5 talking points from Kerala Blasters' pre-season
Written by: Ali Shibil Roshan
The Blasters will seek to go one better this season.
The team from 'God's Own Country, Kerala Blasters is playing a crucial role in increasing the glitz of the Indian Super League. Having paradoxical behaviour from that of roughly all other states, fans of Kerala have shown a hysterical, mutual love towards this beautiful game.
Blasters is their team, and there is np stopping the fans from supporting them. They support their team, no matter what the situation is, but the revolutionary fans of India have always raised their voice against unfair acts by their management. They celebrate victories as festivals and wrecks as catastrophes, and for that conspicuous fact, Blasters' performance has to answer to many.
Under the guidance of Steve Coppell, the team managed to perform solidly throughout the previous edition and were close to clinching the much coveted ISL trophy, before ATK ran out with the narrowest win in the title-decider.
The team had their pre-season in Marbella Football Centre, and have played four matches during their Spanish jaunt. Here are the key talking points from their trip.
The clinical striker in CK Vineeth is back
CK Vineeth was the leader the Kochi outfit was searching for to reinvent their floundering side in ISL 3. His quaity is undoubted, but despite being one of the lethal attackers the country has at the moment, Indian Coach Stephen Constantine is not considering him for the national team. However, the striker proved his worth as his brace helped them hammer Real Balompedica Linense during the Spanish expedition.
Youngsters to dictate Blasters' fortunes this season
Meulensteen opted for a squad with experienced mingling with youngsters in pre-season. However, considering what we've got from their pre-season line-ups the new Blaster' tactician looks set to deliver a young side with plenty of energy and bags of pace.
Libero to command the side, or could it be his ardent fan?
Who will captain the Kochi outfit you might ask? In their first game in Spain against Athletic de Coin, former Manchester United defender Wes Brown captained the side, while it was Sandesh Jhingan who commanded the side in the second game.
Brown, nicknamed as Longsight Libero by Manchester fans is likely to don the ARMBAND in the forthcoming edition of the ISL. Although, Jhingan and Dimitar Berbatov are also adept to lead the team, Muelensteen will likely opt for Brown, ensuring his experience would benefit the side.
Quantitative, still qualitative staff to mentor
The team hailing from the southernmost state of India, Kerala is all set to clinch the much coveted ISL trophy this time. Not only have the team management signed a competitive squad, they were well cognizant of the requisite of quality staff and the band of think-thanks will likely help the players go technically better, tactically the perfect side.
The inclusion of experienced foreign staff to improve the side's play is a fair decision, but the appointment of Thangboi Singto as the assistant coach is the best. Similar to Muelensteen, Singto is well known for youth development and his experience would boost Blasters.
Paul Rachubka, the primary choice between the sticks
One may say that Blasters' squad looks perfect, and indeed they are. They've irresistible force upfront, immovable, rigid defenders at the back, and they’ve players who could orchestrate the play for them in the middle of the park. Yes, all of these are true, but the team is a little weak between the sticks. Meulensteen has three primary options to choose from, and they are certainly those who've experienced the play at such a level.
Blasters have Paul Rachubka, Sandeep Nandy, Subhasish Roy to guard their net, but all of them are veterans. While all three have the knowhow on the big stage, the slection will be a bit difficult.
But, if they decide to continue with the same tactics they used in Spain than Rachubka will be the man between the sticks.
Published: Mon Nov 06, 2017 03:00 PM IST