I-League coaches are way classier when it comes to interviews; Elvedin Škrijelj is a Slav to the grind. Plus, Alfred Jaryan should be an honorary Mizo.
British Gaffers in the I-League are the Best Gaffers
If you have been following the ISL, you will be familiar about the former Odisha FC coach Stuart Baxter’s comments in the post-match interview. Then there was Robbie Fowler having a go at Eelco Schattorie after a loss.
It makes you wonder whether these esteemed gentlemen even respect the game. To say “one of my players will have to rape someone or get raped himself if he was going to get a penalty,” in an interview is shocking. It cannot get lost in translation since English is his first language.
Now, take a listen to the former Middlesbrough player and RoundGlass Punjab FC coach, Curtis Fleming, giving an interview with the dignity that can put the aforementioned to shame.
Praising his players and staff saying “I’m happy for them, it’s not about me” – that’s pure class.
Another British coach in the I-League, Real Kashmir’s David Robertson talks about his career, football, and the people Kashmir in an interview. Take a listen and it’s obvious that he cares about the club, his players, and the game of football.
Well, Baxter has been fired, now it’s time for that former Liverpool player turned coach to take notes and stop reading between the lines – or doing lines in the first place – and teach his players a thing or two about humility.
Captain. Leader. Liberian/Mizo Legend.
We have seen plenty of foreign recruits in the I-League. Some hang around for a year or two, while others switch clubs every other season. That’s modern football for you – loyalty is secondary.
Gone are the days where players weren’t just footballers, but personification of the clubs they represented.
Alfred Kemah Jaryan is an exception.
Joining Aizawl FC as a forward in 2015, the Liberian top-scored for his team in their bid to lift the I-League 2nd Division trophy and qualification to the 2015-16 season.
Then came the shift in plan under Khalid Jamil, as he was tasked with anchoring the midfield. Sacrificing the goals and assists, Jaryan compensated his headline-winning exploits by captaining the team to their first ever I-League title in 2016-17.
In his sixth year with the club, Jaryan made his 200th appearance in the match against Churchill Brothers.
It’s time Jaryan is accepted as an honorary Mizo.
Elvedin the Entertainer
On the topic of foreign signings, Elvedin Škrijelj has had an eventful I-League so far.
In the third match against TRAU he scored an own goal. He made amends by scoring the winner against Indian Arrows.
Now in his fifth match against Sudeva, he received a direct red card for a poor tackle as his team lost 4-0.
Just scrap the suspension and let the guy entertain us in the next round.
Arrows Leaking Again
For a moment, it appeared that Indian Arrows were able to stem the rot. Having shipped 12 goals in their opening three matches, the development side were involved in two tight matches.
The 1-1 draw against Aizawl FC and the narrow 1-0 loss to Chennai City had shown signs of improvement. All hopes were shattered in the second half of their encounter against Real Kashmir. Trailing 0-1 at the break, Indian Arrows let in five goals in the second half of the match as the match ended 0-6.
Six matches, 3 goals scored, 20 goals conceded.
Yes, they are kids and have a lot to learn. The question is, how the hell did Aizawl FC manage to drop points against this bunch?
The Goal Scoring Ratio
Indian players outscored the foreign recruits as a total of 12 goals were scored in round six of the I-League.
Mohammedan SC played out their third 0-0 draw in five matches as their players look uncapable to score in a brothel.
While Real Kashmir demolished India Arrows, the players from Sudeva Delhi were singing a different tune as N. Singh, NM Singh, and M. Singh scored in their 4-0 win over Chennai City.
Brace from Dipanda Dicka (Real Kashmir), Ngangbam Singh (Sudeva), and Chencho Gyeltsen (Punjab FC) accounted for half the goals scored in the round.
The overall tally after round six looks like this:
Foreign players – 35
Indian players – 32
Own goals – 3