Delhi Dynamos FC 2015 Squad – Heinze Ketchup on Toast – Esteban at Blue Lugano!

Heinze for Delhi Dynamos FC 2015 Squad

Sorry about that. I believe my coat has been burned and my hat stomped upon after that lame ass headline.

But, its early morning and I can’t help it because I’m about to make some breakfast for my dear, dear lady. Stomach’s rumbling too so that doesn’t help either.

Personally, I’ve always wondered why no one ever used the ketchup connection with Gabriel Heinze. The only reason I could come up was that Heinze never played for FC Dijon… Har! Har!

Light Bulb! Defenders Last Longer Than Midfielders and Strikers

Anyways, it seems like the coaches and teams of the Indian Super League have realised what the whole world of football knew all along – that defenders have a longer footballing life than midfielders and strikers.

After all, it’s not like five of the 16 oldest players ever to have played in Italy were legendary defenders. These were Alessandro Costacurta, Pietro Vierchowod, Paolo Maldini, Javier Zanetti, and Robert Sensini. Of the other 11, by the way, 9 were goalkeepers, one striker (!), and one unknown. Also, Costacurta played till he was 41!

Clearly, the Indian Super League franchises have noticed that if they want their ISL Marquee players to shine and add value to the teams, then they need to focus on defenders a little more because as of now they don’t have the reputation to draw in players at the peak of their careers.

Heinze, Cambiasso, and Lugano to Be a Part of Delhi Dynamos FC 2015 Squad

The football enlightenment that Indian Super League franchises have gone through has resulted in most clubs targeting defenders. In the case of the Delhi Dynamos FC 2015 squad, this means Gabriel Heinze, Diego Lugano, and Esteban Cambiasso. What are these potentials like? Here are small blurbs on each.

Esteban Cambiasso – The Toast of Leicester City – The Bun of Delhi Dynamos FC 2015 Squad

Esteban Cambiasso for Delhi Dynamos FC 2015 SquadSome of you might say that Esteban Cambiasso isn’t a defender. To you folks, I will say that technically he isn’t but he does play like one.

Cambiasso is a defensive midfielder first and foremost. While he’s capable of springing some attacks from the deep lying position in midfield, those have always been few and far between.

Cambiasso has been playing for Leicester City this season and I don’t think he’s going to come to India unless the Foxes don’t want to keep him. Granted, his contract is about to expire but if the Foxes can avoid relegation as they seem to be doing right now, I doubt he’ll choose to jump ship.

Leicester City, for your information, is one point clear of the relegation zone and looking in good form. They’ve won five of their last six matches and only Chelsea and Arsenal (top 2 in the league) are better in terms of form. For my money, they won’t go down since two of the three teams they are yet to play are Sunderland and QPR. So, you can, more or less, forget about Cambiasso being in India.

Would You Like Some Heinze With Your Pakodas?

Heinze for Delhi Dynamos FC 2015 SquadHeinze and Lugano on the other hand are traditional defenders. I’ve always liked Heinze, even though he played for Manchester UTD and that I hate ketchup.

Ketchup is something you use when there’s no flavour in the food but then why would you eat flavourless food that makes you want to use ketchup. That’s a purpose of existence level dilemma right there.

After turning out for some of the biggest names in European football like Manchester United, Real Madrid, Roma, Marseille, and Paris Saint Germain, Heinze went back to his first club.

In other words, he became old and joined his oldest club called Newell’s Old Boys – see what I did there, old boy? Oh, just in case, you didn’t catch on, Heinze is 37 years old.

I still remember his five second performance against Liverpool. Watch him own the three different attackers from Liverpool on that one. This little video typifies Heinze and I truly hope that he can be a part of the Delhi Dynamos FC 2015 squad.

Diego Lugano – Slow, Lumbering, Tall, Traditional

Diego Lugano for Esteban Cambiasso for Delhi Dynamos FC 2015 SquadAs for Diego Lugano, I’ll admit I don’t know a lot about him. I haven’t really followed the big teams he’s played for. I mean who follows Fenerbahce and Malaga?

A generic search online makes me think that Lugano is a standoffish, fish out of water, limited type of defender who likes to take up good positions to intercept and hoof the ball clear.

He is a Uruguayan international so that has to count for something, right? Right? I am clutching at straws here. Someone help me out and tell me why it would be good for Lugano to come play in India. Even if you tell me that he looks like a member of The Brady Bunch (look it up), I will accept it.

The way Delhi Dynamos FC handled their last season; I wouldn’t be surprised if they ended up getting Diego Lugano of the three. For me, give me Heinze any day – the defender not the ketchup. Yuck.



Indian Super League Organisers Take Lessons from EPL

Inside the Locker Room

There’re two types of people in this world. The first type learns by watching, the second by studying, and the third by both.

The Indian Super League, blessedly, has decided to be the third type. Representatives of the ISL and its eight clubs had travelled to the UK to see how the English Premier League officials work. During the trip the Indian Super League organisers also studied the workings of clubs like Arsenal, Crystal Palace, and West Bromwich Albion.

The visit of the 23 man squad of Indian Super League organisers was a part of the strategic partnership agreement that the two leagues had signed before the inaugural season of the Indian Super League last year.

The actual idea was for the Indian Super League organisers to learn from the English Premier League organisers, which was exactly what the goal of this visit is.

What I Think the Indian Super League Organisers Went For

Indian Super League Organisers Visit Arsenal

Look at that grin! You could drive a bus through it. Its almost like he got a new movie deal…

The five day trip began on April 29th, 2015. While in the media the two contingents are spouting the usual platitudes, I see something deeper.

I believe the Indian Super League organisers have gone to the experts of the English Premier League with the express intention of learning how to transition the twin leagues of the Indian Super League and the I-League.

I don’t include John Abraham in that. Although, I may be doing injustice to him but if you see him in the photo, you can see the grin of sheer delight on his face. I think he got himself included in the contingent just so he could take a tour of the Emirates. Who can begrudge him that anyways? Lucky chump!

For the Indian Super League organisers, the 2014 edition was a massive success. Moreover, the way everyone seemed to have focused on grassroots development, it’s clear that that is the area where they feel they lack.

They are partly right of course but this also shows that the Indian Super League organisers didn’t think they needed any lessons in organising. The Indian private sector is very good at Event Management and, remember, the Indian Super League is largely a private affair.

Hopeful Short Term Fallout

Inside the Locker Room

Inside the Locker Room

In the short term, I have but one hope from this exchange of knowledge and knowhow – they will stagger the matches and put some gaps in the middles. The nonstop AK-47 of matches must stop. They aren’t only detrimental for poor little ISL fans and followers like me but also ruin the quality of the games being played.

If you ask me how the quick succession of matches ruins the quality of matches, consider the fact that all the ISL Marquee players are +30. Heck, English Premier League players at the top of their game would struggle to play every three days or so for three months flat. I swear we Indians are hell-bent on turning even our football league into a sweat shop being run by a pressgang. Sheesh…



Arsenal and Man UTD Legends to Grace Indian Soil

Arsenal and Man UTD

Thierry Henry!!

Paul Scholes!!

The Neville Brothers!!

Cole and Yorke!!

Robert Pires!!

Ryan Giggs!!

David Seaman!!

Saha, Silvestre, Irwin, Parker, Butt!!!!

Aaaaahhh! I believe it’s time for football fans to go mad. I know I am. It seems that all these great names I have listed above will be gracing Indian soil.

Arsenal and Man UTD

Arsenal and Man UTD in India!

No, I have not invented a time machine. Neither have I figured out a way to enter an alternate universe where the Indian Super League is greater than English Premier League and I am the de facto manager of Arsenal. If pigs had wings…

What I have come across is information that these legends of the great game of football will be playing a couple of Masters Cup matches in Goa.

When? You ask me with your tongue lolling and drooling about like a football sycophant?

Don’t worry mine is dangling like an anteater too!

The games will occur in the first week of June. June 3 and June 7 to be precise.

The first match will supposedly take place at the Cooperage stadium of Mumbai City FC, while the second match will be hosted by the Nehru Stadium of FC Goa.

What’s The Gig about Arsenal and Man UTD Players in India?

Arsenal and Man UTD

Henry and Pires

While I don’t like to wonder about the guthli (the seed for all the foreigners here) while gobbling down the aam (that will be the mango around the seed), my journalistic sense tingles every time I give it a bye.

The news is that the Western India Football Association (WIFA) and Goa Football Association (GFA) have been directed by the Indo Global Foundation to prepare the facilities of the games.

Supposedly, they have actually been asked to make ‘elaborate arrangements’, keeping with the importance of the event.

I like this Indo Global Foundation already. They seem to know their football and seem to also have their priorities right i.e. football before politics. I wonder who they are though because I can’t find jack about them anywhere except for a barely fleshed out Facebook page.

If any one of you knows, kindly give me a heads-up. I’m very curious.

An Annual Football Masters Cup in India

Schole and Giggs

Schole and Giggs

Back to the story here – it seems that this event will be an annual affair, if you’re willing to believe Henry Menezes, the CEO of WIFA.

I am inclined to believe him simply because he revealed that his stadium has already been booked by the organisers. According to him, there will be a total of 32 ex – Arsenal and Man UTD players, of which 26 would have World Cup caps in their records.

The Indo Global Foundation chose to not reveal the names of the players citing the lame excuse that the ‘charm will be lost’. He did give away some information by stating that there will be 10 players at the level of ISL Marquee players. He went on to add that having a minimum of 100 caps is a loose prerequisite.

ISL Blog had earlier reported on the chances of Thierry Henry coming to India. Apparently, we were just off by the timing.

Still, the names we came up with above were leaked out. Smart strategy from the organisers that!

Now we look forwards to the first match, which is just under a month away!