ISL: Analsying ATK Mohun Bagan's Indian contingent ahead of ISL 2021-22
The Mariners have built a formidable team which looks as a contender for the silverware this season. Before they take the field, let's look into their Indian contingent and analyse their strengths and weaknesses.
The seventh edition of the Indian Super League saw ATK Mohun Bagan finishing second (because of goal difference) in the league with 40 points to their name. The Kolkata giants played exceptionally well throughout the campaign but unfortunately lost in the final against Mumbai City FC (2-1). Their squad is a compact one and perhaps the best, in accordance to how other teams have built themselves. They have quality in most of their positions, be it in the form of foreigners or the Indians. In this article, we will be looking at their Indian contingent and discussing their strengths and weaknesses.
The Mariners have a brilliant squad. They are hardly lacking in any position. They have worked quite well in the transfer market and only made their squad stronger than before. They have brought in both experienced and young footballers in the form of Amrinder Singh, Liston Colaco, Deepak Tangri, Ricky Shabong, Ashutosh Mehta and Bidyananda Singh. These players will surely leave an impact on the side during the season. They will be also enjoying the services of Michael Soosairaj who has recovered from his injury apart from the likes of Prabir Das and Manvir Singh who can turn out to be game-changers when needed. Apart from their Indian contingent, their foreign signings have been fascinating and how the foreigners combine with the Indians will be noticed once the Mariners take the field.
The departure of Sandesh Jhingan will be a sign of worry for the ATK Mohun Bagan think-tank. Jhingan's absence will cause problems at the back for the Mariners as they do not have a proper replacement for him yet. Their defensive display against FC Nasaf in the AFC Cup Inter-Zonal semi-final gives us a clue about what they currently lack. Yes, they will have Tiri in the ISL but who will be his assistant if they play with four defenders is a question to be answered. They surely have Sumit Rathi, but someone more experienced would have been a better answer to the question. The disheartening loss against FC Nasaf will certainly have a mental impact on the footballers. But it is hoped that the Kolkata giants will fight their way and perform well in the ISL. The impact of the loss (against FC Nasaf) may only affect them in the first few rounds. Lastly, as ATK Mohun Bagan has signed a lot of new footballers this season, and among them, there are a few who are expected to start, it may take time for them to get into a desirable shape.
3 KEY INDIAN FOOTBALLERS TO LOOK FORWARD TO
ATK Mohun Bagan's strongest part is that they have many Indian footballers who are almost equally brilliant to their foreigners. The three key Indian footballers to look forward to will be Amrinder Singh, Manvir Singh, and Liston Colaco. Amrinder Singh was signed by the Mariners a few months back from Mumbai City FC. The 28-year-old goalkeeper was the captain of the side which lifted both the ISL League Winners' Shield and the Trophy last season and kept ten clean sheets. He went on to make a total of 61 saves in the entire campaign. Such a goalkeeper shall be an asset to the ATK Mohun Bagan side.
The second name is Manvir Singh. The 25-year-old, though initially a center-forward and at times a right wing-forward, was mostly used as a right-midfielder last season by coach Antonio Lopez Habas. He featured in all their 23 matches last season and went on to score 6 goals and provided with 3 assists. He will be a key man for the Kolkata giants this season and a lot of responsibility will be upon him and Liston Colaco to score goals apart from Roy Krishna, Hugo Boumous, and David Williams. Liston Colaco, too, will be a key footballer for ATK Mohun Bagan. Liston loves playing at multiple attacking positions, and last season at Hyderabad FC he was used more as a right-midfielder and a left-midfielder. Antonio Lopez Habas will probably be using him on the left channel, the position in which he plays for the Indian national team, and the footballer will face competition from the like of Michael Soosairaj who is now fit to be back on the field after remaining out of the game for quite some time. The 22-year-old played 19 matches last season for Hyderabad FC and scored 2 goals and provided 3 assists.
3 YOUNG INDIAN FOOTBALLERS TO KEEP AN EYE ON
There are a few youngsters in the team who have that quality to create an impact on the game. They are Sumit Rathi, Deepak Tangri, and Ricky Shabong. Sumit Rathi will probably be getting a chance to get himself featured as ATK Mohun Bagan have only one foreign center-back and no other proper center-backs to fill in the shoes of Sandesh Jhingan who left the club a few months back. The 20-year-old center-back who won the Emerging Player of the League award in 2019/20, played 6 matches in the ISL last season and was mostly featured as a left-back. The next name is Deepak Tangri. The 22-year-old central defensive midfielder signed for ATK Mohun Bagan a few months back from Chennaiyin FC and already got himself featured in three of their AFC Cup matches. Tangri played 17 matches for Chennaiyin FC last season and made 46 tackles, 34 clearances, 13 blocks, and 21 interceptions in the process. It will be tough for him to grab a spot in the starting eleven ahead of Lenny Rodrigues but if he gets a chance he'll surely display what he possesses. The last name is Ricky Shabong. He signed for the Mariners as a developmental footballer in August. The 18-year-old is a good footballer and played really well for the Indian Arrows in the I-League. He plays mostly as a central defensive midfielder, but last season he was also used as a right-back on two occasions and provided an assist in the process. It is expected that it will be tough for him to earn a place in the starting eleven ahead of Lenny Rodrigues and Deepak Tangri but it can be hoped that if he gets featured, he will give his best.
Whom do you think will turn out to be the best Indian footballer for ATK Mohun Bagan?
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