IMD Predicts a Smattering of ISLBLOG Posts; Football Junkies (Funkies?) Want More

My name is Shaleen and I can’t be regular (no, I’m not an addict unless you’re thinking of the football variety). Also, that ^^ is not what my nose looks like.

There. I’ve said it now.

Let me be honest here. If i was following a blog as irregular as mine, I would have blacklisted it immediately. The fact that you’re reading this is probably because we share the passion that is football.

Maybe I’m relying on that passion to pull us through. Pull you through any bouts of mediocrity that you come across this blog and pull me through instances of lack of commitment/lack of time.

That and the thrill of transfers. I never thought transfers would be fun in Indian super league.  They are, though, and that’s good for the sport. I won’t bore you with all that is behind us. I’ll dive right into it like I was never gone and then perhaps you’ll forget those serial transgressions.

Holicharan Narzary to Kerala Blasters FC from NorthEast United FC

First off, we have Holicharan Narzary who has moved from NorthEast United FC to Kerala Blasters FC. I think this is a good move for both the southern franchise and the player, both of which endured a poor campaign last time out. It is also interesting that both were let down by individuals.

I saw good passes numerous times from Narzary last season but his bumpkin teammates wasted them all. I don’t have statistics on “key passes” from Narzary last season but I assure you they’ll be up there somewhere.

Similarly, I saw some good play from KBFC last season but certain players (::cough:: berba ::cough::) let them down. Let’s hope that this transfer turns into a marriage as opposed to a one night stand.

Anas Edathodika to Kerala Blasters from Jamshedpur FC

This one is a biggie for the southern club. Anas Edathodika is regarded as one of the best defenders in the country along with Sandesh Jhingan (to be called KBFC’s defensive duo from now on). I’m certain the two will form a formidable home-grown partnership in the coming season.

Edathodika is a smashing deal for KBFC. Even though he had an injury ridden season last time out, he managed to turn out 8 times for Jamshedpur FC. In those 8 appearances, Edathodika still managed to defensively contribute more than 7 times a game. That’s a decent return for someone who isn’t completely matchfit.

Siam Hanghal to Delhi Dynamos from Kerala Blasters FC

Siam Hanghal’s move from Kerala Blasters FC to Delhi Dynamos FC means that Hanghal will now play for fourth ISL team in four seasons. Basically, despite all his inherent talent, Hanghal has been unable to impress any of the teams he has played for (NEUTD-2015, Chennaiyin-2016, and KBFC-2017) till now.

At the same time, the fact that he has attracted interest from so many new teams means that there is untapped potential there. At the age of 25, though, you wonder when he’ll have his breakthrough season or, for that matter, when he’ll fizzle out. Last season, he was particularly woeful with a passing accuracy of only about 67%. That is in the desperate zone especially since he tracked above 80% in both his other ISL seasons.

This may not seem like an inspired signing to many people as Hanghal is yet another technical operator in a midfield chock full of them. Some would say that the Dynamos need steel before finesse and those people are probably smiling smug right now.

Rino Anto to Bengaluru FC from Kerala Blasters

ISL players travel a lot and Rino Anto is no different. After having played for ATK in 2015 and KBFC last year, Anto has joined Bengaluru FC. Anto has played for Bengaluru FC before, in case you didn’t know that but that was in the I-League.

Anto has the distinction of being the player with the most increase on his base value in the ISL auction. This happened in 2015 when ATK drafted him for Rs 90 Lakh from the base price of Rs 17.5 Lakh.

Last season, he appeared in 13 games for KBFC and had more than 5 defensive contributions per game, in addition to 2 assists. Those are some stellar stats for a defender. BFC is definitely stronger for having gotten him, while KBFC fans must be ruing the decision from their management to not renew his contract.

Anto is primarily a defender, who can pitch in in attack too. His performances, whether for KBFC or BFC have always been good. At the same time, Bengaluru FC will always have an embarrassment of riches. So it would be interesting to see how many games Anto gets in the upcoming season.

Daniel Lalhlimpuia to Delhi Dynamos from Bengaluru FC

Daniel Lalhlimpuia is a prospect but then we know that Delhi Dynamos are big on prospects. Last season, news came out that the Dynamos’ philosophy was to pick out out-of-favour or down-on-their-luck players. It is a well-known fact now.

It isn’t surprising that Lalhlimpuia fits that description. He had 3 appearances in 2016 for Chennaiyin FC, in which he mustered up a mere 4 shots and one assist. Just so you know his minutes amounted to just over two games. In 2017, he had two appearances for Bengaluru FC for a total of a massive 15 minutes.

Daniel Lalhlimpuia fits the bill for what Delhi Dynamos look for. Who knows; maybe he’ll be the next Chhangte.

ATK Blitz Everyone with Some Inspired Signings

As far as statements of intent go, ATK has made a hard-hitting one with their transfer moves. They have now roped in Cavin Lobo, Pronay Halder, Balwant Singh, Kalu Uche, John Johnson (love that name, “I’m my own son”, real time travel shit going on there, anyone seen predestination?) and Manuel Lanzarote. That’s six players with at least four of them boasting of 1st 11 potential.

Of these, Lanzarote, Johnson, and Uche have to be the big names. Each of them performed last season.

  • Lanzarote had 13 goals and 6 assists last season. He was a key component of FC Goa attack too.
  • Uche took time to get going and looked woeful early on but ended up with the excellent return of 13 goals and 2 assists.
  • Johnson was a rock at the centre of Bengaluru FC defence. He managed nearly 9 defensive contributions per game.