It seems nothing in the Indian Super League is going the Delhi Dynamos way. For a team that generated the maximum buzz ahead of the commencement of the league, thanks to Alessandro del Piero, the Dynamos have been caught unawares since then. The 1-4 thumping at the hands of FC Goa only embodied the state of affairs.
The Dynamos clearly pulled out a rabbit when they completed the deal to bring in the Juventus legend, but as they soon found out, on-field success needs a little more than a mirage. With a 33-year-old Mads Junker and 34-year-old Morten Skoubo partnering Del Piero, now 40, the Delhi forward line-up certainly won't beat the opposition on pace. The only man to offer younger legs upfront is 20-year-old Brazilian Gustavo Marmentini dos Santos. It is no surprise that the latter has become the crowd favourite and was the consolation on Thursday.
On the contrary, teams like Atletico de Kolkata and FC Pune have done well to partner young legs ahead, or alongside, the Garcias and Trezeguets. Kolkata's Fikru Teffera, Baljit Sahni, Cavin Lobo and Pune's John Goossens, Dudu and Ivan Bolado all fall on the right side of 30. Of course, no one had expected Del Piero to liven up the field as he did a decade-and-half ago. But the Dynamos management could have done better when looking for sidekicks. It wouldn't have helped that Skoubo and Junker had played under Delhi coach Harm van Veldhoven before.
When Dynamos last played at the Nehru Stadium, the venue was almost packed. But sadly for them, the credit lies with the NorthEast United fans in the city. On Thursday, when the team hosted Goa, hardly a thousand had taken their seats to watch the kick-off.
FC Goa coach Zico certainly would have been happy that his side found four ways to get out of the bottom of the points table. But a man of his calibre and knowledge would know that the Dynamos' defence, or the lack of it, certainly played a part in all four of the Goa goals.