Good evening all and welcome back to my latest update in the Alphabet Challenge
Firstly a warning, this update maybe quite short as to be honest the season has been very uneventful and slightly boring!
After leaving Debrechen in Hungary I was offered the job at East Bengal in India and the aptly names Indian Super League! East Bengal are one of the more successful teams in India but sacked their previous manager after a pretty shoddy season where the ended in 6th out of 10 teams.
The Indian “Super” League is a very very short season, each team plays 20 games and the season only lasts between January and May. There is also the Indian Cup which happens prior to the league season.
I took over in May and had around 5 months of pre-season to try and improve the squad. We did have a pretty decent squad but we were seriously in need of an extra striker or two and a Winger. Other players were needed but there were absolutely no decent players interested in coming and also there was a league restrictions of only 4 foreigners in a matchday squad. There were no Indian players around that would improve the squad so I stuck with them and signed these 3 players:
Kumar is a RW and was the only one rated over 2.5 stars in the game that was Indian, Diompy and Cesar are both strikers. Diompy is a foreigner, Cesar has Indian Nationality
So after these 2 signings my squad looked like this:
We have 3 or 4 really rally good players and the rest are mediocre, but according to the team report we have one of the best squads in the league. Our predicted league finish of 2nd proves this so I’m pretty confident we can challenge for the league. No one team has dominated the league unlike other countries so that makes me feel with a good run we can win the league.
So as mentioned before we have the Indian Cup to play prior to the league starting. the 1st round ia group stage where we are in a 3 team group and we play each team once. Here is how the group ended, it was a comfortable stroll
The 4 group winners then go through to the semi final stage, we played really well in the Semi final beat Royal Wahingdoh 3-1, In the final we were hampered by numerous injuries (8 in all) and had to play quite a few poor youngsters, In the end it ruined our chances of winning and we lost to Mohun Bagan 4-2
It was very disappointing but I knew if we could steer clear of these silly injuries for the league season we could have a good campaign.
It started fantastically, until game 15 we were unbeaten winning 10 and drawing 5. And it ended even better, winning the league on the final game of the season after we beat Salgaocar 3-1. Only 1 defeat all season was amazing and in the end it was a comfortable league win
There weren’t any end of season awards that really stood out, we had 2 players in the Team of the Year
Islam also won the Indian Super League Goalkeeper of the year. Other than that we won no other awards.
So there you have it, a comfy win and another country ticked off the list, we now move on to the next “I” country where we have a choice of Israel, Italy, Ireland and Iceland.
Thanks for reading, once again apologies for the short and slightly boring update!