Indian Football Season 2018-19 Review: Jamshedpur FC
Written by: Neelav Chakravarti
Cesar Ferrando's men put in some good displays, but the lack of a main striker proved to be a problem throughout the season.
In what turned out to be a bittersweet campaign, Jamshedpur FC finished fifth in the 2018-19 ISL season; missing out on the playoff spots. Bengaluru FC (34 points), FC Goa (34 points), Mumbai City (30 points), and NorthEast United (29 points) progressed to the semi-finals, with the Men of Steel registering 27 points.
Cesar Ferrando’s men improved on many aspects, and still need to work on some issues within the team. Unlike the past, this campaign saw some good displays by Jamshedpur although the Gourav Mukhi controversy was disturbing for the side.
Fact Sheet for Indian Football Season 2018-19
Games Played: 20 (including Super Cup)
Win %: 35
Jamshedpur had a month-long pre-season camp in Madrid. The side trained at the Los Angeles de San Rafael facility; the facility is famous for hosting the pre-season of LaLiga giants Atletico de Madrid.
Ferrando’s side played five matches, out of which they won three, drew one, and lost one.
Underperformer of the Season
Before the 2018-19 season kicked-off, Jamshedpur made their ambitions clear by signing Tim Cahill. The Australian legend was expected to shine in the Indian Super League, but he sadly failed to showcase his footballing skills (for which he is known).
The former Everton man was roped in to be his side’s main striker, but he finished off the season with a measly total of two goals in 11 matches. He also got injured in second-half of the season. The 39-year-old’s fitness standards were below-par, and he couldn’t match up to the pace of the league and his team. Although, he still showed us that he is a good header of the ball, but he failed to even put in a good showing of himself.
The former Millwall man hung up his boots after the 2018-19 season, but could seriously have had a bigger impact.
Top 3 Performances
1. Jamshedpur FC 4-1 FC Goa (Report and Highlights)
2. Jamshedpur 3-1 Chennaiyin (Report and Highlights)
3. Mumbai City 0-2 Jamshedpur (Report and Highlights)
Manager's Report Card
Cesar Ferrando came into the helm ahead of the 2018-19 season. The Spaniard has had a decent debut in the Indian football circuit, but there is a possibility that he could be replaced before the 2019-20 campaign.
Earlier Khel Now had revealed that the club would part ways with the former Atletico Madrid gaffer, with sources pointing out that the club and its investors are in no mood to continue with him after the Super Cup. But the Super Cup is over, and he still hasn't faced the boot. The main problem faced by Ferrando throughout the season was the absence of a main striker. Tim Cahill failed to take up the mantle, meanwhile, Sumeet Passi and Farukh Choudhary were not upto the required level.
He gave opportunities to youngsters, which is needed in Indian football right now. His main issue was forming Jamshedpur's backline, which was leaking goals quite often with poor displays from wing-backs. Although, this problem can be solved by the side's recent recruits.
Having finished at fifth place in the ISL, Jamshedpur didn't have participate in qualifiers for the Super Cup.
The club's Round of 16 match was against Churchill Brothers, but the Goan side failed to appear, so Jamshepdur got a walkover. In the quarter-finals, the Men of Steels crashed out, losing to FC Goa, 4-3.
Lessons to be Learned
The Jharkhand-based side had a decent 2018-19 campaign, with some high-points, and some low ones too.
After a decent start to their season, the team became a little too cagey, and a little too over-dependent on its Spanish players. If you really analyze their season, all credit goes to their Spanish players. The main reason, the club failed to qualify for the ISL playoffs, was due to the absence of a main striker. As already mentioned, Cahill failed to live upto the expectations.
The club also needs to improve its defending, which has been reinforced by the arrivals of Joyner Lourenco and Keegan Pereira recently. Also, the club needs to stop relying on their Spanish players, especially Carlos Calvo.
Jamshedpur started their 2018-19 ISL campaign in good manner, but then issues like a strong backline prevented us from qualifying for playoffs. The side had some good midfielders, who kept possession.
The lack of a genuine striker was a low point, and also players were made to play out of their position. Also, a leaky backline led to some goalkeeping mistakes. The team's defence is over-reliable on Tiri. The squad needs a good striker, and a partner for Tiri.
The new gameplay under Ferrando was effective and had an impact. The tactics gave us hope, and unlike before, even after going a goal down, we were still hopeful of winning games.
Published: Tue May 14, 2019 06:07 PM IST