despite boasting a strong squad and staying at fifth position at the season’s halfway mark, Mohun Bagan’s recent performances have been underwhelming. The club’s management and fans have grown increasingly frustrated with the team’s lack of fluidity and inability to consistently convert chances.

Ferrando’s Legacy: A Mixed Bag

Juan Ferrando arrived in Kolkata in 2021 after a successful stint with FC Goa, where he lifted the Durand Cup and the coveted ISL trophy in 2022-23. He boasted an impressive managerial resume, having tasted success at various levels in Spain and Greece. However, despite guiding Mohun Bagan to a satisfactory fifth position at the halfway stage, his tactical approach and inconsistent performances failed to meet expectations.

The turning point came in recent matches, where the Mariners struggled to pick up points. The lack of attacking fluency and defensive vulnerabilities compounded the growing discontent, ultimately leading to calls for Ferrando’s dismissal. This pressure, coupled with the availability of Habas, who won two ISL titles in 2014 and 2019.

Habas Returns for Second Stint

Habas, a 63-year-old Spaniard, returns to familiar territory after a two-year hiatus. His experience and proven track record with Mohun Bagan are undeniable, making him a popular choice among the fans. He is known for his park-the-bus style and his ability to motivate players is a quality that the club desperately needs at this crucial juncture.

While Ferrando’s achievements with Mohun Bagan cannot be ignored, the club’s desire for immediate success and a change in tactics ultimately led to his departure. His experience managing youth teams in Spain and various clubs across Europe might be impressive, but his recent slump in form at Mohun Bagan proved too much to overcome.

The Road Ahead: Can Habas Rekindle the Flame?

Whether Habas’ return will be the catalyst for a revitalized Mohun Bagan remains to be seen. The pressure is certainly on the veteran manager to revive the team’s fortunes and deliver the results the fans crave.

The second half of the season promises to be an exciting one with Habas’ tactical acumen pitted against the rest of the ISL’s top contenders. One thing is certain: Mohun Bagan’s decision to part ways with Ferrando and re-appoint Habas has shaken up the league and added a new layer of intrigue to the race for the ISL title.

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