The Dutchman has left the club with mutual consent bringing to an end his short stay in India.
Indian Super League outfit Kerala Blasters have decided to end their association with head coach Rene Meulensteen with immediate effect. Meulensteen, 53, penned a deal with KBFC in June earlier this year taking over from Englishman Steve Coppel who had led the team to the Final in 2016.
It it learnt that the Dutchman decided to step down due to personal reasons. “I would like to thank the management, staff, players and amazing fans for this experience and wish them well for the future”, Muelensteen said.
Confirming the former Manchester United assistant manager’s departure, Varun Tripuraneni, CEO of Kerala Blasters said, “The club likes to thank Rene for all the hard work in his time at the club. The replacement would be announced soon.”
In his short stint as the head coach, KBFC managed to win only one out of their seven games, while losing twice and drawing four times. As a result, the Manjappada-favourites find themselves reeling in deep waters, being at 8th position with seven points from as many games in the table.
The news also comes close on the heels of Khel Now’s exclusive report in which we pointed out that all was not well in the southerners’ camp with star man Dimitar Berbatov often cutting a lonely figure behind the scenes and some his teammates being none too happy with his conduct.
Despite boasting of some big names like Berbatov, Wes Brown, Sandesh Jhingan and Iain Hume amongst others, the former Dutchman who served Manchester United in various non managerial capacities alongside Sir Alex Ferguson failed to make an impression in India.
After having a good stint with the Red Devils, he joined Russian top division club Anzhi Makhachkala where he served as the deputy to countryman Guus Hiddink. When Hiddink left, he was promoted to the top job. But. he was sacked after only 16 days in office. A similar fate embraced him thereafter at Fulham and Israel’s Maccabi Haifa.
It must be recollected that Meulensteen, with his former United connections, is thought to have played a key role in attracting the likes of Berbatov and Brown to the club and it remains to be seen how they get on in his absence.
The Blasters have not yet named a replacement for Meulensteen and with no obvious names doing the rounds assist manager Thangboi Singto, who spent many years at the helm of I-League regulars Shillong Lajong, has been put in-charge of first team affairs. Their next game is at home to high-flying FC Pune City on Thursday.