The reigning champions are a case to study for anyone who wishes to know how to get rid of winning formula.
It was a nightmare season for ATK and their fans as their team could gather only 4 wins and end up with just 16 points and finished 9th in ISL table of 2017-18 which eventually was their worst performance in the league’s history.
Here’s a look at all the points that led to the team’s bad performance this year.
1.Split with ATM and poor recruitment of players:
Atletico de Madrid who had 25% stake in the ownership of ATK decided to part ways after three years contract after ATK owners decided to go the other way round. ATM who were a major reason for ATK’s 2 title and one semifinal reign as they used to import quality foreign players and technical staffs. However the spit caused a huge loss as the new foriegn recruit’s weren’t able to deliver as earlier ones neither with their performance nor with their fitness level.
ATM added the Spanish flavour to the side which gave ATK success after success. However the new foreign recruits were not able to live up the expectations of past players and were injury prone which led to a poor season for ATK.
The reigning Champs decision to retain just prabir das and debjit came as a big surprise for everyone. Two of the best Centre backs this season of Isl except mailson and Juanan, have been tiri and herique Sereno. For reason best known to management ATK chose not recruit them this season.
When it comes to Indian recruitment there were quite a question mark on few signings. Keegan pereira who didn’t had a best of time was signed by ATK. Also Anwar Ali who just few months back had a cardiac arrest was got by ATK despite knowing his injury status and also knowing that is no Indian Centre backs in the team for which the team will suffer if he gets injured. ATK backed on Indian youngster like hitesh Sharma, bipin, Rupert, Shankar, Ronald singh, however leaving bipin Singh most of them failed to put a impact and others were benched all time. Even Robin singh who had a terrible ISL 3 was signed who didn’t created any impact this year too.
For ATK it’s a classic case of a reckless rich kid throwing everything he inherited from his parents and in trying to prove himself, lost whatever he had.
2.Managetorial faults and Injury crisis:
Two managers sacked ,four players asked to leave the team that’s shows what poor performance it has been. One of the biggest reason was injured players list and bad managing of team.
Teddy Sheringham was signed by ATK as head coach who bought English flavour in the game. However it went completely wrong for two time Champions. Team’s poor performance eventually led to him being sacked after just 12 points on the table. The Englishmen farewell led to technical director Ashley Westwood taking incharge.
If Teddy’s reign was a bad phase for the team what went on with ATK in Westwood’s was a nightmare. In reign of the former Bengaluru head coach ATK managed just 1 point from 5 matches.
Both the head coach failed to create the discipline and determination in team to win. Even their selection of team was questioned marked as bipin Singh was neglected ahead of hitesh Rupert, and Robin singh weren’t able to deliver.
It seemed like there was no command the coach had on the team. After Westwood was sacked he blamed on teddy Sheringham indirectly by saying that poor preseason by ATK had led to so many injuries.
Talking about injuries…It was curse for ATK which just they can’t get out this season which was another big reason for their poor season. It all started even before ISL started as Carl baker was ruled out of ISL. Robbie Keane, jayesh, Asutosh, augustin fernandez were injured as they were ruled out for few weeks.
However it was like u come and I go. Injury kept clicking them as eugenson lyndoh was ruled out of the season. It was huge blow. Thereafter Tom thorpe,zequinha, Robin singh, Anwar Ali,jordi, Ryan taylor and most of the squad were injured respectively.
Even robbie Keane who showed lot of promise with his performance spend most of time out of the match due to injuries. Leaving Conor Thomas nobody were able to keep their fitness whole season. In few matches situation was so bad that ATK could afford only 2-3 foreign players in team and few Indians in substitute bench.
When it comes to fitness work, preseason are the time to give it all. This shows how poor their preseason work in dubai was and once again teddy Sheringham got it wrong unlike previous ATK team who have healthy preseason in spain.
Even co-owner sourav Ganguly admitted that change in coaching staff for their team poor performance in the season, and adding they lacked Team combination. It certainly proves that to succeed in ISL, fitness of players are as much important as their Skill and quality.
3.Poor Team combination and inconsistency of players:
It hasn’t been a team performance by ATK. Inconsistency of players were a major reason. There are many example of this for ATK. Debjit majumder who was a fine last season failed to deliver this season.
Also the likes of Rupert, hitesh and Robin singh weren’t at their best. Keegan pereira and Asutosh had a poor season. Even prabir das who had a a fine start couldn’t perform well In closing matches. Bipin Singh was fine for ATK however he didn’t featured in much matches.
When it comes to foreign players, marquee player robbie Keane was best of the lot however he spend most time injured and it was only at end matches that he found 6 goals. Zequinha was good but he couldn’t keep his consistency in performance. Ryan taylor who included as a replacement for baker did performed well however even he got injured at the end.Conor Thomas who played all matches of ATK was good at occasion and team rested on him heavily at the midfield.
All and all the team play was missing going forwards as well as backward of the field. Team combination was not up to mark and even players determination was not up to mark.
An absence of coherent style of play, players used in position foriegned to them, unfit players and a team of of misfits plagued the Kolkata based franchise.
“Aamar bukey ATK” means “My heart beats for ATK” Well, if certainly does not due to elation but out of feeling of sorry.
However ATK have started their practice session for super cup hardly with player manager Robbie Keane doping high efforts for super cup on the team and it will all show on 16th when they play Chennai city fc in the qualifiers.
So let’s hope for best…. #AmarbukeyATK!! #wewillcomebackstronger
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