Sunil Chhetri And Robin Singh Join ISL: Is The Excitement Deserved?

From what I can see, the world of Indian Super League is abuzz with two pieces of news right now. The first is the signing of 84 players between 8 teams (41 retained and 23 acquired) and the other is the potential of seeing the Indian football ‘gods’ – Sunil Chhetri and Robin Singh.

Sunil Chhetri & Robin Singh - the Warrior and the Rogue

Sunil Chhetri & Robin Singh – the Warrior and the Rogue

No, I will not be delving into which players have been  retained, which acquired, and how this team or that team is doing so well (you guys have fed enough on that cake and are now decadent Middle Eastern cake princes). However, after seeing fully grown boys and manly men swooning over Chhetri and Singh like they are Kama Sutra Queens, I’ve decided to delve a little deeper into the honeypot.

In case some of you are precognitive and have picked up on my leanings towards honey and bees today, I apologise. I recently had to take out a colony of wasps and my mind is buzzing with their screams of agony. So, bear with me as I exorcise my B’s and C’s by crossing some T’s and E’s.

Note: All bee jokes will bee accompanied by infamous (Buzzzzzinga!) from now on to ensure that you subliminally dream of bees tonight and develop a fondness for them (If all of you dream of Sheldon instead, I will not be held responsible but will be very much amused). The aim is to make you more concerned about how important bees are to the environment while you’re talking to people at socially sanctioned parties. (Issued in public interest by ‘Beelieve in Buzzzzzinga Non-Profit Organisation of Social Change at Parties)

Sunil Chhetri – The Busy-Bee

Let’s get the vital statistics out of the way. No, I won’t bee (Buzzzzzinga!) giving you a low down on Sunil Chhetri’s figure. We don’t want that kind of thing on this blog. Beesides (Buzzzzzinga!), not like the Indian girls watch much of football anyways. When I say vital statistics, I mean things like height and foot preference.

Sunil Chhetri is about 5’ 7’’ and prefers to use his right foot. Don’t let that fool you into thinking that he can’t head much, though. He has stung (Buzzzzzinga!) many teams by leaping above their defenders and scoring some great goals with his antennae.

You see, Sunil Chhetri has a huge leap on him. When in the right position, he can really take off of the ground. He has scored over some 6’ tall defenders as well in his career. So, you can expect Sunil Chhetri to score a few with his head in the upcoming edition of the Indian Super League.

Notably, he doesn’t only have the leap to reach the ball in the air but also good control to put it away. This means that he can often guide the ball from difficult situations into the net with his head. We didn’t see many goals of that kind in the last instalment of the Indian Super League.

This, according to me, was largely beecause (Buzzzzzinga!) defenders had more experience and pedigree than strikers in the last edition. I expect this trend to continue so, while Sunil Chhetri may score some headers, he’s not going to bee all that prolific.

Similar to Sunil Chhetri’s relatively short height being deceptive like the Venus flytrap (bee trap, beat rap, beer tap – take your pick) (Buzzzzzinga!) (Buzzzzzinga!) (Buzzzzzinga!), his preferred foot is also confusing for defenders. While he prefers to use his right foot, when the gameplay demands it, he can use his left to great effect too.

In fact, I will go on to say that his control over his wrong foot is slightly better than how effective most players’ wrong foot is. What all this means is that Sunil Chhetri has the potential to give us all the perfect hat trick i.e. left foot, right foot, and header.

Sunil Chhetri - On your marks

Sunil Chhetri – On your mark

Decent header of the ball and fair control with the wrong foot are just characteristics of Sunil Chhetri. They aren’t really his strength. His greatest strengths are his movement off the ball, his lightning pace, and his composure when on the ball.

Sunil Chhetri is an intelligent striker. He knows how to make the right runs and position himself. He also has the natural instinct of a striker which allows him to bee in the right honeycomb cell (Buzzzzzinga!) at the right time to receive the ball.

You combine these qualities with his lightning pace and you have a deadly combination. While pace, movement, and positioning are a striker’s best friends, they are not so good as to bring in goals. You need to network with finishing for that.

Just ask Jeje Lalpekhlua and Durga Boro what happened last season. They constantly got into promising positions but couldn’t finish the chance. If they’ve not been practicing their finishing this year, then I’m afraid they might bee stagnating and unlike honey in a pot, their talents won’t survive thousands of years.

Fortunately, Sunil Chhetri doesn’t suffer from this mar-malaise (Buzzzzzinga!). Sunil Chhetri has the composure required to finish chances off. Usually, if he gets into a decent position, he does a good job of putting the chance away. This, according to me, is why Sunil Chhetri is exciting all the fans.

Finally, Sunil Chhetri also looks like a good lad along with being a skilled player. He displays good sportsmanship. Consider what he did at 5:20 in the above video. He stole the ball from the United FC defender and scored but before he even celebrated he went and commiserated with the defender.

Interesting info: Sunil Chhetri’s mother played for the Nepal national football team. Talk about genes. The queen bee bred a footballer bee, eh?

Recommendation: I would like to see Sunil Chhetri with either Atletico De Kolkata or Chennaiyin FC. If he was any younger than 30, I would’ve said that he should go to FC Goa because Zico is the best coach in the league when it comes to developing players.

Robin Singh – The Worker Bee

Robeen Singh (I believe that’s how many people in Kolkata will pronounce his name, yes?) is five years younger than Sunil Chhetri at 25 years which means that he may develop a little more.

While Robeen Singh is not at the same level as Fernando Llorente (certainly not at the same level!), his style of play isn’t that different. At 6’ 1’’, he is a strong, burly lad, who brings a lot of physicality onto the pitch. He can bee a great target man for the club that gets him in the end.

One Step for Robin Singh... leap in weight for teammate

One Step for Robin Singh… leap in weight for teammate

While he may be able to hold the ball up fairly well, he hasn’t developed his interplay as much as he should have. There’s still time though in his career. It may even bee that his experience in the Indian Super League will help him progress.

Robeen Singh does have a very good shot on him. He is a player with a powerhouse of a left foot. When he hits a shot it stays hit whether on target or not. His shots can also be deceptive for keepers because he tends to have a quick, short back lift but still generates a lot of power in his shots. (Those of you swooning over this one: that was shots not shorts.)

At the same time, the problem with Robeen Singh is that he doesn’t hit the target all that often. He doesn’t even get into great positions all that often. This is the main reason why Robeen Singh’s strike rate isn’t very good.

He scored 10 goals in 42 for his first club East Bengal and that was in three seasons. In fact, there has been no improvement in his strike rate either because he scored 10 in 39 games for his last club Bengaluru FC. The only difference was that he took one season less to score those.

Interesting info: With Bengaluru FC, Robeen Singh has developed a tendency to get carded. In his first season with Bengaluru FC, Robeen Singh was yellow carded no less than 5 times in 23 appearances. In his last season, that number went up to 6 times in 16 games and he also managed to draw a red card out of the deck.

Recommendation: Because of his age, I want to see Robeen Singh playing under Zico. Failing that, I would like to see him receiving coaching from international level manager because it seems like he has untapped talent.

What’s The Verdict?

There’s a reason why these two players are considered to be two of the best in Indian football. If I was to sum them up I would say that Sunil Chhetri buzzes (Buzzzzzinga!) around defenders with intelligence and finishes chances with composure while Robeen Singh is a beeast (Buzzzzzinga!) of a striker who relies on his strength and power to get the right results.

I believe I have the bees (Buzzzzzinga!) out of my system now. One last conjecture: what would happen if all of us were bees (Buzzzzzinga!)? Well, for one, the environment would be fixed. However, the asthmatics would literally turn into super villains if that were to happen.

Most interestingly, if we were all bees (Buzzzzzinga!), Per Mertesacker wouldn’t know how to defend because his equipment will be blocked off by the stinger (one last time! All together now! Buzzzzzinga!).

I leave you with proof of my conjecture.

Follow:
Facebooktwitter

Share:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedin

Kerala Blasters FC 2015 Squad: Tinker, Taylor, Soldier, Spy?

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

There’s no one better than John Le Carre when it comes to writing spy novels. No, don’t talk to me about Ludlums and Flemings, I fall firmly in the Le Carre camp.

However, it seems that the Indian Super League’s inner soul has also been reading Le Carre’s works. Why, you ask, my gracious reader?

I believe we have the makings of a John Le Carre novel in our own lovely Indian Super League especially with the confirmation of Peter Taylor as the Kerala Blasters FC 2015 squad manager. To be precise, with Taylor’s arrival, we’re almost ready to have the Indian version of the Tinker, Taylor, Soldier, Spy! Consider.

Marco Materazzi is The Tinker

Marco Materazzi = The Tinker

Marco Materazzi = The Tinker

If you saw how Chennaiyin FC was managed by Materazzi last time out, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Marco tinkered with his time like there was no tomorrow and in a way there wasn’t. His most noticeable tinkerings had come in the semis – specifically the second leg.

You, like I, should expect Materazzi to continue tinkering. So, Marco Materazzi is my Tinker.

Habas the Henchman is The Soldier

Habas the Henchman

Habas the Henchman = The Soldier

Without a doubt, Habas the Henchman is the soldier. He fights, he rages, and behind closed doors, he probably choke slams people.

That player won’t train the way he was told? Choke Slam!

That chairman didn’t buy the player he asked for? Choke Slam!

That team bus got a puncture? Choke Slam!

That crystal meth won’t cook right? Choke Slam!

That sandwich is too salty? Choke Slam!

That constipation in the morning? Choke Slam!

Anyways, you get the idea. Habas the Henchman typifies the soldier in this setup. His team is always physical and with great stamina. His strategy is more about domination and intimidation than finesse and technique. He focuses on brute strength. So, Habas the Henchman is my Soldier

(Trivia: If Habas the Henchman was leading Delhi Dynamos FC, what would happen? Of course, they will win but apart from that? He would be Chole Slamming people! Get it? Coz he’ll be in North India? No? Pfft! What do you know!!!

Peter Taylor is… err… The Tailor

Peter Taylor = The Tailor

Peter Taylor = The Tailor

So, I come to my senses and we come to the Taylor… or the… Tailor, whichever one you prefer.

You know, I am not just using this lingo at random. I actually believe that these three managers characterise the names I am giving them.

You saw how I explained Marco and Habas. Was I wrong? Let me explain Taylor and you’ll see what I mean by Taiylor (I can’t keep typing Taylor and Tailor all the time, so!).

In case you didn’t know Peter Taylor has been signed to lead the Kerala Blasters FC 2015 squad.

Generic media news would tell you that Peter Taiylor is a former English national who has coached junior England national teams and multiple English clubs before agreeing to lead the Kerala Blasters FC 2015 squad.

Some journos who’ve done a little bit of research would even tell you that Taiylor once even managed the full England national team. However, that was for just one match against Italy, which he lost 1 – 0.

The really hardworking ones will tell you that Taiylor has recently managed Bahrain and brought them their first regional trophy. They will list all the teams he’s managed but what none of them will tell you is what he’s like as a manager.

That job falls to me. Taiylor is actually a tailor, the way he manages. He sews things. He mends teams. He makes sure that they don’t come apart at their seams. This means that Taylor becomes by Tailor.

What Are the Greatest Achievements of Peter Taylor

Peter Taylor with Hull City

Peter Taylor with Hull City

Peter Taylor’s greatest achievement in my eyes was back to back promotions for Hull City FC from Division Three to The Championship.

He took reins of a club in dire straits and catapulted them to the Championship.

He only left because Crystal Palace (a club he had played for and loved) came calling.

By the way, because of his achievements with The Tigers, Taiylor is highly respected by their fans.

His second best achievement, according to me, occurred when he managed England. That was the game he gave a break to David Beckham, Gareth Barry, Rio Ferdinand, Jamie Carragher, and Emile Heskey with Beckham the captain.

They were all youngsters then. So, it was kind of ballsy and perceptive.

How Will Peter Taylor Lead the Kerala Blasters FC 2015 Squad?

Every time Taiylor has managed a team, he has tried to work within the resources that are given to him. He has always managed to do well by his team but has never managed to truly make his teams great.

In other words, he has always been one step below the top flight managers. But, he has managed to do well against the second and third tier managers fairly often. So, I’m not that surprised that he has chosen to come to India and lead Kerala Blasters FC 2015 squad.

He was going nowhere in a hurry and was a free man before the chance to lead Kerala Blasters FC 2015 squad came calling. Taiylor has a tendency to play to his team’s strengths so expect him to try to work within the limitations of the Kerala Blasters FC 2015 squad.

Attacking Hull City FC

Attacking Hull City FC

I know for a fact that he likes attacking football because that’s how he had his most successful team, Hull City play. At the same time, if he feels he doesn’t have the right players, then he may just choose to be pragmatic about the whole thing.

Regardless of which style of football Taiylor patronises while leading Kerala Blasters FC 2015 squad, I think he may be an upgrade on David James. First of all, James was a player manager which means that his concentration was always split up. Secondly, James didn’t have much experience as a manager.

In fact, Kerala Blasters were the first team he managed. James’ lack of focus because of his dual roles and his lack of experience is why I think Taiylor is a better option.

The Junior Lewis Connection

Junior Lewis

Junior Lewis

Another thing you Kerala Blasters FC fans should know about is that Taiylor has a special brotherly love thing going on with Junior Lewis.

Basically, everywhere Taiylor goes, the first thing he does is gets Junior Lewis to join him.

He has signed Lewis six times as a player and two times as a coach or an assistant manager.

Lewis is currently free so you may see him joining the Kerala Blaster FC 2015 squad as well.

I don’t know whether Lewis coming to Kerala Blasters FC 2015 squad will be a good thing or not. This is mainly because Lewis usually operates at extremely small clubs in England.

Still, I am not one to reject someone before they’ve shown what they can do so I’m being optimistic even if he does follow Taiylor.

Who Will Be The Spy?

So, I have satisfied my verbal diarrhoea about Taiylor and explained to you what I expect from him as the manager of the Kerala Blasters FC 2015 squad. Now, we’re left with the Spy.

Who will be the Spy of the ISL 2015 season? We don’t know. How can we know? If we knew the Spy wouldn’t be a good spy now would he? He would be Johnny English then. The way I see it, the Spy will lead one of the teams that have not been pegged to do well.

Sam Allardyce - The Angry Spy

Sam Allardyce – The Angry Spy

The Spy could be a player like Adriano who is expected to come but fail after he comes. The Spy could have been Harm Van Veldhoven but he’s already left these shores. The Spy may be a manager who hasn’t been revealed yet.

Consider the fact that Harry Redknapp and Sam Allardyce are both being considered by Indian Super League franchises. The Spy could be either one of those. I am waiting for the arrival of my Spy.

Let’s see if our John Le Carre novel actually comes through.

Follow:
Facebooktwitter

Share:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedin

FC Goa 2015 Squad – Adriano’s Greek Tragedy May Get an Indian Chapter

Forewarning: Those of you who read my posts only for fun and banter may be disappointed with this post.

Now that doesn’t preclude the fact that I may be unable to resist some pot-shots. What it means that as I sit down to write about the potential arrival of the Brazilian Emperor to the Portuguese beaches of India, I don’t feel particularly humorous.

Why? Well, Adriano’s story is an incredibly sad one. His is a veritable Greek tragedy of modern times. It involves everything including fantastic fame, loss of loved ones, debilitating depression, and a meteoric descent into hell.

Whether Adriano is now trying to engineer a phoenix rise from the ashes or if this is going to just be an Indian chapter of his Greek tragedy, it deserves some respect. By considering Adriano to be a part of the FC Goa 2015 squad, Zico is doing what no other manager in world football would consider.

This includes all the ‘humanitarian’ type managers in the mould of Arsene Wenger, Guus Hiddink, Johan Cruyff, and possibly Joachim Low.

How Adriano’s Footballing Career Has Been a Greek Tragedy?

Adriano in his Pomp!

Adriano in his Pomp!

Adriano started out as a young player for Flamengo in Brazil. Flamengo is easily the most successful club in Brazilian football history and since Brazil is the home of world football, that’s quite a feat.

However, one year after breaking through to the first team squad, Adriano moved to Inter Milan in Italy and lit up Europe. First, Inter would loan Adriano to Parma where he would partner Adrian Mutu.

Remember Mutu, the guy who used to play Chelsea when they had just come into a lot of money? The guy who most people now remember for failing a drug test in a sensational manner?

I can’t help but think that the time Adriano spent with Mutu at Parma had some say in what he would do in his future but since hindsight is something of a temptress, what do I know.

Anyways, after scoring loads of goals for Parma with Mutu, Adriano would come back to Inter and score tons more. He scored 22 for Parma and would score 47 for Inter after his return.

Adriano was at the peak of his game at this time. He was scoring boatful of goal at club and international level. There was nothing that he touched that didn’t turn to goal’d (deliberate!).

He was considered to be one of the best strikers in the world at this time. It was at this point that Adriano’s life and career made a dramatic U-turn. It was at his point that his life would become a Greek tragedy.

You see, his father passed away. Adriano was known to be very close to his father and his loss struck him hard. He took up alcohol with a vengeance and, although it hasn’t been stated anywhere else, my gut tells me that he may have been on drugs too (refer to his time with Mutu).

Still, such was the talent of this beast of a striker that he kept his performances up for the next two years! Alcohol abuse takes time to show up in any case. The effects started showing up in 2005, when Adriano’s performances dipped drastically.

Adriano now lost his focus on football and started living a life of party and escapism. He was castigated for poor work ethic and dropped by one manager after another. Adriano was shipped off to Sao Paulo in Brazil where he head-butted a teammate.

He was brought back to Europe by Roma but let go with mutual consent after only five games. He would then join the Corinthians, Flamengo, and Atletico Paranaense in quick succession.

Adriano in his Plump!

Adriano in his Plump!

Throughout this period, Adriano was gaining weight, partying even harder, and being investigated for his connections to drug cartels in Brazil. Even Adriano’s agent came out and said that he no longer cares about The Emperor’s football career and that he is worried about Adriano the man who is on a path to self-destruct.

The last anyone heard of Adriano was that he was being linked with Le Havre, a second division side in France. Adriano has effectively given us a master class instruction in how to go from being on top of the world to a forsaken blind alley in the corner of nowhere. If that is not a Greek tragedy, then I don’t know what is.

Zico and Adriano’s Personal Connection

Zico, however, seems to believe in Greek tragedies too because he is considering giving Adriano his very own cathartic experience. If none of you are pretentious literature students, then let me explain in simpler words.

There’s a chance that Zico will give Adriano a chance to resurrect his career as a member of the FC Goa 2015 Squad. In fact, it is almost certain that Adriano has received an offer from Zico to be a part of his FC Goa 2015 squad because Zico revealed them same himself on his Facebook page.

The Idol & The Pupil

The Idol & The Pupil

Can you believe that? The legend Zico actually typing a status update for all of us lowly mortals? It’s almost like him kicking a football at me. Anyways, it’s something in this day and age that a man like Zico is handling his Facebook page himself. He deserves a standing ovation just for that.

Also, Adriano verified Zico’s status update by putting up one of his own where he stated that he spent the afternoon with Zico (his idol)!

What Can Adriano Bring To FC Goa 2015 Squad?

However, what will Adriano bring to the table of the FC Goa 2015 Squad!?

Adriano was a legend in the making before his life was derailed by an untimely death of a loved one. In his pomp, the man was a beast. He was powerful, strong, skilful, technical, and determined. He was so good that people started calling him The Emperor!

Adriano has a mean left foot, can dribble as profusely as a man on laxatives (think drool: sorry couldn’t help that one), and has oodles of creativity. He can head a ball like a rocker, hit a ball into utter and complete submission, score a freekick through the wall, and possibly give Michael Chopra a run for his money on the flabby side of things.

As you can see, the only problem with Adriano being a member of the FC Goa 2015 Squad will be his fitness. He has gained weight to a point where he looks like your local vegetable vendor who sits  with his vest half raised and has the stamina of your college professor who gets tired after every lecture.

How Zico Is Behind Everything Wonderful About FC Goa

Zico, by the way, can be said to be the man behind the rise of the Brazilian club Flamengo. He led that club to the first and the greatest of its victories in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It’s no wonder that he has chosen to give another former Flamengo man in trouble a helping hand.

Zico has been handling recruitment for the FC Goa 2015 squad singlehandedly. The news is that Lucio has already been signed as FC Goa 2015 squad’s ISL marquee player. Supposedly, Zico is also targeting three other former Brazil internationals to be a part of his FC Goa 2015 Squad.

Adriano for FC Goa 2015 Squad!

Adriano for FC Goa 2015 Squad!

So, if Adriano hasn’t burned off all his grey cells, he will accept this generous offer because he won’t get any other for the rest of his life.

This seems to me like one of those make or break moments in a person’s life. In a Greek tragedy, this point will be where the protagonist (Adriano) will make the choice between rejuvenating catharsis and eternal damnation for the rest of his life.

What choice Adriano makes is a mystery to the likes of us.

Still, I sincerely hope that he chooses catharsis, comes to India, and shows the world that life can put down a great footballer but it can never put him out! Come on The Emperor!

Disclaimer: I have never been an Adriano fan but I, like many of you, appreciate a talented footballer and absolutely love an underdog.

Follow:
Facebooktwitter

Share:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedin