Mohun Bagan put up a lackluster performance that saw them crumble to Churchill Brothers at their home ground. Churchill Brothers dominated the midfield with Khalid Aucho putting up a stellar performance against the likes of Yuta Kinowaki and Sourav Das. Mohun Bagan under Shankarlal Chakrobarty have rarely been outplayed, but credits to Churchill as they not only outwitted but outplayed the Bagan side. Mohun Bagan lost a match in I-League after 221 days, and here are the 5 things that went wrong:
1) Playing an inexperienced Dalraj against the speedy Churchill Brothers forwards:
After putting up a stellar performance against the Real Kashmir FC side, the gaffer Shankarlal Chakrobarty decided to stick with Dalraj against the speedy wingers and forwards of Churchill Brothers. He was not only outpaced but also out witted by the Churchill Brothers wingers and forwards. Maybe a much more agile Center Back like KimKima might have been the better option to deal with the Churchill attackers. Bagan have much relied upon their Wing Backs Ambekar and Arijit bombing forward to exploit the spaces but poor defending by the likes of Dalraj and Kingsley meant the wingbacks didn’t bomb forward as much as they would have liked.
2) The midfield battle:
Mohun Bagan have had the highest possession in the league and controlled every match until they faced Churchill Brothers. The Churchill midfielders specially Khalid Aucho outplayed and outwitted the fabled Mohun Bagan midfield. Churchill pressed the ball when required, dominated the midfield. It was the wonderful disruptive play by the Churchill midfielders that won them the game. Mohun Bagan as brilliant as they are with the ball, appeared to be clueless without it. Maybe the gaffer could have included Mehtab Hussain in the squad. The veteran tough tackling center midfielder also has an eye for a pass and could have been an apt answer to Khalid Aucho.
3) The tale of misfiring Henry and Dicka:
Maybe Henry and Dicka are two of the most talented forwards playing in India, but they are going through a rough patch of form lately. Their form seems to have effected their sense of positioning too as both the strikers seemed to have lost confidence in their on the ball ability and positioning play. Unless both the strikers start to fire, Mohun Bagan would have a tough opportunity to win against Chennai City.
4) Shilton Paul :
There is much to be said about the selection of Shilton Paul in the Mohun Bagan team. Shilton despite staying the club for more than a decade and recently picking up his 100th clean sheet, he has shown no signs of improvement. His sense of positioning and anticipation might have been one of the reasons for conceding the first goal. It might be a bit harsh on Shilton, but he is not fit to be the goalkeeper of a club of Mohun Bagan’s stature at the moment. The management should have got a good foreign goalkeeper that would have addressed a lot of their issues in defence.
5) An unfit Sony Norde:
Sony Norde, despite his claims that he is fit enough, seemed to be still far away from his best. A fully fit Sony Norde, is devastating. Although he has shown glimpses of what he is capable of by hitting the post early in the match and also running past the defenders multiple times to put in crosses, only to be wasted by Dicka and Henry, he is far from his devastating form that one is usually synonymous with. The sooner Sony Norde gets match fit, the better.
Mohun Bagan gaffer Shankarlal Chakrobarty would have his work cut out and have to fix many things that have went wrong in the Churchill Match.