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ISL: Jamshedpur FC's campaign personifies a steep 'fall from grace'

ISL 2022-23 season witnessed Jamshedpur FC's rise to glory swiftly swept away, leaving them languishing at the bottom end of the table.

ISL: Jamshedpur FCs campaign personifies a steep fall from grace

Jamshedpur FC


Aswathy Santhosh

Updated: 3 Jun 2023 1:46 AM GMT

Jamshedpur FC embarked upon the ninth season of the Indian Super League with a profound sense of anticipation, owing to their status as the reigning champions of the league. This football club hailing from the 'Steel City' of India has often resided within the confines of mediocrity, securely nestled in the mid-table echelons.

However, their journey in the 2021/22 season proved to be a revelation under the astute guidance of head coach, Owen Coyle, and his talisman, Greg Stewart.

Jamshedpur 2021 season

Similar to their counterparts in the league, Jamshedpur FC found themselves unable to retain the services of Greg Stewart following their triumphant title campaign. Consequently, the resignation of their esteemed head coach, Owen Coyle, arrived as an additional bolt from the blue.

In an effort to revitalize the team, Jamshedpur FC appointed Aidy Boothroyd as their new head coach, who boasts an impressive curriculum vitae adorned with noteworthy accomplishments. Boothroyd, a highly regarded figure in English football, did the role of manager for the England youth teams, showcasing his expertise for an impressive span of seven years.

Notably, Boothroyd also played a massive role in orchestrating Watford's ascent to the prestigious Premier League, rescuing the team from the precipice of relegation.

Their endeavors to bolster the squad with good foreign acquisitions showcased promises, barring the void left behind by the incomparable presence of Greg Stewart. Certain players are simply irreplaceable, and Greg Stewart undeniably epitomizes that distinctive breed of footballer.

Although the Indian core of the team remained predominantly intact, the process of blending in with the newly acquired foreign recruits required a significant amount of time.

Aidy Boothroyd

Nevertheless, neither the ardent supporters nor the seasoned pundits truly envisaged the extent of the decline that befell on Jamshedpur FC, culminating in their ignominious descent to the 10th position on the league's points table.

Durand Cup

Jamshedpur FC tactically fielded a combination of their reserve team and seasoned Indian players, creating a blend of talent. Grouped alongside prominent contenders like Bengaluru FC, FC Goa, Mohammedan FC, and the Indian Air Force team, they faced a tough challenge in Group A.

Jamshedpur FC concluded their campaign in the middle of the points table, securing a mere two wins throughout the tournament. Despite their efforts, Jamshedpur FC's aspirations in the Durand Cup were abruptly halted, unable to progress beyond the group stages.

Indian Super League

The start of the 2022-23 campaign brought a startling blow to the Red Miners as they suffered a surprising 2-3 defeat at their home ground against Odisha FC. Following this setback, they endured two consecutive games without a victory before finally finding their footing with a hard-fought 1-0 win over NorthEast United FC.

However, their triumph was short-lived as they succumbed to a disheartening seven-game losing streak. It wasn't until their encounter with FC Goa, where they managed to salvage a 2-2 draw, that they finally halted their losing streak. Seeking to turn the tides, the January transfer window proved to be a turning point for the team.

With three crucial signings in Pronay Halder, Rafael Crivellaro, and Dylan Fox, a glimmer of hope emerged. Their additions provided a much-needed boost, injecting a positive momentum into the team. As a result, they experienced a slight respite from a string of demoralizing defeats, winning four out of their last seven games.

However, despite this late surge, the season ended on a profoundly disappointing note. Going from being crowned as the league shield winners with an impressive tally of 43 points to finishing in the 10th position with a meager 19 points was an immense letdown for the Red Miners.

Super Cup & Club Playoffs

Having discovered a late surge of momentum in the league, Jamshedpur FC found themselves positioned in Group C alongside FC Goa, ATK Mohun Bagan, and Gokulam Kerala FC. They emerged victorious in all three group stage matches, securing a spot in the semi-finals.

However, their journey came to an end when they faced Bengaluru FC in the semi-final clash. Despite their best efforts, Jamshedpur FC suffered a setback, succumbing to a 2-0 defeat against their formidable opponents.

JFC celebrating a goal

Following their triumph in the league shield last season, Jamshedpur FC had earned a qualification for the Hero Club playoffs. Their next hurdle on the path to securing a spot in the AFC Champions League group stages was a formidable opponent, Mumbai City FC.

In an exhilarating encounter between the two teams, Mumbai City FC emerged victorious with a full-time score of 3-1. Despite a valiant effort from Jamshedpur FC, their dreams of advancing to the AFC Champions League 2023-24 group stage were dashed as Mumbai City FC secured their qualification.

Best Moment : There couldn't have been a better moment than avenging the team that had defeated you on your home ground in the first game of the season. Odisha FC secured a remarkable 2-3 victory against Jamshedpur FC at the JRD Tata complex in that initial encounter.

And to add to the sweet taste of revenge, the Red Miners defeated them in front of their home crowd, emerging victorious with a resounding 0-2 score line in the last game of the season.

Goal of the Season : That solo goal from Ritwik Das against Odisha FC. It was Harry Sawyer who received the ball in the middle. He played a well-weighted through ball towards Ritwik Das on the right side. Das took a composed touch and entered the box, skillfully placing the ball through the left side of the keeper.

Player of the Season : Amidst this goal-scoring drought, Daniel Chima Chukwu showcased his influence on the field, actively participating in seven goal-scoring plays. This included five goals scored and two assists provided, demonstrating his multifaceted abilities as a key offensive asset for the team.

He etched his name in the annals of Jamshedpur FC history by becoming the all-time leading goal scorer for the club, with an impressive tally of 14 goals. Chukwu's exceptional performances served as a shining light amidst the team's struggles to find their attacking rhythm, making his individual achievements even more remarkable.

Finds of The Season : Vishal Yadav. Amidst a backdrop of defensive lapses and under-performing players, the 21-year-old goalkeeper emerged as a bright spot. Over the course of the season, he appeared in nine games for the Red Miners and the young goalkeeper managed to secure a clean sheet in one of these matches.

Notably, he displayed remarkable shot-stopping abilities, saving a total of 39 shots throughout the season.

The Good : The turning point of the season arrived during the January transfer window, marked by three significant signings: Pronay Halder, Rafael Crivellaro, and Dylan Fox. These additions infused the team with a newfound sense of positivity and momentum, bringing a welcome respite after a string of disappointing defeats.

Following this the team rediscovered their winning form, showcasing determination on the field. Securing victory in four of their last seven matches, they experienced a slightly happier period.

The Bad : Experiencing a record-breaking 11 losses during the season. This unfortunate statistic stands as the highest number of defeats in the club's history, that too right after a league winning campaign.

Verdict : 2/10. The Red Miners' campaign, which began with high hopes as league shield winners, concluded in disappointment, earning a rating of 2 out of 10. Their performance was marred by a stark contrast between conceding 32 goals and scoring only 21 throughout the season.

The team's defensive struggles were evident, as they conceded a significant number of goals, leaving them vulnerable and unable to maintain a strong defensive line. Additionally, their offensive output fell short, with a lack of goals preventing them from securing favorable results.

The team now faces the task of analyzing their shortcomings, making necessary adjustments, and striving for improvement in future endeavors.

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