Here is our exclusive SC East Bengal Squad Preview for ISL 2020/21. Kolkata is known as the football capital of India. This city has many good and bad memories of Indian football and stayed as an active part of every incident of Indian football. This city got two footballing giants, East Bengal and Mohun Bagan who are the definition of passion and legacy in Indian football. It is impossible to organize any successful event without these two clubs and their inclusion in the Indian Super League was just a matter of time. Mohun Bagan has joined hands with three times ISL champions ATK and will play as ATK Mohun Bagan. East Bengal, on the other hand, has traveled a long way to enter into the Indian Super League. Finally, they got Sree Cement Limited as their investor and entered into the most prestigious league in India as SC East Bengal. As East Bengal was the last to enter into ISL they got very limited time to complete their team. Most of the Indians were preregistered. But the main issue that came up is selecting the head coach. Finally, Liverpool legend and Ex Brisbane Roar manager Robbie Fowler was appointed as the boss of SC East Bengal. After that, the team selection moved flawlessly. Each and every foreigner was selected according to the manager’s wish except Jamie Santos Colado who already had a contract from the previous year which can be terminated. Finally, after settling all the complications, SC East Bengal moved to Goa for ISL 2020/21.
SC East Bengal Squad Preview: Key Signings
Most of the foreign players this season are new to the Indian Football circuit. But in this section of SC East Bengal Squad Preview, we will like to point out some of the players who can be crucial for SCEB this season.
He is one of the crucial signings for SC East Bengal in midfield. His greatest plus point is his age. The former German u20 player is only 25 years old and can serve SC East Bengal for quite a long period. The defensive mid has the capability to operate in both feet and is strong both in defense and attack. He has the experience to play in Bundesliga for his childhood club Hamburger SV. He was transferred to Wellington Phoenix in 2019 where he caught the eyes of Robbie Fowler who brought him to SC East Bengal.
Matti Steinmann played in 24 matches last season for Wellington. His defensive stats are quite impressive. He has a 1.7 tackles winning rate per 90 while he also won 1.5 areal duels per 90. This shows that he is a great player both in-ground and air. he has a record of 5.6 duels won per 90 which shows he is also good in 1v1 situations. His 83% passing accuracy and 14.3 attempted passes on the final third shows that he can initiate moves for his side. Though his shooting stats are not that high. He takes 0.4 shots per90. This aspect needs improving. But overall he is a great player and can be crucial for SCEB.
He is another player whose performance will determine how SCEB can perform this season. The ex Tottenham Hotspur academy graduate has a huge experience of playing in the English Championship. He has played for clubs like Sheffield Wednesday and Birmingham. He is a utility player who can play in left, right, and central midfield. He will provide Fowler with the option to try band test different team combinations. He is 33 years old and has all the experience that will be helpful for SCEB
Maghoma has appeared in 225 premier league matches and scored 23 goals and 28 assists. This stat is crucial as he hasn’t played much in attacking zones. He is a box to box player and will provide the necessary workload to carry the ball. He is also a good goalscorer and cand fire one or two whenever necessary.
East Bengal’s Indian squad is a bit weak compared to other top clubs in ISL. But there are some players who can change the course of the match in a moment or two. One of them is Narayan Das. This Indian left-back had played for SC East Bengal in the past and is accustomed to the legacy and emotions of the fans. He has a huge experience of playing in ISL and was regular in both FC Goa and Odisha FC for the past few seasons. SC East Bengal has always faced problems in defense especially in fullback positions that can be solved with the inclusion of Narayan Das.
Narayan has played 86 ISL matches where he created 5 assists for his side. He has a passing accuracy of 66% and has 37.1 passes per 90. This shows he is a good passer of the ball. Defensively he is also solid. He has 190 tackles 158 interceptions and 141 blocks which says that he can rely defensively.
Jeje is one of the most experienced players in this SC East Bengal side. He is one of the prolific forwards in the current Indian football circuit. This Mizo striker has previously played for another Kolkata giant Mohun Bagan (now ATK Mohun Bagan) and knows how to handle the pressure. He has the trophy-winning mentality and experience as he has won ISL two times Chennaiyin FC. His experience will be crucial for this SC East Bengal side and he will be expected to lead from the front.
Jeje is a legend in Indian football. Though his performance was nothing extraordinary last season and he has suffered from fitness issues. but his scoring prowess is nothing unknown to Indian football fans. He has scored 19 goals in 61 matches and has the capability to lead the SCEB frontline.
SC East Bengal Squad Preview: Squad Overview
Goalkeeping: Last line of defence
Goalkeeping could be a concern for SC East Bengal. Out of the four goalkeepers, Debjit was once one of the best keepers of India. But his form dipped a lot last season and he hasn’t played regularly with Mohun Bagan (now ATK Mohun Bagan) last season. But a good performance with SCEB can rejuvenate his career. Other keepers include Shankar Roy, Md. Rafique Ali and Mirshad Michu each of whom are extremely talented but haven’t played ISL before. So it will be a new experience for them.
Defence: The building block of success
SCEB has a fairly strong defense. They have a good mixture of youth and experience in the defense. Out of two foreign defenders Scott Neville has previously played under Robbie Fowler and is accustomed to his style of play. The other defender Danny Fox has the experience of playing in PL and can be relied on. Among Indians, Gurtej has already played in ISL for Hyderabad and was more or less regular last season. Rana Gharami and Anil Chawan also have the potential to perform well. Among the fullbacks, Narayan Das is a great pick for the East Bengal side. He is excellent both in defense and attack and is capable of playing on both sides. Though Lalramchullova’s injury has weakened their backline Abhishek Ambekar, Pritam Singh, Novin Gurung, and Samad Ali Mallik can handle the void properly.
Midfield: The heart and brain of a side
SC East Bengal has quite a good midfield line. They have a lot of ISL veterans in their midfield along with some young talents. Both Steinmann and Magoma have the talent to control the midfield. Steinmann will play in the central midfield area and will be assigned to guard the central space along with creating a bridge between defense and attack. Magoma is a utility player who can play in any position in midfield. He has the ability to play as a box to box midfielder and support the attack when necessary. Or he can also play as an attacking mid just behind the forward. SC East Bengal has got Indians like Eugeneson Lyngdoh, Sehenaz Singh, Milan Singh who has a huge experience in ISL along with talented youths like Yumnam Gopi Singh and Rohen Singh who give SCEB midfield, a compact structure.
Attack: Answer to the most crucial question
SC East Bengal got experienced players in their attack. ISL veterans like Jeje Lalpeklua, Balwant Singh will join players like Anthony Pilkington, Aaron Holloway to form the attack of the Red and Gold army. There are some players like Girik Khosla and Harmanpreet Singh who don’t have much experience in ISL. Though none of the Indian forwards is in the red hot form they have the quality and can be relied on.
SC East Bengal Squad Preview: Coaching Staff
The ex Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler has taken charge for East Bengal this season. Though his managing career is not long his football knowledge is immense. He previously managed Brisbane Roars and done a miraculous job with them. The club has finished fourth under his coaching with winning 11 out of 26 matches. Can he repeat his last year’s success with East Bengal that will be the million-dollar question?
Though an English Robbie fowler doesn’t believe in the traditional British Hoop Ball system. He likes to use a 3-4-2-1 system with fast possession gameplay. He uses overlapping center backs which will be something new in Indian football. His sides mainly play centrally and width is dependent on fullbacks. The two-men behind the striker make runs inside the halfspace while the forward drops to create space upfront. While defending his side likes to stay in their shape instead of pushing high.
A former Everton, Manchester City and Burnley midfielder Grant started his coaching career in Blackpool where he was the assistant coach of Terence McPhillips. He has previously worked with Fowler in Brisbane Roar.
The former Blackpool head boss Mc Phillips will work with Grant and Fowler as a setpiece coach. He has experience in managing the academy of Crewe Alexandra and Blackburn Rovers. He was also the assistant manager of Garry Bower in Blackburn and Blackpool.
Probably the most experienced addition of the coaching staff Robert Mimms will help Fowler as a goalkeeping coach. As a player, he has played for Everton, Tottenham Hotspurs and Blackburn Rovers. He has shared dressing rooms with Allen Shearer, Kevin Gallacher and had Kenny Daglish as a manger in Blackburn Rovers. He was a part of sides like Wolverhampton Wanderers, Oldham Athletic and Westham United along with some short spells with Blackpool, Bolton and Hull City. He also has the experience of managing International sides like Bahrain and Bangladesh. He is the only foreigner in the backroom who hast the experience of managing in India. He was the goalkeeping coach Jamshedpur FC and ATK under Steve Coppell.
He has joined East Bengal as the physiotherapist. He has the experience of working in a PL side as he has managed Newcastle for quite a long time.
East Bengal is probably the first side in India to have a sports scientist in the dressing room. Jack Inman will work with Robbie Fowler and help him to understand the condition of players on and off the pitch. He has previously worked in Bury FC and Macclesfield Town and has quite a bit of experience.
Along with sports scientist, East Bengal is probably the pathbreaker in this regard too. Joseph Walmsley has a degree in Sports and Performance and he was the performance analyst in Preston North End u18 and senior side for two years.
The only Indian in coaching staff Renedy Singh is a legend of Indian football. He has the experience of managing FC Pune City as assistant manager under David Platt. He was also the head coach of Neroca FC and has great knowledge about Local talents. He will provide inputs about Indian Football to rest of coaching staffs
SC East Bengal Squad Preview: Youth Talent to Watch Out
As mentioned earlier SC East Bengal has a mixture of youth and experience. They got some extremely talented youths in every sector of the side. In defense, they have players like Anil Chawan and Novin Gurung who if nurtured well can handle the SCEB backline. Players like Gopi Singh and Harmanpreet Singh in defense and attack respectively have also the potential to be in newspaper headlines if given proper game time.
That concludes our SC East Bengal Squad Preview. Overall it can be said that on paper SC East Bengal has a squad of equal strength with every other side of ISL. They have some issues but most of the player in every sector is of ISL quality. But for them, the main issue will be inexperience as of a unit. All the foreign players and head coach Robbie Fowler is new on this ground and will take time to accustom themselves. If they can overcome this they can do magics this season. But for the first season targeting the top 6 will be a practical approach for the Kolkata giants. SCEB fans should understand that if given time this side will deliver results. They just need to keep faith in their beloved club.
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