The former ATK assistant coach has a lot to work on with the Red and Gold.
Bastob Roy was announced as the new head coach of East Bengal recently after he resigned from his position as the assistant manager of ATK. Roy played a crucial role in the Bengal Tigers’ success in his two seasons with the club and proved to have some impressive man-management skills.
However, it isn’t going to be easy for the relatively inexperienced Roy to follow someone like Khalid Jamil, who left the club after having an underwhelming season with the Red and Gold.
Let’s be honest, there are definitely ups and downs to Roy’s appointment as head coach. However, it is quite evident that the appointment was made keeping in mind the role of Technical Director Subhash Bhowmick. The East Bengal legend often came to opposing terms with Jamil because of his authoritarian mentality and it looks likely that Roy will work under his guidance rather than alongside him.
Bhowmick is a kind of man-manager who likes complete power over the team he oversees and will look to give Roy instructions on how to set East Bengal up in the next season. The tactician can learn a lot under the guidance of the I-League winning coach, but it’ll be difficult for him to implement his own style of play on the team. With that said, his first major and obvious objective will be to win the Calcutta Football League, which East Bengal will look to conquer for the ninth straight season.
The club barely managed to regain the CFL title on goal difference last season under Jamil, so the bosses will need Roy to have a much more prolific campaign this time around. He will have little time to get to know his team, which is also built according to Bhowmick’s plans.
But something unique which Roy can bring to East Bengal is his experience of being associated with foreign coaches during his time at ATK where he was assistant to the likes of Jose Molina, Teddy Sheringham and Ashley Westwood.
Roy inherited a lot of their knowledge during his time with the experienced managers and knows quite a lot about the Spanish and English style of football. He is expected to combine that Spanish flair and English grit into the game of East Bengal and make them an attractive side to watch.
Although, the quality of the foreigners with whom East Bengal are being linked with is unquestionable, the completion of the signings still remains a question. The likes of Mohammed Abdullah, Francisco Filho and Abou Bakr Al-Mel will ideal signings but considering the club’s recent experience with foreign players, one should not get too excited.
The newly-appointed gaffer will have to shape his squad according to Bhowmick’s vision, which was amazingly implemented when they won the National Football League title and ASEAN Cup in 2003. But, the difference between that illustrious squad and the one East Bengal have right now is that of chalk and cheese. They will need a strategic overhaul to properly challenge for the I-League next season, without achieving which, Roy could face the same fate as his predecessors over the last several seasons.