Chennaiyin FC will be looking forward to a huge redemption as the team will look to uplift their position after attaining a number 8th finish with only 20 points from 20 games. In the process they registered only five wins out of 20 along with five draws and as many as 10 losses.
Looking at the overall statistics of the team, in 20 games they conceded as many as 35 goals, with a conceding rate of 1.75 goals per game while scoring only 17. The attacking woes of the team were exposed to the bones when taking as many as 157 attempts at the goal they could only land 53 on target. The defensive statistics have not been far too great either. However Vishal Kaith managed to keep two clean sheets in nine appearances.
With a disastrous season coming to an end, it's fair to say to the Chennaiyin FC will be gearing up for a better next season with a better fitted squad. The process was triggered with the replacement of head coach Bozidar Bandovic. Although the coach to take his place has not yet been decided, the Marina Machans would require someone with Indian Super League experience who can bring in slow but long lasting changes.
Keeping in mind the required necessities for Chennaiyin FC, we here at The Bridge choose our top 3 best fits for the position at the Indian Super League outfit.
Marco Pezzaiuoli (Bengaluru FC)
Although coach Marco Pezzaiuoli is legally bound with the Bengaluru FC, the news of his departure is getting stronger with time and that is fuelling news of his chances of joining Chennaiyin FC. A lot of previous reports in India formerly stated that he was a frontrunner in the race.
Coming through the ranks of German U-17, U-19 units, Marco Pezzaiuoli's appointment brought about a lot of expectations in and among the Indian football fans. Pezzaiuoli took over the duties from Naushad Moosa after the Durand Cup, taking the team to the AFC Cup Group stages. But the team were ousted after getting only four points from three games. However, being on a performance based contract Pezzaiuoli did not perform quite well in the first half, maybe because of lack of experience in India.
On the note of positivity, Pezzaiuoli used the best of his head, and brought out Bengaluru FC lurking from the lower positions to an almost top four finish being in the race till the last match day. However, Marco Pezzaiuoli poise and experience which definitely includes a good knowledge on the technical and tactical approach of the game makes him a pretty good choice for the team. At the same time, Pezzaiuoli bagged a 40% win ratio in his first season.
Antonio Lopez Habas (Former ATKMB, Pune City coach)
Antonio Lopez Habas is one of the most successful coaches in the Indian Super League. Despite being relieved off his duties mid season by the ATK Mohun Bagan management, sitting on a string of poor performances from the club, there is nothing that can take away the legacy Habas has left during his stints with ATK and ATK Mohun Bagan.
Coaching teams in the La Liga like Valencia CF and Celta de Vigo, Habas has accumulated a plethora of knowledge in different aspects of the game. Plying his trade in the Indian soil with teams like Pune City FC, ATK and ATK Mohun Bagan, Habas possesses the knowledge of technicality of Indian football.
The careers of the players like Victor Mongil, Tiri, Roy Krishna can easily be credited to him. Being a fan of defensive strategies, Habas seems to be the best fit for defensive woes of Chennaiyin FC. Habas's defensive strategies made sure that under him, the teams conceded only 89 goals in 85 games. With a ratio of 1.65 points per match, Habas is one of the most standout fits for Chennaiyin FC if they are looking for a steady and long-lasting fit.
Elco Schattorie (former East Bengal, Kerala Blasters)
Elco Schattorie has to be the most qualified coach in terms of experience in Indian football. Plying his trade through I-League, Indian Super League, with teams like East Bengal, Kerala Blasters, United SC and even taking North East United FC to the semifinals where they lost to Bengaluru FC.
The coach possesses a ratio of 1.55 points per game. With that Elco Schattorie possesses a great knowledge of the tactical aspects of the games and is often seen providing tactical analysis of top tier games. Schattorie believes in a slow yet permanent change in the approach of his team , and the management will have to be quite patient to bear the fruit of Schattorie's sows.
The former coach takes one ground at a time to improve it thoroughly and his processes might not bring out instant results for the team, but his proceedings would do the club good for a more long lasting result.
Despite the foreign coaches being a good fit for the former Indian Super League Champions, Indian coches like Khalid Jamil would have been a good candidate for the job. However, Jamil has recently been linked to 2nd division I-League club FC Bengaluru United.