Tata Steel, a steel-making company, and Jamshedpur have had a long history of working towards promotion of football in the country with the reputed TATA Football Academy, which has produced some of the best Indian players. So, it was only logical that Tata Steel took up the opportunity of having a club in Indian Super League (ISL) when the league opted for expansion.
Jamshedpur FC came into existence in 2017 and have participated for two seasons in the football league. In these two years, the club has witnessed a lot of churning out, which indicates that probably the management has not yet found out what they are looking for, which is only natural. In the first season, Steve Coppell was the manager while Spaniard Cesar Ferrando was given the charge for the last season.
In the first season, the club implemented a rigid setup on the pitch while things changed for a more pleasing football as Ferrando went for a fluid passing system. At the same time, the squad during the two seasons also witnessed major outgoings and incomings.
Treading on the similar path, Jamshedpur have made another managerial change for their new 2019-20 season with Antonio Iriondo coming in as the manager. Iriondo has 27 years experience as a football coach in Spain’s La Liga, Segunda Division and Segunda B. The managerial change also seems to be in the line with management's idea of having a Spanish revolution at the club.
"In regard to football, the main purpose I came here for is to try and get to the top position and get as many points and most of all to send a message that we play the kind of football people like to watch. And it's very important that the players enjoy playing the football. If the players don’t enjoy their football it becomes very difficult for the crowd to enjoy during the game and to be supportive during a game," Iriondo told Firstpost in an interview.
Iriondo though has his task cut out. After finishing fifth in the league table in last two seasons and missing out on the playoffs spots narrowly, the new manager would be expected to finally take the big step and get into the final four.
While playoffs spot would be the priority for the club, it won't be easy to achieve the goal with changes undergoing at the club. Apart from the arrival of Iriondo, Jamshedpur have seen departures of top performers from last season in Sergio Cidoncha, Mario Arques and Michael Soosairaj.
To offset the balance, Spanish midfielders Noe Acosta, Aitor Monroy have been brought in. Piti has been added to bolster the attack which will also have Atletico Madrid’s reserve side striker Sergio Castel.
Goal-scoring emerged as a sticking point for Ferrando's free-flowing unit last season and Iriondo would hope the new crop is up for the challenge this season.
At the same time, league champions Bengaluru FC, Kerala Blasters, ATK and FC Goa have improved on multiple fronts and would be the favourites for the top four spots. which means, the biggest challenge for Iriondo and Co would be extract the best out of his players from the word go.
Jamshedpur have done well with their Indian acquisitions with the signing of defender Narender Gahlot and striker CK Vineeth. They also have Amarjit Singh Kiyam, Aniket Jadhav and Farukh Choudhary in their ranks. And these players must provide Jamshedpur a strong core of Indian players to build upon; something which can prove to be a crucial factor behind deciding the fortune of an ISL club in a season. The club also have a good mix of young and experienced players and that should serve them well.
The addition of Jamshedpur in ISL also brought along with itself a new group of boisterous and colourful crowd. 23,000 tickets have already been sold for Jamshedpur's first home game at 'The Furnance' against Odisha FC, for Iriondo and Co, it's now about matching their expectations.
Goalkeepers: Subrata Pal, Amrit Gope, Rafique Ali, Niraj Kumar
Defenders: Augustine Fernandes, Tiri, Jitendra Singh, Joyner Lourenco, Karan Amin, Keagen Pereira, Narender Gahlot, Robin Gurung,
Midfielders: Aitor Monroy, Amarjit Singh, Bikash Jairu, Memo Moura, Piti, Isaac Vanmalsawma, Mobashir Rahman, Noe Acosta
Forwards: Aniket Jadhav, CK Vineeth, Farukh Choudhary, Sergio Castel, Sumeet Passi
Updated Date: Oct 22, 2019 11:51:16 IST