Indian Football Season Review 2017-18: Mumbai City
Written by: Sabin Castelino
The Islanders came crashing down from last season's lofty heights in a swift role reversal.
Mumbai City FC started as a team with great potential. but with a lack of experience and command. They were not deemed tp replicate their own previous season’s heroics and looked exactly like a mid-table club, atleast on the sheet. Their 7th place finish was expected by Indian football pundits before the season began and they turned out to be right.
It’s not that the team lacked any passion on or off the field, but it was the poor squad selection that let them down. The Mumbai City management just did not spend enough from their coffers to attain players who were par excellence.
The team selection coupled with a truckload of injuries resulted in their top four challenge dying off quicker than expected and as they languished in the 7th place, they found themselves exactly in the hole they had dug.
To make matters worse, even in the lacklustre Super Cup, their performances did not improve as they won a match narrowly against a very young side of Indian Arrows and lost the very next match with a similar margin against East Bengal.
Fact Sheet for Indian Season 2017-18
Games Played: 20
Won : 8
Lost : 10
Drawn : 2
Win %: 40
After having assembled an almost new squad, Mumbai City embarked on a Spanish tour to strengthen the team and to get some exposure under their belt.
They won four and lost a game of the total seven they played. Quite a formidable achievement it was for a team from India and this did raise a few eyebrows and expectations but that was not all.
When the team returned to Indian shores, they came up with a lot of hope and team camaraderie, but also with a couple of major injuries to Leo Costa and upcoming defender Aiborlang Khongjee, who the management had placed their bets on having a break-out season.
Underperformer of the Season
Raju Gaikwad: Considering the fact that there were some Mumbai players who did not even feature for the Islanders, Raju still outshone them in his displays on the pitch.
He will forever be remembered for his infamous couple of poor performances which sent anger and resentment down the spines of club faithful against FC Pune City, who were awarded a double thanks to Raju’s abysmal Performances.
Hailed for his free-kick like throws, Raju did not live up to the billing and heavily underperformed, leaving his team vulnerable at the back and pressuring captain Goian for long durations of the game.
Raju's Performance in ISL 2017-18
Passing Accuracy: 71.76%
Top 3 Performances
Mumbai City 2-1 FC Goa (Report and highlights)
Mumbai City 4-0 Delhi Dynamos (Report and highlights)
FC Goa 3-4 Mumbai City (Report and highlights)
Manager's Report Card
Alexandre Guimaraes, the man behind Mumbai City’s fairy-tale table-topping success of the previous season, was roped in for another campaign, but this time around he was not able to apply the Midas Touch as he had done in the first season.
He faced severe budget constraints and had to pick lacklustre Indian players who made his shrewd foreign signings redundant as the team lacked the bond due to the deteriorated quality in the Indian ranks, but he still showcased an entertaining form of pragmatic football and did wonders with a team that looked destined to fail. Under his tutelage, Mumbai performed giant-killing acts at home and gave the fans something to cheer about.
But, it was the lack of composure in his team when they played much weaker opponents or those of similar calibre because of which they were defeated and any keen observer would have been sure to point out that it wasn’t the General to blame.
Lessons To Be Learned
If you are a part of this cash-rich league, you have to spend to get the cream of the crop or else you are stuck with the leftovers. Although, you can advertise them as the future, they will only give you what you paid for in the present.
Quite a lot of the young turks that MCFC bought actually came true their calling under Guimaraes. However, it wasn’t spectacular enough to let them leap over their rivals and make a statement. The team this season left a lot to be desired for the next campaign.
Adarsh Kumar Singh
The season started with a fairly average performance in the player drafts, which was improvised on, with our foreign recruitments, especially Thiago Santos, Everton Santos and Lucian Goian. Amrinder Singh was rock solid at the back, doing what he does best, at an individual level. Everton, being awarded Supporters Club Player Of The Year award, was the best of the lot, delivering the finest performances, throughout. Everyone has their lows, and we're confident we'll come back stronger and better, and rise up next season onwards.
We are #MadeInMumbai, we are Mumbai City FC.
Published: Thu Apr 19, 2018 06:36 PM IST