ATK will try to play like FIFA U-17 World Cup champs England: Teddy Sheringham
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ATK will try to play like FIFA U-17 World Cup champs England: Teddy Sheringham

Former England striker Teddy Sheringham says results for ATK in the 2017/18 season of the Indian Super League may not be good initially as teams will try to know each other

football Updated: Nov 06, 2017 22:12 IST
Dhiman Sarkar
Dhiman Sarkar
Indian football,Indian Super League,ISL 2017/18
ATK coach Teddy Sheringham (second from left) and skipper Robbie Keane (right) unveil the team shirt with owners Utsav Parekh (left) and Sanjiv Goenka in Kolkata on Monday.(Photo courtesy: ATK)

Memories of FIFA U-17 World Cup champions England will linger if Teddy Sheringham can get ATK to walk the talk in the fourth edition of the Indian Super League (ISL), which the defending champions kick-off away to Kerala Blasters on November 17.

“We were very impressed and it was a very unusual style (for an England team). They were playing much better from the back, were in control of the ball and the game. Hopefully, we will take some lead from them and take that into the ISL season,” said Sheringham, at an event to unveil the team’s new shirt for the season here on Monday.

Having outplayed Spain 5-2, England under-17 coach Steve Cooper had said: “We beat Spain by playing our game. If it is similar to Spain, great but this is us. Not one long ball, it was pass, pass, pass and getting to play as a team which has good individuals who are also brave in the ball....”

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If that is what Sheringham, capped 51 times by England, meant by the “British style”, the legacy of Atletico de Madrid could outlive its association with the franchise, one which fetched two ISL titles and a semi-final berth in three seasons.

But getting a squad of 25 to play like the Young Lions after three-and-a-half weeks of training in Dubai and a clutch of friendlies could be easier said than done.

So, Sheringham, whose managerial experience is eight months and a bit more at Stevenage in the English third division, also said: “I can only lead by the way I grew up as a young player and then senior player. I will pass on what I know and that is the British mentality… The Indian players have been adapting well.”

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‘Early games will serve as homework’

Somewhat like the acronym ATK which has changed again, Sheringham said the team would evolve as the competition, bigger by two teams and now four months long, goes on.

“The results might not be good in the first couple of weeks. There is not much of video analysis to go on, so everyone will be turning their TVs on for the first three-four games. The homework will be done in the early stages (of the competition),” said Sheringham, 51.

ATK’s new name

With the relationship with Atletico Madrid all but severed, ATK now stands for ‘Amar Team Kolkata’, according to principal owner Sanjiv Goenka, from ‘Amar Tomar Kolkata’ as he had said in July. ‘Amar Team Kolkata’ means ‘My team is Kolkata’ while ‘Amar Tomar Kolkata’ stands for ‘Kolkata for you and me’.

First Published: Nov 06, 2017 21:48 IST