Des Buckingham explains his vision and the mentality of Mumbai City FC | ISL 2022-23

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When Des Buckingham appeared at the post-match news conference after his side had just demolished a distraught-looking East Bengal in December last year, reporters at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Stadium hoped expecting the same.

As a journalist, your selfish purpose is to pepper your target with leading questions in order to elicit some headline-grabbing responses. Occasionally, the interviewee may spill the tea, and there you have it – a narrative!

The whisper around the room was that Buckingham was all too politic in his comments as the Mumbai City FC head coach drew down the curtain on the night’s press conference, deliberately giving a wide berth to queries about their opponents’ ineptitude.

Everybody who has watched Indian football for a long time is fully aware of the current state of disarray. Accusations, name-calling, and whataboutery were formerly the norm. As a result, even a smidgeon of prudence becomes a touch too commonplace at this moment.

But, it is how the English tactician and Mumbai City FC have dealt with ebbs and flows. Des Buckingham’s appeal stems from his calm manner and eloquence.

If you can meet with Triumph and Catastrophe and treat them both the same. Buckingham’s time with the Islanders was not without incident. The 38-year-old failed to reach the knockout rounds of ISL 2021-22 in his debut year with the heavyweight club, despite a surge of anticipation fueled by Sergio Lobera’s successes the previous season.

Des on his statement

Despite the gap, Buckingham never went down the rabbit hole of finger-pointing, at least not in public. He believed in his vision, and more importantly, he convinced the club of his vision.

And where did this season’s heroics come from? In an exclusive interview with Sportskeeda, the former Melbourne City manager attributed their unwavering form to the “faith and support” shown to him and the process by the club and the City Football Group (CFG).

Mumbai won the ISL 2022-23 league stages, winning 18 games undefeated before taking home the League Shield. They broke records along the way, going on an 11-match winning run and reaching the back of the goal 54 times during the season. They are unquestionably the favourites to win the ISL title going into the knockouts.

Buckingham’s sculpted face broke into a big smile as he addressed the following steps with Mumbai City FC. His ambition includes not just silverware and the first team, but also incorporating the club’s mentality into the youth and reserve teams. Another reason he fits the description for guiding the CFG effort, in addition to being a fantastic coach.

Des Buckingham is less drama, less box office, and more football. As a result, while he speaks, the gushing love for the game obscures the irrelevant whataboutery we’ve grown accustomed to.

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