East Bengal’s Australian-British coach suddenly decided to go back to Perth on September 1st for a medical check-up thus missing the derby….
Trevor’s Morgan’s future as East Bengal Head Coach has been placed in doubt after he decided to miss the big Kolkata Derby and head back to Australia for medial check-ups.
Morgan’s shocking decision has raised the eyebrows of many East Bengal supporters and club officials as they feel that with him being such an experienced coach and knowing the importance of the derby for the supporters he should not have deserted the team on the eve of such a big match.
While Morgan was unavailable for comment, it was also impossible to reach club officials regarding this issue as they have chosen to remain silent on the subject. However, according to sources, Morgan has been fit and fine from the beginning of the season and has been an integral part of the team. There were no indications from him that he was not doing well. So, why did Morgan decide to head home on the eve of such a crucial match? Khel Now tried to explore the reasons behind this sudden turn of events in the Red and Gold camp.
1) In the last match between East Bengal and Southern Samity EB were trailing by a goal in the opening minutes of the game but came from behind to win 2-1. However, supporters booed Morgan after the final whistle at Barasat Stadium echoing the same old voice of “Go back” which they had earlier applied on other coaches like Marcos Falopa, Armando Colaco, Eelco Schattorie and Biswajit Bhattacharya. Morgan felt hurt by the behaviour of the supporters who were his big strength at East Bengal having played an integral part in bringing him back to the club for a second innings. The first indication that all was not well at the club came when Morgan spoke of leaving his position at the right time in the post-match press conference.
2) Morgan’s relationship with some key club officials has always been tetchy since his opening days. For instance, Club Secretary Kalyan Majumdar has been known to be at loggerheads with the coach as he slams Morgan whenever and wherever he feels like questioning his tactics and team selection. Sources close to the club also say that the they had all but confirmed the acquisition of John Johnson as the pillar in the defense but Morgan did not give the nod and asked the officials to sign Calum Angus who is very close to him since his Dempo days, even though he knew that Angus has been unfit and out of competitive football for the last eight months. The club feels the defender has not been able to standout with his performances.
During his first innings with East Bengal Morgan had won eight trophies except the I-league in his 3-year stint and had rebuilt the side from scratch promoting young talents in the likes of Robin Singh, Vashum, Khabra, Naoba, Lenn, Subodh Kumar, Manandeep Singh, Arnab Mondal, Raju Gailwad, Gurwinder SIngh, Cavin Lobo and others.
3) At the beginning of the new season club officials had given Morgan full authority to set up his own team, support staff and select the foreigners to be bought. As East Bengal had injury concerns throughout the last few seasons, the Red and Gold officials had urged Morgan to bring in a physical trainer from overseas who can train the players and keep them fit throughout the season. Morgan however, chose to bring in Assistant Coach Richard Dryden who also looks after the team’s physical fitness. But, there were doubts in the EB hierarchy from the outset about whether he possesses the knowhow to assist players in this sphere of work.
Sources have also said that Dryden is set to be sacked after the Calcutta Football League gets over and Morgan’s former Assistant at East Bengal Ranjan Chaudhuri will take over as he enjoys tremendous respect within the dressing room.
4) Last but not the least, confusion also surrounds Morgan’s contract with the club. While announcing his name as the Head Coach officials said that it was a one-year contract but now it is learned that he was given a contract for only two months from July to August, as it was earlier speculated that the CFL will end by 31st August. If true, this showcases shear unprofessionalism on part of the EB officials who apparently do not know that the tournament commences in August and continues till the end of September.
Some sources say that Morgan may return by the end of December to renew the contract with East Bengal and coach them in the I-league. But as things stand the probability of that happening appears slim given the events of the past 2-3 months. It is to be remembered though that East Bengal are leading the points table in the CFL, but the quality of football has been unsatisfactory A question which is still to be answered is why East Bengal had hidden the details of Morgan’s contract?
The question also arises, if Morgan does not return who will be the next East Bengal manager? The Red and Gold brigade are slated to play a few tournaments during the upcoming Indian Super League season.
Interestingly, before officials contacted Morgan and offered him the chance to rejoin the club, they had a series of talks with former Bengaluru FC coach Ashley Westwood and he was leading the race to take up the job as he shares a good relationship with the club’s top brass. Westwood is currently out of a job having left the Indian champions a few months ago. Thus, this remains a space to watch.
Report by Khel Now Correspondent Rony. Sports passionate and content writer. He is big football and cricket fan.