While ATK’s ISL start has been the worst in the last five seasons, a closer look at their tactics hints at more team selection errors in the side than individual flaws. Steve Coppell needs to iron them out and find the right combination for the squad that has all elements to win the title.
Steve Coppell gets it wrong in midfield
While managing a rich franchise team has its advantages wherein the manager can chase almost any player the scout reports positively about, the downside would be ending up with too many choices. However, a master tactician like Steve Coppell wasn’t expected to struggle with it given his immense experience and a crystal clear mind about what he wanted from each player on the field. While he had shown tremendous astuteness with his setups with Jamshedpur FC last season, ATK couldn’t make much use of it. Starting the game with El Maimouni Noussair alongside Pronay Halder in the midfield, the latter’s role was to win headers and play the ball at of Manuel Lanzarote’s feet, ATK’s prime playmaker- something in which he fared terribly.
Noussair’s primary task was pretty much struck off after a while when Kerala was found playing possession football instead of taking the aerial route and the Moroccan was left to chase defenders consequently and break Kerala’s build-up from the back. And this is where things went wrong, for the towering midfielder panned out to be blind defensively and gave possession away too easily. The likes of Balwant Singh and Lanzarote were seen dropping down to win balls and defend from set-pieces leaving ATK toothless up top. The offensive midfielder was supposed to press higher up failing in which Kerala’s Sahal Samad and Slavisla Stojanovic ruled the midfield feeding to the flanks repeatedly. Coppell didn’t get him off early in the
Kerala Blasters’ wingers create a raucous
Though it is very early to make this claim
It was an
ATK’s attacking blend needs more time than expected
It would be unfair to assume things before Steve Coppell is given a few weeks to experiment with his bunch of players. Incorporating as many as 18 players in the squad fast is no easy feat by any means, but given that the league would last only four months no club really has much time at their disposal. Hence, when things went haywire during the
The India winger, although
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