Once upon a time … a stock phrase that was used to describe Bagan’s success in Indian Football since 1911! The history of Bagan, the glorious past reminded people the matches Bagan played – and won! But that’s all past. It’s history. Bagan was ravaged 0-5 by Dempo in the third round of iLeague today.
At present Bagan – with an absolutely imbalanced side – is struggling to be there somewhere in the middle of the iLeague – and with the current team , some said it’s of Rupees 13 Crore ( thats Rupees 130 million) had to field three strikers, two side halfs (by their nature of the play) and five defenders against the most formidable side of the nation today. 10 years back Bagan still was the power house of Indian football – and now the Power has shifted to Dempo – and even coaches of some minnows mark Bagan as just an average team!
It all is happening because of poor reading / understanding of those who select the team. UB Group had given Bagan officials chances to make the team – year after year. Yet officials have made grave mistakes in selecting or shedding off the players. Look at Dempo – for years they have most of the players playing together – while Bagan has new faces every year. The set team would be dismantled and new players would be joining the team and playing with each other for the first time – that’s the kind of professionalism we have seen from Bagan officials for one decade!
Look at the successful players of the nation today – Salgaokar won back to back two tournaments – iLeague and Federation cup – and if you look at the players’ list and the coaching staff – 2 years back half of them were playing for Bagan!
The key midfielders of the other teams – Mehtab Hussain (East Bengal), Lalram Luaha (Shillong Lajong), Lukram James Singh , Lalkamal Bhowmik, Sankar Oraon (Prayag) , Jerry Zirsangha (Churchill Brothers) , Tomba Singh, Ryuji Sueoka (Salgaokar) used to play for Bagan – but were never retained!
The key defenders – Gourmangi Singh, D Ravanan (Churchill Brothers), Rahul Kumar , Biswajit Saha (Salgaokar), Deepak Mandal (Prayag) played for Bagan as well.
And how can you forget Edeh Chidi – the player had to leave Bagan with tears in his eyes – one who wanted to play for Bagan – but got sacked in spite of being a very consistent player.
And look at the team that was fielded today (playing XI)-
Sangram , Dhanarajan, Kingshuk, Anwar, Nabi, Jewel, Masih, Satish, Ashim, Sunil, Jagtar – 5 of them are defenders, 2 right wingers by nature, 3 strikers by nature. This means the so-called "balanced team that can win iLeague" – lacks a central defensive midfielder, a central attacking midfielder and a proper left half. We must remember that the TD decided not to sign in Simon Storey and not to field Hurdon Lima!
God save Bagan in the rest of the matches!