The Red Miners have made a fantastic start to the season getting four points out of their first two games.
Jamshedpur FC are currently in second place in the Indian Super League table, with one win and one draw. It has been a good start for the side, as they will be aiming for a playoff spot this season.
In this article, we will discuss and shed light onto subjects like how the Men of Steel have fared in their first two games of the campaign, the contrast in their style of play from last season with the addition of exotic Spanish flavour to it and the challenges which they face ahead.
When Jamshedpur FC appointed Spaniard Cesar Ferrando at the helm of the coaching staff, post the departure of Steve Coppell, many fans and football fanatics were quite amused and excited in anticipation of seeing a total newlook team, which narrowly missed out on the playoffs last season.
Ferrando made his intentions quite clear after joining, by signing a quartet of Spanish players and in the process, even dropping the standout performer and fan-favourite from last season, Wellington Priori. In doing so, he outlined the fact that he wants to build the core of his team out of players who suit his philosophy and can adapt easily. The addition of Australian legend Tim Cahill was the icing on the cake as he brought a lot of experience to the team.
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Watch: Gourav Mukhi’s goal against Bengaluru FC
Going by the solid results which they got in their pre-season preparatory matches, everyone knew that this time Jamshedpur would be a team to look out for.
The first game of the season for them was an away clash against Mumbai City and all the hype and expectations from the revamped Men of Steel did not go in vain, as they won quite comfortably with a scoreline of 0-2. Also, looking at the match statistics one could easily point out that Jamshedpur were the better side having had more possession of the ball, more shots on target and a much better pass completion ratio compared to their opponents. The goalscorers were Mario Blasco and Pablo Morgado, two of the four new Spanish players in the team.
In the second game, they travelled to the home of last season’s finalists, Bengaluru FC and both the teams having won their first match in the league were going into this fixture full of confidence. As expected, the match turned out to be a fierce contest of equal terms with the full-time score being a 2-2 draw.
Though, Jamshedpur were the side who showed more resilience coming from behind twice, with their second equalizer coming with the final kick of the game. The goals scored came from local lad Gourav Mukhi and Sergio Cidoncha, one of the new Spanish imports.
Also, the support which they are getting at the moment is quite fantastic as the Red Miners even travelled to Bengaluru to back their team and the players have said quite a few times that they play a major part in their success.
After watching both the matches, a few things about the revamped Jamshedpur side were quite clearly seen. First, in both the matches they had much more possession compared to their opposition and a much better pass completion ratio, showing the fact they are now able to hold onto and move the ball with ease, unlike last season where they had poor possession stats.
The second being in the course of two matches they have scored four goals coming from four different players, clearly showing that they now possess the firepower upfront which they lacked the most last season. Also, the fact that the goals were scored by four different players means they are no longer dependent on a single player for putting the ball into the back of the net, unlike last season, where they were dependent on two or three players for all the goals.
One more significant observation from the two games is the fact that in all the four goals they have scored till now, the quartet of new Spanish players has been heavily involved. Three have come directly from their boots, while all the four have been assisted by one or the other among them, clearly showing the level of influence they have in the team and the strong chemistry they share between them.
The Road Ahead
The Men of Steel face ATK next at the “Furnace” in Jamshedpur on 21st October before they travel to take on the NorthEast United on 25th October, after which they again have back-to-back home games on 29th October against Kerala Blasters FC and on 1st November against FC Goa respectively..
All of the four new Spanish players in the team have had a major impact, but if one has to choose one out of them as the most influential, it would undoubtedly be defensive midfielder Mario Blasco, having provided two assists and scored one goal so far.
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Watch: Jerry Mawihmingthanga’s performance against Mumbai
Jerry Mawihmingthanga has had a fantastic start to the season, winning the ISL Emerging Player of the Match award in the game against Mumbai and also being chosen in the ISL Heroes of the Week. The pacy right winger is proving to be a menace for opposition defenders with his mazy dribbles and surging runs into the box.
Tiri, the captain of the team, has continued his good form from last season as well, proving to be a wall in the back four for his team.
Gourav Mukhi, the local lad from Jamshedpur has had an instant impact after having scored a goal in their second match, within ten minutes of coming on from the bench. He is living his dream at the moment and given more chances he will surely get a few more of those goals.
The Men of Steel have made a fantastic start to the season getting four points out of their two away games. If they are able to continue the same form in their upcoming fixtures and turn their home ground into a fortress, considering the fact that three of their first team players namely, Subrata Paul, Pratik Choudhary and Dhanachandra Singh are still to come into the fray, they look a formidable unit who should be tough to beat.