The outfit have employed nine different head coaches since their inception.
Kerala Blasters are infamous for being trigger-happy when it comes to sacking head coaches. The Indian Super League outfit have had more managers than the number of editions they have played in. In the seven seasons of the competition, Kerala Blasters have sacked and appointed nine different managers.
The practice of shuffling managers has led to stagnation in the development of the team. Moreover, the club now suffer from a lack of identity and a clear plan of action. Most recently, they letgo of Kibu Vicuna after an underwhelming ISL season, even though it was clear the Spaniard needed more time to fix the club’s many issues.
Having said that, it is interesting to observe how the ex-KBFC managers went on after being dismissed by the club. Here is a look at all the former coaches and where are they now:
David James was the first-ever head coach for Kerala Blasters. He joined as a player-cum-manager in the inaugural season, and guided the team to the first ISL final, which they lost to Atletico de Kolkata.
He did not continue his spell with the club but returned later in 2018/19. However, he was shortly dismissed due to poor performances. Since then, James has been seen doing punditry for various networks.
The second season for the Kerala Blasters was one to forget. Their new manager Peter Taylor, who replaced David James, only lasted in the position for a mere six games. He won the first, drew the second and then lost four consecutively.
Post his experience in the ISL, Peter Taylor went on to be the assistant manager for New Zealand’s national team and is now the manager at Dagenham & Redbridge, who play in the National League, the fifth tier of English football.
Trevor Morgan was the interim manager for one single game post the dismissal of Taylor. He was replaced by Terry Phelan.
Morgan went on to coach Indian teams like Dempo and East Bengal. He was in-charge of the Bhutan national team before acting as an assistant coach for FC Pune City in their last season. He was recently signed by United City FC, who play in the Philippines.
Terry Phelan took charge of KBFC for the remainder of the 2015 season after Peter Taylor and Trevor Morgan were relieved of their duties. He led the team for seven games, winning only two. After finishing last in the table, Phelan did not continue and was replaced by Steve Coppel next season.
In 2019, he was appointed as the technical director at South United, which play in the I-League second division.
Steve Coppell is by far the most successful manager in KBFC’s history, with a win percentage of 41.18% from 17 games. He helped the outfit reach their second ISL final in 2016, but lost to Atletico de Kolkata yet again, this time on penalties.
Surprisingly, Coppell moved to Jamshedpur FC next season and also managed ATK later on. He is currently without a club, after the Kolkata outfit led by him missed out on the playoffs in the 2018/19 season.
Rene Meulensteen was next to try his hand at guiding KBFC to success ahead of the 2017/18 season. However, the former Manchester United assistant manager only lasted seven games, before leaving the position for personal reasons.
He was replaced by David James for the rest of the season. The Dutch tactician is currently the assistant manager of Australian national team.
Nelo Vingada was the interim manager in the second half of the 2018/19 season after David James was sacked. The Portuguese led the club for seven games, winning only once. He was recently hired as the technical director for the Egypt national team.
Eelco Schattorie was appointed as the manager ahead of the 2019/20 season. He had previous experience of Indian football with East Bengal, United SC and NorthEast United.
Under the Dutch tactician, KBFC finished the season in seventh place, with only four wins to speak of. Eelco was relieved of his position afterwards. He was seen as a match analyst in the ISL 2020/21 season.
Kibu Vicuna was hired as the head coach ahead of the 2020/21 season. The Spaniard had won the I-League with Mohun Bagan before taking charge of the ISL outfit.
However, after only accumulating 16 points in 18 games, Vicuna was sacked just before the end of the season. He is without a club at the moment.