The I-League season has been a mixed one for all teams. While East Bengal and Mohun Bagan are clear at the top, there is a mid-table scuffle to consolidate on a position below the leaders. Mumbai FC are struggling and need a quick response.
Frequent Squad Changes
Santosh Kashyap, in his press conference after the loss to Chennai questioned the commitment of some of his players. He added that he had to frequently change his starting line-up due to a lack of performance in training. As a coach, no doubt Kashyap will demand the fullest from his players but he also needs to settle on his best starting 11. The number of changes every game has been too great to allow the players to build an understanding. This is especially evident in defense where the players haven’t been on the same wavelength.
Mumbai coach Santosh Kashyap isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. The Mumbai coach is straightforward and confident in his approach. Kashyap’s side have had largely poor performances but put an end to a run of six back-to-back losses with a draw against Mohun Bagan. Kashyap feels confident about his side’s ability to finish in the top 3. He also brushed aside any worries of relegation in his press conference stating that his team would find it’s feet soon.
Mumbai FC Exhibit Resilience
Few fancied Mumbai to get a result against Mohun Bagan but buoyed by their home support the ‘Mumbaikars’ were able to hold the leaders to a 0-0 draw. The draw showed signs of a sense of defensive solidity for Mumbai. The defending in recent weeks has been characterized by poor individual errors and a lack of collective effort. In their home tie, they showed cohesion and stability.
Home-Grown Players Impress
It has been a difficult few weeks for MFC but a positive has been the performance from the Indians in the squad. Karan Sawhney has been a player who has stood out for Mumbai. The Mumbai-born forward has scored 3 goals this campaign. His presence up front has been an important focal point of Mumbai’s attacking play. Another player who has done well is keeper Laxmikant Kattimani. The custodian can be relied upon to make important saves and has helped a struggling defense to a great extent.
Foreign Talent Need To Show Their Quality
Most I-League teams depend a lot on their foreign talent to give the team an edge. It is therefore vital that both the selected foreign nationals have an influence on the game. Something Mumbai have missed has been such an influence by the foreign contingent. Densill Theobald was signed for the campaign but the experienced midfielder hasn’t yet had the influence he would have liked to. Compared to the likes of Sony Norde of Mohun Bagan, Mumbai need a foreign player who can make an impact. Having said that, Alex Willian played well in their last game and could very well become a central figure for Mumbai. The Brazilian number 10 exhibited flashes of quality in his set piece delivery and flair. He needs to make the pitch his own if Mumbai are to progress.
Mumbai FC have had a poor campaign and sit at 9th on the table. While their coach feels they can definitely finish in a higher position, they are yet to answer their critics and have been inconsistent. Santosh Kashyap needs to bring his team to the level they are capable of playing at.
Image Courtesy: MumbaiFC