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New Coaches in the Indian Super League in the upcoming season

Football Express

The 8th edition of the Indian Super League will start in 3 weeks and the fans cannot wait anymore. Every team had different needs and struggles by the end of last season but they have worked on it. A good number of teams have decided to bring in new coaches as well. This is a good sign that will ensure exciting new tactics and progressive development among players.

Of the 11 teams, 6 of them have appointed new head coaches. From teams nailed to the bottom to the team that won the title, there have been changes all over. Let’s have a look at the new faces that are out to change the fortunes of their respective clubs.

Marco Pezzaiuoli (Bengaluru FC)

Bengaluru FC will start this season for the first time without Carlos Cuadrat at the touchline. The Spaniard was the assistant coach during Albert Roca’s reign and took over once his partner parted ways with the club. Cuadrat left the club in the middle of last season as a terrible run of performances. Naushad Moosa managed the club till the end of the season.

Last season was Bengaluru FC’s worst finish where they did not make it to the playoffs for the very first time. Marco Pezzaiuoli took over the club in February and has been been a part of their AFC campaign. He has worked with the youth teams of the German national setup. Pezzaiuoli prefers an attacking game that will suit the squad which had thier best years with similar tactics.

Bozidar Bandovic (Chennaiyin FC)

Chennaiyin FC and star managers are two things that cannot be separated. In the inaugural season of the Indian Super League, World Cup winner Marco Materazzi played the role of the player-cum-manager. They had a couple more until last season and they start this season with the experienced Bozidar Bandovic at the wheel.

A former player, Bandovic retired at an early age and got into coaching. He has managed teams like Olympiacos (Greece) and Buriram United (Thailand). At Buriram, he won 2 league titles while setting the record for the most points by the end of the season. Like Bengaluru FC, the usually exciting Chennaiyin FC had an awful season last year and finished 8th. Fortunes could take a turn this season.

Des Buckingham (Mumbai City FC)

This was a rather strange change in management because Mumbai won their first title last season with Sergio Lobera. Lobera has set a mark in Indian Super League with his unforgettable times at FC Goa and Mumbai City. Succeeding someone of that level with a title won last season, Buckingham has a tough act to follow. Luckily enough, Buckingham comes with his spread of accolades as well.

Buckingham was the assistant manager at Melbourne City that completed the A-League double last season. Prior to that, he has worked at Oxford United with Chris Wilder, former manager of Sheffield United. He was also the head coach of the New Zealand U-20 team. Buckingham has a strong squad that are in the right spirit. Mumbai City FC fans are up for a treat next season as well.

Ivan Vukomanovic (Kerala Blasters)

2-time finalists Kerala Blasters had a very dismal season under Kibu Vicuna last year. The team with one of the strongest fanbases in the league finished an appalling 10th last season and thus the fans wanted a new face. Ivan Vukomanovic is positive in that aspect and the Yellow Army can hope for a change. He has already got his first taste of Indian Football in the club’s recent Durand Cup campaign.

Ivan has coached in Belgium, Slovakia and Cyprus in the past. During his time at Standard Liege in Belgium as Assistant Manager, the team secured back-to-back qualifications for the Europa League. He had a very short Durand Cup campaign with the second team. However, with signings done so far, things look promising.

Manolo Diaz (East Bengal)

East Bengal had their baptism in fire finishing at 2 places off the bottom in their debut season. 9 losses and only 17 points from 20 games meant that coach Robbie Fowler was on his way out. East Bengal pondered whether they had to continue in the League and after months of speculation decided to continue.

Manolo Diaz was brought in immediately and the Spaniard has not wasted a minute. An experienced professional who has worked in the youth setup of Real Madrid and other Spanish clubs, Diaz is the right person to get the best out of East Bengal. He has made a number of signing who will be key to his plan. East Bengal will be a different club next season.

Kiko Ramirez (Odisha FC)

Odisha FC had a season to forget last year. An identical number of losses and points nailed the squad to the bottom of the table. Stuart Baxter would not have been surprised when he got th pink slip. However, Odisha FC have worked a lot in the off-season and have made a lot of changes.

While a number of partnership deals have been forged, Kiko Ramirez has been appointed as the head coach. Odisha FC seems to be hoping to hit the jackpot with the Spanish coach approach. Spanish coaches and their tactics have usually found interesting results in Indian Football. Will Kiko Ramirez finally unlock the true power of Odisha FC?

Those are the new coaches appointed ahead of the season. New coaches mean new tactics and different styles of play which each team will either gain from or lose.

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