ATK Mohun Bagan have had a strong start under their new head coach Juan Ferrando. It all started with a 2-3 win over the Highlanders and the team followed that up with a 2-1 win over Ferrando’s former club FC Goa. It’s just the start of Ferrando’s reign at ATK Mohun Bagan and he’d be hoping to improve some facets of the game for the Mariners.
Here are four key points that the Spanish coach would aim to improve going into the second half of the 2021-22 Hero ISL season.
Under former coach Antonio Habas, the Mariners were a decent pressing side but it was usually from a mid-block. The team used to set up in the middle of the park and they’d usually let the opposition centre-halves pass the ball around and used to press only on a bad touch or when the midfielders tried getting on the ball.
Under coach Ferrando, the team is looking to press higher up the pitch and try to regain the ball faster than was the case under the previous management. To improve the pressing of a team, the coach needs plenty of time on the training ground but to achieve that mid-season is pretty difficult. One effective way of implementing the press could be buying a player for the coach who has trained under him before. It will be interesting to see whether a few players follow coach Ferrando from FC Goa.
ABILITY TO PLAY FROM THE BACK
In the two games that ATK Mohun Bagan have had under Juan Ferrando, there seems to be an emphasis on building up from the back. It wouldn’t come naturally to these players as under Habas the game plan was to play fast counter-attacking football.
At FC Goa, Juan Ferrando had players like Ivan Gonzalez as the centre back and Edu Bedia as the midfielder who were key personnel for him in the build-up play. At ATK Mohun Bagan, Ferrando would have to quickly recognise the players who are capable of executing the build-up play he desires.
CUT OUT THE DEFENSIVE ERRORS
In eight matches, ATK Mohun Bagan have conceded 16 goals. They are averaging two goals per game which is far too high for a team that has ambitions of winning the league. One of the biggest reasons why ATK Mohun Bagan are conceding more goals than before is the individual errors the players are committing in key areas.
Amrinder Singh, the Mariners keeper, has had a tough start to the season and the team’s first-choice centre back Tiri is just getting back to full fitness. They are surely missing the likes of Sandesh Jhingan this season and signing an Indian centre back would be a priority for the Mariners in the winter transfer window.
BETTER LINK-UP PLAY IN THE FINAL THIRD
ATK Mohun Bagan are spoilt for choices when it comes to the attacking talent on display. Ferrando’s biggest job would be to find the right pieces of the puzzle in the attacking third. Players like Roy Krishna, Hugo Boumous, Manvir Singh and Liston Colaco are amongst the first choice attackers. That leaves classy players like David Williams and Joni Kakuo out of the XI who are far too good to be warming the bench.
Ferrando needs to get the best out of this talented attack and once it clicks, ATK Mohun Bagan would be a difficult force to stop in the second half of the season.
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