5 Talking points for Quess East Bengal before start of I-League
Last Updated 7:09 PM 28th November 2019 .
A new I-League season is just around the corner with each team prepping up their final preparations before they start their campaign. Quess East Bengal FC will be starting their campaign against Real Kashmir FC on Thursday, 4th December at the Kalyani Stadium. Let us see the 5 talking points as the quest for the coveted I-League trophy begins:
1. Alejandro & co. – focus on the reserve bench
Last year, as Quess East Bengal FC came runners up in the I-League, a many pundits blamed it on the lack of reserve bench strength as they were just shy of 1 point to the eventual champions Chennai City FC.
Alejandro & team, from the start of the new season, in the Durand Cup and Calcutta League have focused primarily on preparing the reserve bench strength with around 22 players being rotated and played in the two competitions.
Likes of Manoj Mohammed, Samad Ali Mallick, Boithang Haokip, Abhijit Sarkar, Asheer Akhtar, Bidyashagar Singh, Ronaldo Oliveira etc. does strengthen the reserve bench ahead of the campaign.
2. Defensively stability and compactness
One thing that has put trust onto the Red and Gold faithful is the defensive stability and composure the team has showed since the beginning of the season.
With the departure of Jhonny Acosta, there were questions about the defence however newcomer Marti Crespí has been stellar at the back and even in the much absence of Borja Gomez due to the injury he received against Mohammedan Sporting in the Calcutta League, Crespi alongside academy graduate Mehtab Singh and newcomer Asheer Akhtar has led the defence with great ability.
Even in the 3 Pre-Season friendlies against ISL sides, East Bengal just conceded once that too from a long-range effort. Hence, the Red and Gold fans can at least be confident of their backline, and as Sir Alex Ferguson once famously said “Forwards win you games while Defence wins you titles”
3. Midfield based gameplay, dependency on Colado and Mera
The main strength of East Bengal lies in their midfield. Alejandro prefers a 4-2-3-1 lineup with Kassim Aidara and Naorem Tondomba (in absence of Lalrindika Ralte) as double pivot with Jaime Colado, Juan Mera and Pintu Mahata taking the attacking responsibilities.
Quess East Bengal FC highly depends on Jaime Santos Colado and Juan Mera for the creative bits and goals. Colado has been prolific infront of the goal this season with 10 goals already in the Durand Cup and Calcutta League.
This overdependence on the midfield can lead to some serious problems over time.
4. Lack of goals from the forwards
It is really alarming for both Alejandro and also the fans that the forwards aren’t getting goals.
New import Marcos de la Espada had just 2 goals in 6 games in the Calcutta League and has failed to live up to the huge expectations; while Indian joinee Ronaldo Oliveira is yet to score in the few outings he had. The position was left vacant after the departure of last year’s top scorers Enrique Esqueda and Jobby Justin.
Only academy graduate Bidyashagar Singh has been in form with 8 goals since the beginning of the season, among the three men who leads the attacking line for the Red and Gold brigade.
Lack of goals could seriously hamper Quess East Bengal FC’s hunt for the title this season.
5. Kalyani and not Salt Lake as home venue
It is really a shame that both Kolkata teams have to travel to Kalyani for their home games this season except for the Derby.
The traveling does put on a heavy exhaustion on the players and has been documented well before in previous seasons it hampers the performance on pitch.
There is also eye brows raised over the tickets as high prices won’t ensure the maximum capacity crowd one can generally expect when East Bengal plays.
So, overall it is going to be quite a journey once again for the East Bengal fans as they wait patiently for the coveted I-League trophy as it has been 16 years since the last time the League came to Leslie Claudius street.