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Indian Super League: Delhi Dynamos coach stresses on need for possession

Delhi Dynamos coach Miguel Portugal has stressed on the need to unbalance the opposition with possession while coaches from the other teams stressed on different approaches as the Indian Super League 2017 season comes closer

football Updated: Nov 14, 2017 09:33 IST
Dhiman Sarkar
Dhiman Sarkar
Hindustan Times, Kolkata
Indian Super League,ISL 2017-18,Delhi Dynamos
Delhi Dynamos coach Miguel Portugal has stressed on the need to dominate possession as the team looks to win their maiden Indian Super League title. (ISL / SPORTZPICS)

It wasn’t intended that way but talk about playing styles in the Indian Super League (ISL) got split unevenly on either side of lunch between the importance of possession and being pragmatic.

At Sunday’s media day, English coaches Steve Coppell, Teddy Sheringham and Portugal’s Joao de Deus shared the latter view while Spaniard Miguel Portugal spoke about the importance of having the ball.

Even though he has spent time at Real Madrid, Delhi Dynamos’ coach Portugal sounded like Pep Guardiola when he spoke at the need for possession.

“It is not for enjoyment but an important way to unbalance the opposition. When you have the ball, you control the match. It is not easy but you get better by doing it in practice. I think now my players don’t lose the ball very easily,” said Portugal, 61.

With a new coach, NorthEast United FC would be striving for a first playoff berth in the history of the ISL.

“There are six major moments in a football match and two of them are when you have the ball and when you don’t. Getting to the playoff would be difficult but it helps that we have a clear objective and have identified a way of playing, ” said Portuguese de Deus, 40.

“I want my players to develop own ideas. We do video analyses where we ask the player who has the ball whether his decision was correct and then we ask players in different positions whether they think the decision was correct. The most important part of my team is the local players and you need to see which ideas they can implement,” said the Portuguese.

Coppell said as a winger he loves crosses into the box but such thoughts are often reined in by the compulsions of the league where the roster is limited with six Indians and five foreigners, who would usually form the team’s spine, on the pitch.

“And then, you find out that the winger is injured. That would compromise on your style of play. So, you need to be 100% pragmatic,” said the former England and Manchester United player.

ATK prefer the Coppell way of playing and long balls into the box, said Jayesh Rane. Understandable that given Teddy Sheringham helms the side where Robin Singh can be a targetman.

“If you have players who can cross and head, you play that way but there are many ways to win a football match,” said Sheringham.

First Published: Nov 14, 2017 09:22 IST