The ISL Wrap: Classic Castel, Goa's discipline woes and more
Star of the week
Two goals in two games to earn Jamshedpur FC a win at FC Goa and a draw against NorthEast United this week. The 24-year-old forward, on loan from Atletico Madrid, has hit the ground running in India. Combining clinical finishing with tireless, endless running, Castel has been putting on some exceptional displays of classical centre forward play.
With the teams having all played six games, Jamshedpur are tied on top of the table with ATK, with Castel scoring five of the eight goals they have scored so far.
Flop of the week
Will they ever finish a match with eleven men this season?
Ok, this is a bit of an exaggeration, but they have already been shown three red cards in six games this season and key players have incurred suspensions for unsportsmanlike behavior.
That they managed to salvage results against NorthEast last month and Kerala this week is a testament to their character, but if they are serious about finishing atop the table, they will have to get their in-house discipline on point, pronto.
Performance of the week
Chennaiyin FC vs Hyderabad
Low on quality, high on drama - like much of the season has been so far. After 92 minutes of hapless defending, even worse finishing, and non-existent midfields, we saw Chennaiyin break their goal drought, Hyderabad equalizing, and then Chennaiyin scoring their second -- all within four minutes.
P.S. Although Chennaiyin scored twice again in their next match (a 2-2 draw with Odisha), John Gregory was finally relieved off his duties as head coach on Friday. After almost a year of wanting out, judging by what he has told the press, this was inevitable.
Funky tactical tweak of the week
Do tactical tweaks at a boardroom level count?
Rant of the week
This just about sums it up.
Welcome @CityFootyGroup @ManCity to the @IndSuperLeague! By the way, bring some good Referees from @premierleague ! At least some that correctly sanction this type of actions...#ProtectTheGame #ProtectThePlayers #NoExcuses #DetailsTakePoints #DetailsGivePoints pic.twitter.com/SofDvLiW40- Carles Cuadrat (@CarlesCuadrat) December 1, 2019
Refs, protect the players, please.
Tweet of the week
No, it's not your favourite manager-tweeter personality this week.
A few hours after receiving just a yellow card for introducing his studs to Raphael Augusto's legs -- just below the Brazilian's knee -- Marcelinho was seen 'engaging' with fans on the twitterverse.
Don't cry boys... thats a part of the game- Marcelo Leite (@marcelinholeite) November 29, 2019
That tackle? No, sir. It really is not.
WTH moment of the week
Did you think, though, that this column could possibly bring itself to go a week without mentioning the manager of the Kerala Blasters? Hah!
The first game back from the international break. Its Bengaluru v the Blasters at a jam-packed Kanteerava, the air is crackling with tension. Sunil Chhetri has already put Bengaluru ahead so Eelco Schattorie is even more animated than usual on the touchline.
Deep into the second half, Messi Bouli gets hauled up for a supposed foul on Juanan. There really was not much to the challenge, but the linesman (standing along the touchline almost directly in from Schattorie) flags for a foul. Almost immediately, Schattorie removes his glasses and theatrically offers it to the official.
A couple of minutes later the same linesman calls a perfectly onside KP Rahul off just as he sets up Messi for a tap-in and would-be-equaliser.
You could not make this up.