What is the soul of a football league? The answer is rather easy, obviously, it’s the fans. When we say this season the Indian Super League will be better than ever, it’s because the passionate Green and Maroon supporters have joined the ISL bandwagon. The club which holds the legacy of 131 glorious years has joined forces with three times ISL champion ATK to form ATK Mohun Bagan. It is needless to say a club with a legacy of 131 years will enrich the ISL. ATK Mohun Bagan boasts of a roaster filled with some of the best Indian and Foreign players. In ATK Mohun Bagan Squad Preview, we will analyze the ATKMB squad and will try to look at the different aspects of the team.
Foreign Additions: New Firepower added to the Squad
ATK Mohun Bagan has retained most of the foreigners from ATK’s last year’s title-winning squad. Agus is the only significant absentee in this season’s squad from the last year. But ATKMB has quickly filled up the gap with two quality signings from the overseas lands.
The former Newcastle United youth product Brad Inman has joined the Kolkata based club from Brisbane Roar, The right-footed central midfielder who can also play the role of a defensive midfielder is the newest recruit as the club’s 7th foreigner. Inman is expected to play a big role this season. He has played in several lower league clubs in England before moving to A league where his talents grabbed the eyes of ATK Mohun Bagan scouts.
According to transfermarkt the Australian has scored 53 goals and registered 42 assists in 290 appearances all over his career. He can play a very important role this season along with Javi Hernandez and Edu Garcia in the midfield as a super sub.
The former member of ATK’s 2016 title-winning squad, Tiri is a known face in Kolkata football. This season he has made his comeback to Kolkata as ATKMB roped the Spanish Centre Back for this season’s ISL. Last season he has a decent season with Jamshedpur FC. The former Atl. Madrid B team player will the player to watch out for in the heart of ATKMB defence. The Mariners will depend a lot on the minister of defence to sort their backline and make it impenetrable.
Indian Signings: Who are the New Faces?
The biggest transfer in this season’s ISL is Sandesh Jhingan‘s transfer to the Green and Maroon. This was a transfer everybody kept a close eye on, the talisman of Indian National Team joining Mohun Bagan is a transfer that is worth grabbing the headlines. The former Kerala Blasters skipper will lead the backline of the Mariners. A player with exceptional aerial prowess along with ball-playing ability can pretty much turn out to be the club’s best bit of business in this season.
Subhasish Bose‘s signing can be termed as one of the under-rated signings of this season. The former Mariner has made a homecoming this season from Mumbai City FC on a free transfer. Indian International is the first-choice left-back for the National team. His balanced approach to the game, with equal weightage given to his defensive duty alongside his dangerous overlapping skills, can very much turn out to be the turning point for the side in the left flank. Habas’s 3 man backline system may result in Subhasish being used as the Left-sided Centre Back.
The Indian International was one of the first names on the team sheet for FC Goa last season, this encouraged ATKMB to swoop in for the services of the national team forward. Manvir has found net 3 times for FC Goa, he may not be a fox in the box but he compensates that with his work rate in the pitch. He will be more of a bench player this season as Roy Krishna and David William’s deputy.
Squad Overview: How the Things Looks like for Mariners
Goalkeeping: The Last Line of Defence
ATKMB has a very talented pool of goalkeepers, Arindam Bhattacharya will be the man under the sticks. No doubt he was one of the main figures for ATK last year. Dheeraj, the talented Indian goalkeeper will play the role of his deputy along with Avilash Paul. In one sentence, ATKMB’s goalkeeping department looks tidy and good to go in this new season of the Indian Super League. A lot of the onus will be on their shoulders.
Defence: The Base of a Successful Side
ATKMB has arguably the best defence in the league. A backline with players like Tiri, Jhingan, Sumit Rathi, John Johnson is one of the best back-line in the league’s history. The full-back position is also filled with players with immense quality like Subhasish Bose, Pritam Kotal and Prabir. Last season was particularly very good for Prabir, the Mariners will hope he can maintain his form this season. Habas may opt for a 3 man backline that might result in either Pritam or Subhasish playing as a Centre back alongside Sandesh and Tiri. But the time will only tell what happens.
Midfield: The key to Success lies here
A midfield with players like Javi Hernandez, Edu Garcia, Carl McHugh and Brad Inman doesn’t need much of an introduction. According to the experts, the flexibility of the ATKMB midfield is the very reason that they are seen as one of the title favourites. Mohun Bagan will use their foreign players in the Defensive and Attacking midfield position. Javi and McHugh might be the starting pair for the club. They will be provided with the support of Indian players like Michael Soosairaj, Michael Regin.
The new recruit Glen Martins along with the youth prodigy Sk. Sahil might be the players to come out from the bench. Jayesh Rane will also start the day in day out for the squad after his excellent performance last season.
Forwards: The Strength of ATK Mohun Bagan
Forwards are the mainstay of ATKMB’s exploits last season, Roy Krishna and David William‘s lethal partnership upfront will decide the fate of ATKMB’s this season. The Joint high scorer of last season Krishna will try to repeat the feat this season. David Williams will also be looking to better his numbers this season. This season Manvir and Shubho Ghosh will deputise the deadly duo. Joby Justin‘s injury will be a big blow for the team but that leads to Shubho getting more time for the Mariners.
Antonio Lopez Habas (Head Coach)
The name Antonio Lopez needs no introduction in ISL, the Spanish have led the ATK side to two ISL titles. The Spanish mastermind likes to play with counter-attack based tactics. He is particularly is known as a strict man manger. His tenure at ATK and Pune City FC makes him an experienced campaigner in India. He has vast experience on the highest levels of European Football. He has worked with the Atl. Madrid set up and worked with big names like Diego Simeone. So it needs no saying that Green and Maroon supporters will be looking forward to the Spanish tactician to produce the goods for the Mariners.
Favourite Formation: 3-5-2, 4-4-2.
Clubs Managed: Atl. Madrid B, Valencia, Celta Vigo, Sundown, Sporting Gijon, Pune City FC, ATK.
Other Staff Members
Sanjoy Sen (Assistant Coach): The former I league winning coach for Mohun Bagan AC will be the assistant to Habas. His vast knowledge about Indian football will help the side and the Indian footballers.
Manuel Cascallana (Assistant Coach): The Barcelona born coach is one of Habas’s backroom staff, travelling him with him over the years.
Pinda (Goalkeeping Coach): Experienced Spanish Trainer retains his job after excellent last year with ATK and is now hired by ATKMB management.
ATK Mohunbagan: Players to Watch Out for in the 2020-21 season
The Fijian Superstar Roy Krishna has been a star-turned really after he was signed by ATK last season, ATK Mohun Bagan signed him this season. It will be very interesting to see how he performs this seasons. He will have stiff competition this season from players like Adam Le Fondre, Valkyis, Ogbeche and others. Mohun Bagan will rely on the player to score the goals upfront. His partnership with David Williams holds the key for the Mariner. Will Krishna wield his magic this season?
He can be seen this a lot as a super-sub for the Mariners. The Spaniards brace in the final last season guided them to their third title. This season he will wear the prestigious Green and Maroon jersey. A lot will be riding on him in the dying stages of the game to produce the attacking sparks for the team.
Last season he was the go-to man for Habas in the flanks. He will make a comeback to the Mohun Bagan side from where he started his journey towards fame. The local lad will surely have the backing of the local supporters behind him. His lethal crosses will determine the tide of the game.
Youth Players to Watch out For
Last season’s ISL Emerging Player of the year will be one of the hottest prospects. The Centre Back this season will mature further under the guidance of stalwarts like Sandesh Jhingan and Tiri. It will be important for him to maintain his high level of performances. How much game time he will get remains a question.
The player who impressed the most for Mohun Bagan last season was Sk. Sahil. The teenager has joined the ATKMB side this season. Mohun Bagan youth product will be looking to get some game time under his belt. Mariners will be keeping a close tab on him.
Mohun Bagan is a club with 131 years of legacy and a host of supporters will look to the club to provide glory in a new frontier. Merging with ATK will mean they are now a side tough to be beaten. A club with millions of supporters throughout the globe and a legacy that runs back 131 years. After joining hands with one of the most successful teams in the top flight of Indian Football, it seems Mohun Bagan is ready to conquer ISL. Will they be successful in it? Only time will tell.
Are you excited to see ATK Mohun Bagan in ISL 2020-21? What is your opinion about this ATK Mohun Bagan Squad Preview? Please let us know in the comments below.