Fed Cup winners Mohun Bagan having created a record in the I-League face East Bengal Club on Sunday, 22nd Feb’08. Which team wins or loses is immaterial but statistics reveal that Mohun Bagan are better placed in winning this match also despite media hostility.
After Mohun Bagan has created a record by winning 10 consecutive matches in I league, as usual, a few media are trying to demean the efforts of team Mohun Bagan by constantly saying that team is lucky to win matches. It is really shocking that when a team from Bengal is a title contender after so many years, instead of staying with the team, few media are trying to find "faults" though majority is doing their job professionally and sensibly. By luck a team can win maximum 1-2 and not 10 wins in a row. Full credit goes to Karim Bencharifa who is doing a tremendous job so far this year. Mohun bagan has so far won Kolkata league, Federation cup, qualified for AFC Cup and is leading the I league table currently. We have seen Karim formulating strategy according to situation of the game and according to opponent team’s game plan.
Score of the last 10 Mohun Bagan matches are:
Mohun Bagan 1 vs Dempo 0 (away match)
Mohun Bagan 1 vs Churchill 0 (home match)
Mohun Bagan 2 vs JCT 0 (home match)
Mohun Bagan 2 vs Vasco 1 (away match)
Mohun Bagan 1 vs Mahindra 0 (home match)
Mohun Bagan 2 vs Chirag 0
Mohun Bagan 3 vs Mumbai FC 0 (away match)
Mohun Bagan 2 vs Air India 1 (away match)
Mohun Bagan 1 vs Sporting de Goa 0 (home match)
Mohun Bagan 1 vs Mohammedan 0
In the last 10 matches, Mohun Bagan scored 16 goals and conceded just 2 goals and 4 of these 10 matches were away matches. In 2 of the above Matches against Dempo and Churchill who are title contenders, Mohun Bagan played more than 45 minutes with 10 man out of which one was an away match. Credit goes to coach, team management, and all players for this dream run that Mohun Bagan is having now.
After last match Karim said, "To win any big tournament, the main important factor is not conceding goals. If you see major tournaments in Europe, not always the team who scored maximum goals wins, usually it is the team who scores goals and does not concede much goal becomes the Champion." With the striking force Mohun Bagan have, scoring goals is not at all an issue. Baichung and Barreto CAN score goals and WILL score goals but the main factor is that coach has been successful in making the defence solid and making the defensive part of midfield right. Last 2 years, Mohun Bagan lacked a quality defensive medio. karim has prepared nicely Rakesh for this position and Rakesh is doing his job to perfection with help from Marcos whose inclusion has also helped our team a lot. Kareem also said, "You know, club officials, players, we coaching staff all have till now done our jobs and this has resulted in this dream run so far. Still we have many matches left and right now we are planning match by match and this 10 match win in a trot will be of no significance if we don’t win I league. All of our main target is now winning the I league."
About a month back, Baichung had said, "Match after match, all the players in our team are doing their job. The players who are playing for 90 minutes as well as those who are playing for 9 minutes and also those who are sitting in reserve bench all have done their job assigned by coach. Karim is a very good coach and credit goes to him for building the team spirit. There is good coordination between the junior and senior players in our team. Our coach gives importance to all the players, even those who sits in reserve bench. He has good Communication with all players. Every player thinks that coach gives him importance and that is the reason why they give their 100% while playing. Another thing which coach has done is that he has kept reserve bench ready and has prepared extra players for all positions."
Meanwhile, AIFF has given recognition to Mohun Bagan’s successive win and has published a interview in their official site. To read the interview, click www.the-aiff.com/i-pnfl-league/news_details.php?news_id=115 and also FIFA, the highest authority of football in world has congratulated Mohun Bagan team for this record and has taken an interview by e-mail of coach Karim which they have published in their website, www.fifa.com/worldfootball/clubfootball/news/newsid=1030909.html#bagan+back+with+bang
STATISTICS COMPILED BY RANA BOSE