Having made an entry bid for the upcoming Indian Super League (ISL) season following the investment by Shree Cement Ltd., Kolkata football giants East Bengal are assessing their options amongst a host of well-known international names for the head coach position.
The Bridge understands that several foreign coaches have applied for the job with a decision to be made by the club management soon after the official announcement of the club’s entry into the ISL.
What should get the Red and Gold fans excited is the indisputable pedigree of the names that are in the running, with Sven-Goran Eriksson, Jose Pekerman, Robbie Fowler and Eusebio Sacrista all reportedly interested. The 72-year-old Eriksson has previously managed the England, Mexico and Ivory Coast national teams, apart from spells at AS Roma, Benfica, Fiorentina, Manchester City and Leicester City amongst others.
With 18 major honours across his managerial career, the Swede is among the frontrunners for the hot-seat at East Bengal. Argentine Jose Pekerman is another highly rated option, with the 71-year-old famously leading Argentina to the 2006 World Cup before managing Colombia in the 2014 and 2018 editions of football’s biggest showpiece event.
Eusebio Sacristan and Robbie Fowler have also emerged as dark horses for the high-pressure role. While the former is an experienced coach having managed Girona, Real Sociedad and Celta Vigo in the La Liga, Liverpool legend Fowler managed Brisbane Roar in the recently concluded A-League season and has experience of managing in Asia following a stint at Muangthonng United in the Thailand Premier League.
Apart from them, other interested parties include former India coach Stephen Constantine, former Socceroos and UAE coach Bert Van Marwijk, Pep Clotet who recently stepped down as Birmingham City manager and East Bengal head coach from the latter half of last season, Mario Rivera.
With such experienced and diverse profiles to choose from, the East Bengal management has an important decision to make ahead of the latest chapter in the hundred year old club’s history. As fans of Indian football, we can only hope that they get it right so that we can witness an enthralling season of football after an anxious and frankly difficult six months.