The Portuguese takes over the reins from Alexandre Guimaraes, who was relieved of his duties by the Islanders.
Mumbai City FC will enter the upcoming Indian Super League with a fresh approach and a new manager at the helm. It has been confirmed that Jorge Costa will be the new manager of the club and will take over the reins of the squad from now sacked, Alexandre Guimaraes.
The 46-year-old has managed many clubs in different parts of the world. He last managed Tours FC in the second tier of French football. Apart from that, he is a seasoned coach in the Portuguese football scene, having coached clubs like Sporting Braga, Pacos Ferreira and Arouca FC. On top of that, Costa has also been in-charge of Romanian club CFR Cluj, where he won the league title. However, this will be the first taste of Asian football for the former defender and he’ll hope to achieve success in his first season with his new club.
Upon his appointment, the tactician expressed his desire to win matches above all and play good football. He further added that his philosophy will depend on the players at his disposal.
The signing of Anwar Ali is a good move by the club
Last season for the Mumbai based club, was horrid to say the least. Finishing seventh in the league was way below the usual expectations. The troubling factor was the number of defeats that the team suffered. With a total of nine defeats out of 18 fixtures and 29 goals conceded, MCFC had one of the worst defences in the league which lacked leadership and fighting spirit. In order to fix the gaping holes at the back and reduce the number of defeats, the new gaffer will look changes at the heart of the defensive front. The signing of the India U20 star-defender, Anwar Ali, looks to be a step in the right direction. The youngster has consistently impressed in the past and looks set to be the next big thing in Indian football.
Jorge Costa is the fourth appointment at the helm of the club after Peter Reid, Nicolas Anelka and Alexandre Guimaraes. One can expect the new head coach to bring flair going forward and solidity at the back. Costa’s previous teams have displayed counter attacking football with quick passes and extra emphasis being on playing expansive beautiful-to-watch possession based gameplay across the field. Much of the same can be expected from the Islanders when they take the field.
Another aspect at which the new coach would focus on is the integration of new signings with the current crop of players. Influx of decent domestic players like Shouvik Ghosh, Anwar Ali and Mohammad Rafique will certainly improve their chances of a better finish this season. In addition to these signings, Mumbai City have also roped in Matias Mirabaje from Delhi Dynamos, Paulo Machado, Arnold Issoko and a few others who will provide the squad with depth and foreign flavor.
For their preseason, the club flew to Thailand and have shown signs of an improved team by drawing their first against Chiangmai FC and winning their second match against Maejo United. These positive results coupled with the ambitious approach of the manager have given MCFC faithfuls a sign of assurance.
The least expected of the new manager would be to improve from the last season’s terrible campaign and give the fans much-awaited taste of the playoffs. There is a lack of job security in the ISL, given the trend of new managerial appointments every term by teams across the league. Therefore, Jorge Costa is up against the heaviest odds and would ideally want his team to win their first-ever ISL trophy. The Ranbir Kapoor owned outfit from Maharashtra have a ton of critics to prove wrong. The club officials have praised the new gaffer’s passion towards the team and there is a lot of positivity in and around the club as the fifth edition of the ISL approaches.
Mumbai City FC will play host to Jamshedpur FC in their opening tie on October 2, 2018, and will look to start off with a home victory.