I-League Team Profile: Quess East Bengal FC 0

quees east bengal

Kolkata giants East Bengal will be looking to make their centenary year special by ending the wait for I-League trophy. Alejandro Menendez’s men have not started the season on a positive note as they stood 3rd in CFL & ended their campaign in Durand Cup as semi finalists by losing to Gokulam Kerala in penalties.

• Squad :

Goalkeepers

  1. Lalthhuamawia Ralte
  2. Mirshad KM
  3. Rakshit Dagar

Defenders

  1. Borja Gomez Perez
  2. Marti Crespi Pascual
  3. Mehtab Singh
  4. Asheer Akhtar
  5. Samad Ali Mallick
  6. Kamalpreet Singh
  7. Manoj Mohammad
  8. Abhishek Ambekar

Midfielders

  1. Kassim Aidara
  2. Naorem Tondomba Singh
  3. Prakash Sarkar
  4. Lalrindika Ralte
  5. PC Rohlupuia
  6. Boithang Haokip
  7. Pintu Mahata
  8. Brendan Vanlalremdika
  9. Juan Mera Gonzalez
  10. Abhijit Sarkar
  11. Subhonil Ghosh

Forward

  1. Jaime Santos Colado
  2. Marcos De La Espada
  3. Bidyashagar Singh
  4. Ronaldo Oliveira

Goalkeeping

Lalthhuamawia Ralte, the loaned player of FC Goa has proved his worth from the beginning of the season. He had some excellent performances in few matches of CFL. Mirshad started few games in Durand Cup but eventually lost his position to Ralte. Rakshit Dagar, the 1st goalkeeper of East Bengal last year, started few matches in this year too but failed to impress the gaffer. East Bengal have been facing issues in particularly goalkeeping zone. It seems like the problem won’t arise much as Ralte & Mirshad both are in good form.

Ratings – 7/10

Defence

Defence was an issue for East Bengal before the beginning of the season as players like Jhonny Acosta, Lalramchullova left the club. And defence could be an issue in the forthcoming I-League. East Bengal defence lacked consistency in this season so far. The team brilliantly defended Marcus Joseph’s Gokulam Kerala in semi final Durand Cup, Red & Gold brigade defence the was outstanding against arch rival Mohun Bagan in CFL too. But they also wasted points against minnows like Bhowanipore, Peerless, George Telegraph in CFL.

Marti Crespi, the replacement of Jhonny Acosta has done a decent job so far. Asheer Akhtar, who has joined East Bengal from Bengaluru FC reserves team has shined the most in the back line. The team has faced a jolt due to the injury of experienced Borja Gomez Perez. Moreover Borja hasn’t shined so far in the season. In the side back positions, Samad Ali Mallick & Abhishek Ambekar has done well. But it seems the defence lacks in bench strength.

Ratings – 6.5/10

Midfield

East Bengal have signed talented midfielders this season who can change the scenario of a match anytime. Pintu Mahata will be the 1st name who has joined the team from Mohun Bagan & has been doing pretty well in wing. Spaniard Juan Mera, another fantastic addition, has been doing his job from his 1st match. Boithang Haokip former Bengaluru FC man has got less chances but has done a decent job. There were much hype around Abhijit Sarkar, the former U-17 worldcupper but he failed to attract appreciation so far. In the central position, Kassim Aidara is maintaining his good form. Naorem Tondomba, the new addition, has joined from NEROCA FC and the combo of Kassim & Tondomba has presented some good game in CFL & Durand Cup. Fans might be disappointed by the game of Lalrindika Ralte. Ralte had a great season last year, he scored, assisted whenever the team needed him the most. This year his form has dipped a bit which can be a matter of disappointment for the gaffer. PC Rohlupuia, the academy graduate, can be a surprise package in the forthcoming I-League.

Ratings – 7/10

Forward

East Bengal team has been heavily relying on the performances of Spaniard Jaime Santos Colado & Academy graduate Bidyashagar Singh. Whenever the team needed goal, the duo have come forward & provided the most important thing. Former Kitchee man, Marcos De la Espada hasn’t done anything great so far. He has failed to impress in CFL too. Fans will be hoping to see some goals from him in I-League. The Goan forward Ronaldo Oliveira who has come as the replacement of Jobby Justin is also in search of his scoring boot.

Ratings – 7/10

• Past Record –

East Bengal, one of the most successful clubs of India, are desperately in search of their long awaited I-League. East Bengal, the three times NFL champions are looking to seal their first ever I-League title. Last year the team ended behind the champions Chennai City FC but they will be looking to seal it on their centenary year.

• Pre Season –

East Bengal are currently having their pre season. In their 1st match East Bengal drew with Bengaluru FC 1-1. Marcos De la Espada scored the only goal for East Bengal. In their 2nd match, East Bengal played another draw match against NorthEast United where the match ended 0-0. In the 3rd pre season game East Bengal beat ISL side Jamshedpur FC by 2-0. Abhijit Sarkar & Jaime Santos Colado scored.

• Coach’s Quote :

Alejandro had a plan to continue the pre-season in Spain this year. But Quess Corp wasn’t willing too much, that’s why East Bengal continued their pre season practice in Kolkata. Alejandro said, “We had plans of doing our pre-season in Spain…. But it didn’t materialize. Of course, the intensity and quality of organizing a pre-season here will be less (than it would have been in Spain). He also added, “My team has already played a lot of matches in the season. My focus this pre-season will be on training and physical aspects.”

• Author’s Take –

Just like another year, East Bengal team have flaws in this team too, but the fans will be hoping for Menendez magic again. Quess have done the job of rebuiliding the team & brought some exciting talents & also few seasoned campaigners after departure of Jobby, Danmawia, Chullova. East Bengal team played some brilliant games in Durand Cup but got ousted in semis. But their CFL campaign, haven’t gone smooth as excepted. Losing to George Telegraph, Peerless, a draw against arch rival Mohun Bagan weren’t cheerful events for fans. Colado & Bidyashagar duo have played pivotal role in East Bengal’s wins so far. But another Spaniard forward Marcos needs to stand when the team need him the most. In defence, Marti Crespi will be partnering Mehtab Singh or Asheer Akhtar as another Spaniard Borja Gomez Perez will be out for injury. Borja’s performance wasn’t great this year before he faced injury. Lalrindika has been off colored this season so far. So we can say there are problems which needs to be sorted out before the I-League. And it seems it can be sorted out only because of the mastermind Alejandro Menendez. If East Bengal gives standout performances and get the help of little bit of luck, the I-League trophy will enter the Lesley Claudius street by the end of the season.