Our pick: East Bengal FC team of the decade 2010-19!
Last Updated 4:37 PM 25th December 2019 .
We are at the last week of the 2019 with a new decade dawning soon. East Bengal FC have had many highs and lows in the decade gone by and we have prepared a list of 11 names who is our featured “East Bengal FC Team of the Decade” based on their performances and contribution to the club and it’s glory.
East Bengal fans would have the hardest time selecting their goalkeeper of the decade. Our choice would be the current India goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, who played for the club for 4 seasons between 2009-2014 and was a pivotal part of the team which reached the AFC Cup Semi Final in 2013.
Gurpreet joined from the TFA in 2009 and slowly became the number one goalkeeper of the team under Trevor Morgan. His heroics led to the famous IFA Shield triumph in 2012, where he saved 3 penalties against arch-rivals Mohun Bagan in the Semi Finals.
East Bengal fans can be sure about one of the definite names on the “Team of the decade”, the ever dependable number 4: Uga Samuel Okpara.
The Nigerian born, Uga Okpara joined the Red and Gold brigade in 2009 and was on the bench in the infamous 5-3 loss to arch-rivals Mohun Bagan. He announced his arrival soon after, lead the East Bengal defence with his stellar presence and won a total 10 trophies in 5 seasons between 2009 to 2014 and also a part of the team that reached the AFC Cup Semi Final.
The Second name, to partner Uga in the Centre back position would be Costa Rican World Cupper Jhonny Acosta.
In 2018, East Bengal fans were ecstatic to hear the news about Jhonny Acosta, who featured in the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia to have signed for the club.
Acosta didn’t adapt well to the conditions at first but under Coach Alejandro Menendez, he became one of the most vital part of the team which finished runner’s up by just a point in the I-League campaign.
Acosta’s calmness and composure had made him a fan favourite and surely gets his place in our Team of the decade.
East Bengal fan favourite and legend Soumik Dey would be the automatic choice for the left back position in our Team of the decade.
Soumik Dey joined East Bengal in 2006 from Tollygunge Agragami and played for a continuous 10 seasons until 2016.
He had won a whopping total of 14 trophies for the Red and Gold brigade in his 10 years tenure with 4 Federation Cups and 7 Calcutta Football League titles. He also captained East Bengal in 2010-11.
Our pick for the Right back position for the Team of the decade would be Naoba Singh, who joined East Bengal in 2010 and became in integral part of Coach Trevor James Morgan’s side.
Naoba joined from Churchill Brothers and played for 4 seasons with the club till 2014. He won a total 9 trophies for the club and was also a part of the team that reached AFC Cup Semi Final in 2013.
Another name which doesn’t require any justification in the Team of the decade; the East Bengal fans very own “Midfield General” Mehtab Hossain.
Mehtab Hossain joined East Bengal in 2007 and continued for a consecutive 10 seasons till 2017. He was an integral part of the team till he left the club.
Mehtab Hossain won a total of 14 trophies for East Bengal in his 10 seasons just like Soumik Dey. He also captained the Red and Gold brigade in 2013-14.
One name which we couldn’t keep out of the team of the decade is our very own “HK7” Harmanjot Singh Khabra.
Khabra joined East Bengal in 2009 and played for 7 seasons till 2016. He has 11 trophies to his name while playing for East Bengal.
He was a crowd favourite for his work ethics and dedication on field. He also captained the side in 2014-15.
If we had to choose a left midfield position for our East Bengal Team of the decade, there could have been no other name than our present captain Lalrindika Ralte.
“Didika” Ralte joined East Bengal in 2012 from Churchill Brothers and played a vital role in winning the 2012 Federation Cup. He also had 4 goals in the 2013 AFC Cup campaign where East Bengal reached the Semi Finals.
Lalrindika Ralte has played for 7 seasons for East Bengal between 2012 to the current season. Marred by injuries, Didika Ralte’s career had been through many highs and lows, but his set piece expertise and long ranger goals will be a thing to remember for all Red and Gold faithful.
One of the pivotal member of the East Bengal team of the early 2010s and Coach Trevor James Morgan’s main attacking midfielder Penn Orji would surely be our pick for the attacking midfield position in our Team of the decade.
Penn joined East Bengal from JCT in 2010 and played for 3 seasons where he won 9 trophies. He has scored 37 goals in all competitions for East Bengal. He was also adjudged the East Bengal player of the season in 2012.
He was also an integral part of the team that reached the AFC Cup Semi Final in 2013 (although he played till the Round of 16).
One of the first names on the sheet would be the “prolific Aussie” Tolgay Ozbey in our Team of the decade.
Tolgay Ozbey joined in 2010 and played just 2 seasons for the Red and Gold brigade before leaving the club for arch-rivals Mohun Bagan.
However, in those 2 seasons, Tolgay Ozbey scored 65 goals for East Bengal in all competitions, which is till date the best ever scoring rate for any East Bengal player.
The second name in the list of forwards in our Team of the decade would be Chidi Edeh.
The Nigerian forward joined East Bengal in 2012 and played for 2 seasons. He helped the club win the Federation Cup in 2012, two Calcutta Football Leagues and also was one of the main member of the team that reached the AFC Cup Semi Final in 2013.
Chidi Edeh has scored 58 goals in two seasons for East Bengal in all competitions which made us to pick him and complete our Team of the Decade.
Our pick for the coach of this team would be none other than Trevor James Morgan who had 4 seasons over two spells and won 10 trophies for the club.
He build a team that reached the AFC Cup Semi Final in 2013. Although he failed to win the coveted I-League trophy, he will remain as one of the kost successful coach in East Bengal’s illustrious history.
Let’s take a look at the complete team: