The century-old club is keen on appointing an Indian tactician at the helm.
Khalid Jamil’s tenure at East Bengal came to a bitter end when he agreed to leave the club after an underwhelming campaign. While Jamil never really looked to be on the same page as Technical Director Subhash Bhowmick, the East Bengal management now has the opportunity to appoint someone who can work under the guidance of Bhowmick and help Bengal win that illusive I-League championship next season.
The Red and Gold Brigade will look to appoint an experienced candidate who has proven themselves in the past and has the ability to work closely with Subhash Bhowmick. There are some talented managers from which the century-old club can choose from to replace Jamil. Here, we look at some names who can be in contention to be the new East Bengal manager.
5. Bino George
Bino George proved his mettle when he took league debutants Gokulam Kerala to a eighth place in the I-League last season. George steered the ship to safety after the mid-season and some of his late signings proved to be fantastic to say the least. He showed great tactical awareness by learning from his previous mistakes and turning Gokulam Kerala from the whipping boys to the giant-killers of the I-League.
Bino George have previous experience of coaching in Kolkata
George defeated the big boys of the League i.e. Minerva Punjab, Mohun Bagan and East Bengal in convincing fashion. George possesses the ability to motivate his players to turn up in every match and should be an ideal candidate to take them to new heights next season.
4. Gift Raikhan
Not many would’ve predicted Gift Raikhan’s NEROCA FC to have such a prolific debut season in the I-League. The amount of passion and energy showed by his team proved how good of a work Raikhan did with NEROCA. He won half the games for NEROCA in his first season managing in the I-League. Raikhan’s brilliance also include in the promotion of the Manipuri side to the top division last season and his excellence was rewarded with the I-League Coach of the Season award.
Raikhan has proved to be an astute, underrated tactician and can adapt the team for different scenarios. If given a bit of more fire-power and freedom, he can definitely bring the I-League title to East Bengal. Raikhan is also someone who will not have a problem working with a Technical Director and can successfully steer the ship into I-League success for the Kolkata outfit.
3. Ashley Westwood
Ashley Westwood might have had a very mediocre season at ATK last season. However, he still has the ability to manage a top team in Indian football. Westwood remains a decent option for East Bengal because of his title-winning experience in the I-League and record in it when he managed Bengaluru FC a few years ago.
Westwood (right) remains a sought-after figure in Indian football
Now accustomed to football in Kolkata after spending almost a year in the City, East Bengal can bring him back to the managerial scene by making him their new head coach. Not only does he play an attractive brand of football, but he’s showed to have the title-winning mentality and ability to make full use of his squad. If Bengal is truly looking for a foreign coach, there isn’t any better than Westwood available right now, to say the least.
2. Derrick Pereira
East Bengal will probably look for a coach with some experience under his belt to replace someone like Khalid Jamil. One very good option remains is former Churchill Brothers boss Derrick Pereira, who has a long history of managing at the top level of domestic football. Pereira has managed clubs like Churchill Brothers, Salgaocar, and Mahindra United before and has the ability and mindset to lead a big club to glory. He recently did a good job as Assistant Coach of FC Goa and played a big part recruiting their domestic footballers.
Pereira definitely likes to play some free-flowing, beautiful football which is something that the East Bengal have been craving for since long. His excellence did not go unnoticed as Subhash Bhowmick himself is an admirer of him, which he revealed during the Super Cup. Pereira is currently with FC Goa but if given the opportunity to join Bengal as head coach, he is likely to take it up.
1. Bastob Roy
With an experience of coaching in Kolkata for quite some time now, Bastob Roy currently the frontrunner for becoming the next East Bengal gaffer. Roy played a big part in ATK’s successful campaign in 2016-17 when ATK won its second ISL title. Recently, Roy revealed he was contacted by East Bengal officials to take up the vacant job at East Bengal.
Roy is someone who can work alongside Bhowmick and put his guidance into work in East Bengal’s gameplay. For what it’s worth, Roy seems to be ready for being the head coach of a top club like Bengal after his impressive work for ATK and will definitely know how to work with the players and make them play an effective and winning brand of football.