The speculations have turned true and ATK has indeed sacked coach Teddy Sheringham. For a two-time champion of a three-year old league, lurking at the eighth position doesn’t only break the hearts of fans, but is blatantly shameful.
Twelve points from 10 games surely does not increase the pride of the Royal Bengal Tiger on our jerseys!

A goal’s lead is all that makes a difference in the cruel game of football. There have been times when the better team of the two have lost because it scored a goal less, but such misfortunes are more of an accident or a rare occurring.
For mere seven goals that we scored, ATK has digested 12 goals. North East United and ATK are the least goal scorers in this tournament.

In case of ATK, that has not been the case. ATK has not been beaten by any of the so-called weaker team in any match in this season. Let’s be honest and accept that all its losses have been a result of its own faults, and ATK had to take responsibility.

ATK’s Only Probable Option Used

Obviously, a coach is not the sole reason for a team’s misfortune, but the coach represents the entire team. It is under his command that the troops will march on. Talking of responsibilities of owners, they could bet some bucks on the players, support staff, the ground and facilities. The owners did their bit by buying a couple of new players midway and releasing a couple of perhaps underperforming players – Kuqi surely included. The next step could only be checking if the coach is still fit enough for the team. Thus, they responded!

The Coach Faces The Axe

Sacking a coach is almost a norm when the team underperforms. Greats such as Brendan Rodgers (Liverpool), Jose Mourinho (Chelsea), Roberto Martinez (Everton) are just a few big names from EPL who were sacked following their team’s lack of form. Carlo Ancelotti was sacked by Real Madrid and Claudio Ranieri was sacked a season after underdogs Leicester City won the coveted Premier League.

The coaches are appointed to make a difference, if they can’t they should not hang around.

ATK’s Play Had Little To Boast Coaching Brilliance

How many times earlier had we seen ATK being thrashed 4-1? In the return game too we suffered a 3-0 defeat against Pune, though they could have scored a couple more. In contrast, except for some brilliance on the field from Robbie Keane and Zequinha’s long-range shots, have we scored much pretty goals?

The coach’s strategy is always reflected on the field. The team’s possession percentage, its swift movement on the field, the clever passes, the counter attacks, the set plays, the Substitutions and team selection are some of the most crucial aspects that actually reflect how well the coach is thinking. All of this factors also contribute to the wins.
Unfortunately, hardly have we seen ATK excel on those aspects. ATK has been a mere sad shadow of what an organized army it was in the past three seasons.

A Few Things Looked Odd?

If we are to pick set play free kicks and team selection to begin with, we have often wondered how didn’t Bipin Singh get enough playtime even after his world-class goal from a freekick at Salt Lake Stadium against Pune. Bipin has not been only about “1 free kick”, his movement on the pitch has been relatively better than others, whom teddy gave more playtime. If we have to name them, Jayesh Rane is surely one.

Pursuing with Hitesh Sharma regularly has not been entirely successful. Hitesh might have had some good run on the pitch, but he has also missed out on easy chances at times.

Ryan Taylor’s inclusion in ATK did boost our game. However, it was shocking to see him not being in the starting line up in one of the matches, and of course he was fit!

Talking of injuries, Teddy was cited as saying recently to media that players’ injuries (Lyngdoh and Keane particularly) have wreaked havoc on the team’s performance. Of course it has, but then isn’t the idea of a good pre-season camp all about keeping the players fit?

Even before the season started, the injury list included Keane, Rane, Ashutosh Mehta to name a few.
Amid this, there were media reports of his having a tiff with team’s technical director Ashley Westwood.

Thanks Though!

Teddy’s earlier coaching assignment at League Two side Stevenage also did not run long enough, but his coaching statistics does not take away anything from the great player that he has been.

Please note, I abstained using the gleeful adjectives of ex-Manchester United great, Spurs legend to introduce Teddy. He will continue to be a legend as a player in his time. He has won the premier league on several occasions, has the FA Cup medal and also enjoyed winning UEFA Champions League. He must have the Golden Boot he won in 1992-93 EPL displayed in his trophy wardrobe.

No one can take away his achievements as a player, but this time unfortunately, ATK was not the right thing to happen.

We wish you well for all future endeavors, thanks for whatever little we did!