Mohun Bagan’s horrendous performance against Mohd. Sporting raises some eye brows indeed. Had it not been captain Shilton Paul’s goal keeping ,Bagan would have been humiliated further. mohunbaganclub.com tries to find out the possible reasons behind the defeat against Mohd. Sporting that makes the Kolkata League open – Mohd. Sporting , Tollygaunge, Army XI, Mohun Bagan and a local team that is enjoying some advantages from CRA are in the title race now.
Certain things that went wrong –
1. Defense – Like the last four years the beginning of this season finds a poor central defense. In addition the two side backs were unable to come down when they were overlapping. The side halves don’t have defensive abilities and hence when the side backs are going up – they are not properly covered.
There is a clear lack of understanding between Kingshuk and Dhanachandra – and if one revisits the first goal – the goalkeeper was not allowed by the central defender to do his duty – and that causes a collision between the two and Bagan conceded the goal.
There were occasions where Mohd. Sporting players came up from a counter attack ( for the second goal – it was a corner for Bagan) and they were able to reach Bagan box – exposing the quality of defense of defensive midfield the current Bagan has.
2. Too many square passes – There are too many square passes played by the Bagan team that is allowing the opponent to quickly come down and consolidate their defense. When Mohd. Sporting attacked- there were at least four Mohd. Sporting players reaching Bagan box at the same time outnumbering Bagan defenders. When Bagan attacked, Mohd. Sporting was able to increase the count in central defense blocking Bagan moves. Bagan was quite slow in attacking.
3. Over confidence – There were situations where Shouvik Chakraborty or Katsumi Yusa tried to dribble past Mohd. Sporting midfield but failed. There were occasions where Sabeeth tried to score while Balwant was more in scoring position. Mohd. Sporting did a good homework and balls were either snatched from the players or players were allowed o hit the ball knowing that they were not in scoring position and won’t pass the ball to one who is actually in scoring position. Thus the opponent’s strategy worked well against Bagan
4. Dismal performance of the midfield – With a close zonal marking in the defensive third, and not enough support from the side halves, Yusa from time to time was trying to make an attack from the defensive third – which allowed Mohd. Sporting players to create a wall between him and other players. Other midfielders were clue less in understanding how to break Mohd. Sporting defense. Pankaj moula as a substitute increased the pain – neither could he create panic in Mohd. sporting defense nor could he foil their attack. Lalkamal seemed to be fighting against his fitness and prime time – and is not even fit enough to play for a half ( 45 mins!)
In addition the midfielders don’t have defensive capability – that led to a pressure on the defense that was fragile.
Bagan needs to learn from the mistakes committed in this game and instill defensive midfielder as soon as possible. If needed Boya can be rested and Fatai Adisa can be put into the midfield before Kingshuk and Dhanachandra. Adisa has capabilities of creating opportunities – he can lead the defense well.