ISL 2016: Past pedigree makes way for fresh ideas as giants fall by the wayside

FC Goa and Chennaiyin FC finished at the bottom of the Indian Super League despite retaining successful coaches from the previous editions, while all four teams who have qualified for the semi-finals had new coaches at the helm.

PTI December 05, 2016 22:52:30 IST
ISL 2016: Past pedigree makes way for fresh ideas as giants fall by the wayside

Mumbai: FC Goa and Chennaiyin FC finished at the bottom of the Indian Super League despite retaining successful coaches from the previous editions, while all four teams who have qualified for the semi-finals had new coaches at the helm.

The two-legged semi-finals of season 3 will see first-time play-off qualifiers Mumbai City battle for a final spot against former champions Atletico de Kolkata, while Delhi Dynamos and Kerala Blasters would jostle for the other spot.

ISL 2016 Past pedigree makes way for fresh ideas as giants fall by the wayside

Mumbai CIty FC coach Alexandre Guimaraes has transformed the side into a top side. ISL

The 1st leg of the semi finals are to be held on 10 December (Kolkata) and 11 December (Kochi) followed by the return leg on 13 December (Mumbai) and 14 December (Delhi).

The final is on 18 December at Kochi.

The likes of Gianluca Zambrotta (Delhi Dynamos), Jose Molina (Atletico de Kolkata), Alexandre Guimaraes (Mumbai City FC) and Steve Coppell (Kerala Blasters), did not have an idea of what to expect but still managed to stay in the race.

On the other hand, the failure of Zico (FC Goa), Marco Materazzi (Chennaiyin FC) and Antonio Habas (FC Pune City) to take their teams to the play-offs reflects the changing dynamics in the League, according to some experts.

Paul Masefield, felt the failure of top coaches was due to a culmination of factors, among them the ability of other clubs to strengthen their squad considerably, failure to lure key players and under-performing marquee players for FC Goa and Chennaiyin FC.

"The League is stronger and more competitive now as you only have to look at the results,” said Masefield, a former Birmingham City FC player.

"Fresh ideas, ethos and understanding of the game has definitely helped these sides. Also I think that they have 'fallen' upon a system that works for their team," he said.

Ricki Herbert, former head coach at New Zealand and NorthEast United FC feels ISL is evolving in tactical and strategic implementation.

"The ISL will continue to grow in a number of areas and this certainly includes the quality of teams and players. The understanding of tactical and strategic implementations are evolving and coaches are always looking to find a cutting edge to make the defining difference."

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