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  • Igor Stimac Interview The Away End
    Interview with Indian National Men’s Team Head Coach Igor Stimac
    Sandeep Menon, 11th July 2023
    Read more…

The Numbers Game

A Pressing Issue Solved: How a Few Tweaks made MCFC one of the most dominant sides in ISL2023-04-02SamarHow a few structural tweaks and better recruitment helped Mumbai City FC became one of the best pressing sides and arguably the best-ever team to grace the ISL.
Breaking down Buckingham2022-11-22TejasA detailed tactical outlook on Des Buckingham's style of play, formation and team selection at Mumbai City FC.
Chhetri 4.0? What is the next Sunil Chhetri?2022-10-31TejasThe point of this piece is not to get to the bottom of who the next Sunil Chhetri is. Instead, we’d like to pose the question, "What is the next Sunil Chhetri?"
Where is Simon Grayson's Bengaluru FC heading?2022-10-04TejasA deep dive into Bengaluru FC's recruitment, formation, style of play using their Durand Cup run as a schema as they head into ISL 9.
Hyderabad FC in the ISL 2021-22: A statistical and tactical review of their season2022-05-08JoyanA tactical and analytical breakdown of ISL 2021-22 Champions Hyderabad FC's astonishing campaign this season.
AFC Women's Asian Cup 2022: India vs Iran In-Depth Analysis and Statistical Breakdown2022-01-20The Away End Media DeskAFC Women's Asian Cup 2022: A detailed statistical outlook and an in-depth analysis of the India vs Iran game held on January 20, 2022.
ISL 2021-22 Playoff Predictions: Finding Order in Chaos2021-12-16AmritWith the ongoing season springing an air of unpredictability, here's a stat-driven take on playoff predictions and final finish probabilities.
Solving Juan Ferrando's Foreigner Puzzle: What Is FC Goa's Best Line-up?2021-12-08Ritwik KhannaFC Goa's ISL season has gone off to a very bad start and manager Juan Ferrando needs solutions quickly, starting with his foreign players.
ISL 2021-22: ATK Mohun Bagan vs Mumbai City FC Tactical Analysis2021-12-02ShlokA tactical deep dive into the showpiece match between ATK Mohun Bagan and Mumbai City FC where MCFC turned in a five-star performance.
2021 Torneio Internacional de Futebol Feminino: Tactical Analysis of Indian WNT versus Chile2021-11-30ShlokHere's a statistical and tactical breakdown of the Four Nations Cup match between Indian Women's Football Team and Chile held on Nov. 29.
Player Analysis: Odisha FC's Spanish winger Aridai Cabrera2021-11-23JoyanAhead of Odisha FC's season opener against Bengaluru FC, here's a look at Aridai Cabrera through a statistical and tactical looking glass.
ISL 2021-22 Preview: Profiling Goalkeepers in the Indian Super League2021-11-17Ritwik KhannaGoalkeeper is the position where India has arguably the greatest depth given the structure of the league, but what is each keeper's strength?
The Towering Rise of Target Men in India2021-07-16ShlokThe last two seasons saw an increase in the number of target men in the ISL. Shlok explains why in his inimitable, lucid style.
An Ode to Northeast United's Khalid Jamil2021-03-15ShlokAmidst the Spaniards and Englishmen, there stands an Indian that cuts a sober and austere figure - no controversial remarks, no show of arrogance and always talking up his players.
Alberto Noguera: Player Profile2021-03-05ShlokThe Spanish playmaker has been deployed in both offensive and defensive midfield positions and has taken the responsibility head-on.
ISL 2020-21: Kerala Blasters vs FC Goa - A Tactical Match Report2021-01-25ShlokMatch report of the game between Kerala Blasters and FC Goa focussing on build-up play, rest defence, player rotations and set-piece tactics.
FC Goa Recruitment Analysis: How are they doing Post the Mass Exodus?2020-12-27ShlokA look at FC Goa's recruitment over the years and if the league winners have adequately replaced the mass exodus of players from last season.
The False Promise of Jorge Costa2020-12-24SamarA comprehensive tactical, statistical and analytical look at Mumbai City FC under Jorge Costa.
In Excess of xA: An Analysis of FC Goa's 2019-20 season2020-10-10ShlokWe place 2019-20 League Winners FC Goa under the looking glass using our Expected Assists [xA] Heat Maps.
A Gooder, Harder Look at Expected Goals [xG]2019-01-26Amrit
A Good, Hard Look at Expected Goals [xG]2018-12-31Amrit
Introducing xA HeatMaps: 2019-20 ISL Champions ATK bring in the style and rein it in at will2020-09-28ShlokUsing our Expected Assists [xA] HeatMap prototype, we analyse 2019-20 ISL Champions ATK in part 2 of our series.
Introducing xA HeatMaps: How Mumbai City FC fared in Attack and Defence in ISL 62020-09-24ShlokIntroducing xA HeatMaps: Using Expected Assists (xA) heat maps, we analyse chance creation and defensive vulnerabilities of teams in the ISL. First up, Mumbai City FC.
Two to Tango: Adam Le Fondre and Bartholomew Ogbeche at Mumbai City FC - How Would They Work?2020-09-12SamarAn analytical look at Mumbai City FC's new frontline recruits - Adam Le Fondre and Bartholomew Ogbeche ahead of the 2020-21 ISL.
ISL: Front Men Under the Microscope: Poachers and Advanced Forwards [Part II]2020-08-09ShlokPart II of our analysis on ISL strikers focuses on poachers and advanced forwards and we also discuss the lack of playing time Indian strikers endure.
ISL: Front Men Under the Microscope: Target Men and No. 9s [Part I]2020-08-08ShlokFrom Target Men to No. 9s, from Gyan-Valskis-Santana to Messi B and Sergio Castel, we analyse the different kinds of forwards plying their trade in the ISL
The Curious Case of Carles Cuadrat2020-06-27ShlokIn this post, we explore the reasons behind BFC's dip in form in the 2019-20 season and if the Bengaluru FC Head Coach Carles Cuadrat is all that and more.
A Brief History of Time: A Vivisection of Indian NT's Footballing History by Numbers2020-07-04AmritIn this post, I'm going to use the cold, hard world of facts to put the Indian National Team's footballing history under the scanner and will try and gauge the level of Indian football over the years.
ISL 2019-20: From the Vanguard to the Bulwark - Four Players who made the Transition2020-05-16ShlokA statistical and analytical look at fullbacks in the ISL in comparison with players who made the transition from the attacking half of the pitch to the defensive half.
ISL 2019-20 Season: Centre-Back Comparison using Player Protractor2020-04-30AbhishekWe looked up data on centre-backs playing in the ISL, adjusted it for possession and drew up what we'd like to call "Player Protractors" and analyzed it.
We've been at Sixes and Eights: Ahmed Jahouh and Paulo Machado2020-04-05ShlokOne of ISL's finest imports, 31-year-old midfielder Ahmed Jahouh helped FC Goa to the League Winners Shield; however, with a move to Mumbai City FC on the cards, statistics suggest the Moroccan is in decline. We explain why and also explore how he would fit alongside Paulo Machado.
October 13 2018: International Friendly: China 0-0 India - Tactical Analysis2018-10-14AmritIndia took on China in a "historic" friendly in Suzhou in what turned out to be an excruciating game for both sides. China repeatedly hammered shots at the Indian goal and, on one occasion, were mere centimetres from scoring what would have been a well deserved goal but just couldn't find their way in. Meanwhile, [...]
The Hero ISL 2018-19 State of The Season Address2018-10-30AmritSeason 5 of the Hero Indian Super League is in full flow and I think it's finally time to start looking at some performance metrics to benchmark the teams. If you've been living under a rock, there's a stat called Expected Goals and I have my own model to calculate this for Indian football games. [...]
Blue Tigers Asia Cup 2019 Qualification Scenarios (And Bahrain Pre-Match Prediction)2019-01-14AmritAfter putting out 2 amazing performances, India have 3 points and currently sit in 2nd place in Group A with a Goal Difference of +2. That puts India in a very strong position to qualify, with only a point needed for confirmation. The Blue Tigers are naturally a defensive side and getting at least a [...]
Quantifying Playing Styles in the Hero ISL - Part Two2019-03-24AmritLast year, I took a shot at trying to use some basic box stats to identify a coach's playing style. I wanted to repeat that analysis this year but also improve the methodology a little. There were a couple of problems with the methodology I used last year, The first issue is that I arbitrarily [...]
The 2019-20 Hero ISL State of the Season Address2019-11-21AmritIt's time to wrap up another disappointing international break, put heartbreaks in the past and look forward towards the rest of the ISL season. We are currently 4 games into the season, which is the perfect time to forecast how the season will move forward. First up, it would do well to look at how [...]
Chennaiyin FC 2019-20: Fury Road to the Final2020-03-13ShlokFor the initial part of the current ISL season, it ominously looked like Chennaiyin FC would finish in the same place as the season before - bottom of the table.
Mumbai City FC's 2019-20 Season: A rough start, a hopeful run in the middle and an unfortunate decline2020-03-11ShlokUnlike last year where they finished among the play-off positions, Mumbai City FC looked to be in limbo during the course of the season. Let's take a look at what changed this season.
Indian Football Team Head Coach Igor Štimac: First Impressions2019-10-14AmritIt's been 7 games (and just under 5 months) since Igor Stimac took over as Head Coach of the Blue Tigers and that's probably just enough time to have an early peek under the hood of the Senior Men's National Team.
Tactical Analysis of the Current Indian National Women's Team2019-04-20AmritThere are plenty of problems but nothing that is un-fixable. The Women's Team are actually better positioned than the Senior Men's team...
Tactical Preview: Chennai City FC & FC Goa: What's the Difference?2019-04-08AmritAhead of the Hero Super Cup semi-final clash between Chennai City FC and FC Goa, here's a look at what makes them tick - two sides which are similar in philosophy, but differ in execution.
ISL 2018-19: Team Previews for the second half of the season2019-01-26Amrit
I-League: How Floyd Pinto fixed the Indian Arrows: Tactical Analysis2019-01-19AmritFloyd Pinto's Indian Arrows are a very, very, very under-rated side. The common consensus is that they're a walkover, but the current team has changed the narrative.
AFC Asian Cup 2019: India vs UAE: Tactical Analysis2019-01-14Amrit
AFC Asian Cup 2019: India vs UAE: Pre-Match Predictions & Tactics2019-01-10AmritThe numbers say that it's going to be a horror movie tonight. Be prepared!
AFC Asian Cup 2019 - Thailand vs India - Tactical Analysis2019-01-08AmritThe Indian Team has truly achieved something 'historic.' To win a game in a big tournament and to do it impressively is a fantastic result for the team.
Indian Team - AFC Asian Cup 2019 Predictions & Opposition Previews2019-01-04AmritThe Blue Tigers are set to make their 4th appearance at the AFC Asian Cup and their first since 2011 on Sunday.
What's going wrong (but might be going right) at Mohun Bagan2018-12-28AmritSony Norde's injury led to a blip in Mohun Bagan's form until their recent tactical revival under Sankarlal Chakraborty - but there is still room for improvement.

Footballing Tales

Interview with Indian National Men's Team Head Coach Igor Stimac2023-07-11Sandeep MenonIn conversation with Indian Men's Football Team Head Coach Igor Stimac: We discuss Indian NT's style of football, mindset and everything in between.
'Can He Do It On a Cold Rainy Night in...' ft. Sunil Chhetri2023-06-22Sandeep MenonIt is bitter because we know the end is near. It is also sweeter because we know the end is near. But not too near.
The Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken KKM Sangam Vihar FC2022-02-19AnirbanThe story of a football club from Asia's largest unauthorised colony/urban slum - Sangam Vihar and its founder/coach/mentor Anirban Ghosh.
In conversation with Luisa Morales on Women's Football in the Philippines2022-01-29abreshminaJoin Abreshmina as she speaks to Filipino sports writer Luisa Morales about all things women's football in the Philippines.
Remembering Subhas Bhowmick with Jaydeep Basu2022-01-23Arka BhattacharyaIn conversation with prominent Indian football journalist Jaydeep Basu about the life and times of Subhas Bhowmick.
Victor Manjila: The graceful daredevil who made goalkeeping an art2021-12-28KalpanthuIs that Spiderman? No, it is Victor Manjila; K.G. Raghunandanan profiles former Indian international goalkeeper Victor Manjila.
Tamil Nadu vs Chennai: A Football Revolution in Limbo2021-12-01KalpanthuVishnu Prasad writes about the tsunami-style inundation of the football ecosystem in Tamil Nadu and Chennai.
Mizoram football needs your attention now!2021-11-12Arka BhattacharyaThe brilliant Arka Bhattacharya traverses the length and breadth of the Mizoram football ecosystem in this article which can only be categorised as essential/obligatory/mandatory reading.
Ukhrul, Manipur: Taking baby steps in Football2021-10-18KalpanthuAmidst WWI, every game Ukhrul's Ruichumhao and his Manipur Labour Corps Company played in France brought them 90 minutes closer to home.
Was Inder Singh India's greatest forward?2021-09-22KalpanthuNicknamed "Bullet Train" by the Japanese, Inder Singh an inside right forward who was not only a brilliant goal scorer, but also a scorer of barely believable goals.
What's going wrong with Pune's football culture?2021-08-20KalpanthuTanay surveys Pune’s complicated relationship with top-level football and lack of an organised football culture.
Vamos, Vamos, Argentina: An Eternal Drought ends for Kerala’s Argentina Fans2021-07-18KalpanthuThis past Sunday as cries of ‘Vamos’ reverberated across Maracana, a similar mix of relief, jubilation and vindication was sweeping across Kerala. For the sky-blue and white half of the state, Vishu had come early!
Samantha Kerr's Calcutta Connection2021-06-10KalpanthuSam was 15 years old when she made her debut for the Matildas - she called herself ‘crap’ in her first interview with The Guardian.
Vuvuzela: Edition 1, May 14, 2021 - Hello World! Explaining Kalpanthu's Newsletter Vuvuzela2021-05-23Nevin ThomasBefore we begin the 24-edition series, I wanted to introduce Kalpanthu to the uninitiated.
To play for FC Goa is the ultimate step for every Goan: Devendra Murgaonkar2020-12-21Yuvraj GurungWe caught up with Devendra to understand his life, his footballing journey and new beginnings at FC Goa.
Wink-wink, nudge-nudge - it's the prodigious Makan Winkle Chothe2020-11-10Yuvraj GurungChothe Big Man: We sit down with the 20-year-old winger and retrace his steps from the hills of Chandel to the beaches of Goa.
Remembering Sheoo Mewalal: A Thousand Goals in Apathy2020-05-24RahimIndia’s first bonafide star striker was treated with apathy throughout his career and in retirement - he died the same way, forgotten and discarded by a history he helped write
222/22: The Wenger Years – 2014 to 20182020-05-19Yuvraj GurungAfter 22 years, 1235 matches, three league titles, and seven FA Cup trophies, the Arsene Wenger era was over in 2018.
Blue Moon on the Horizon: A deeper, harder, closer look at the City Football Group (CFG)-Mumbai City FC partnership2020-05-13MarvynThe rise of the blue side of Manchester indicates that, one day, Mumbai City FC can be the team to match Mumbai's national status as the City of Dreams.
Chima Okorie, One of Indian Football's greatest imports2020-05-10RahimAfrica's contribution to our footballing history has been immense. While Ranti Martins, Yusif Yakubu and Odafa Okolie scored more goals, the greatest player to grace us from the continent was probably Chima Okorie.
Fear and Loathing in the I-League2020-03-22Yuvraj GurungSince its inaugural edition in 2007, a total of 32 teams have participated in the I-League; 13 years later, their very existence is at stake!
Football is a way of life in Vada Chennai's Vyasarpadi2019-10-06Nevin ThomasIn Vada Chennai, the beautiful game is intertwined with the history of the place and through football, the folks here seek respite from the prejudices that cloud their little neighbourhood.
222/22: The Wenger Years – 2010 to 20142020-05-19Yuvraj GurungTop four was now a trophy for Wenger. Then Arsenal went on to actually win one in 2014.
Getting Lost in the Great Indian Football Tussle2019-04-12Nevin ThomasThe football fans in the country are caught in a classic Devil vs the Deep Blue Sea conundrum – who do we side with when both seem awfully corrupt?
The 2018/19 I-League End of Season Awards2019-03-13Yuvraj GurungWe look back at some of the best (and worst) the 2018/19 I-League season had to offer.
222/22: The Wenger Years - 2006 to 20102020-05-19Yuvraj GurungThe move from Highbury to the Emirates stadium saw the start of a trophyless drought for Arsenal and Wenger.
222/22: The Wenger Years - 2002 to 20062020-05-19Yuvraj GurungWenger creates history with the Invincibles while Arsenal say goodbye to Highbury.
Pride before the fall...2018-10-10RohanFall is here. The football season is brewing with some crazy oddities. Some big managerial changes maybe. Some investigation and criminal proceedings too. Not for abysmal football, but actual assault on one’s dignity.
222/22: The Wenger Years - 1998 to 20022020-05-19Yuvraj GurungWenger's team finished in second place for three consecutive seasons before winning his second double in 01/02.
222/22: The Wenger Years - 1996 to 19982020-05-19Yuvraj GurungNewspaper headlines asked “Arsene Who?”, as the Frenchman began his journey to transform Arsenal FC - and English football forever.
Indian Football: All Things Considered