ISL 2017-18: Kerala Blasters appoint David James as Rene Meulensteen's replacement, claim reports

New Delhi: Former England goalkeeper David James is reportedly set to return at the helm of affairs of Kerala Blasters, a day after the Indian Super League side sacked Rene Meulensteen as their head coach following a string of poor performances by the team.

James, who has played for England in 53 matches between 1997 and 2010, was the marquee player-cum-head coach of Kerala Blasters in the inaugural edition of the ISL in 2014. He was the England goalkeeper during the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

Kerala Blasters FC player David James speaks during the unveiling of the Indian Super League (ISL) football tournament trophy in Mumbai on October 5, 2014. The Indian Super League (ISL) is a professional football league featuring eight Indian teams and will be played between October-December 2014. AFP PHOTO/ PUNIT PARANJPE / AFP PHOTO / PUNIT PARANJPE

David James was the player-manager of Kerala Blasters in the inaugural edition of the ISL. AFP

"David James arrived in Kochi today and we have appointed him as head coach of Kerala Blasters for the remainder of the ISL. We have informed the ISL which has approved his (James') taking over as head coach of Kerala Blasters," a team official told PTI on the condition of anonymity.

As soon as he arrived, 47-year-old James, who spent seven years at Premier League side Liverpool between 1992 and 1999 playing 214 matches, had a meeting with team owners and officials.

It is also learnt that the ISL issued a prompt permission to James' appointment as he was earlier a part of the league in the inaugural edition.

That was the reason for his appointment being cleared just a day after the sacking of Dutchman Meulensteen.

James is expected to be in the Kerala Blasters dugout in their home match against FC Pune City on Thursday.

Yesterday, the Sachin Tendulkar co-owned side sacked Meulensteen following their woeful performance so far in the ISL season. The decision came after the Blasters suffered a 1 -3 defeat at home to Bengaluru FC on 31 December.

The Blasters, last season's runners-up side, are languishing at the eighth spot in the 10-team league table with just one win from seven matches. They have four draws and two losses to collect just seven points so far.

The Kochi-based side failed to impress this season so far despite having signed high profile players such as Dimitar Berbatov, Wes Brown, Sandesh Jhingan and CK Vineeth.

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Updated Date: Jan 03, 2018 19:20:46 IST

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