In the third season of the Hero Indian Super League, Kerala Blasters FC has been unable to make its mark as they haven’t been able to find the net even after three games.
The Blasters lost the first game to NorthEast United and then went down to Atletico de Kolkata in front of their electric home crowd. The home crowd at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Kochi is usually more than 55,000 but despite that Kerala has been able to win only a single point that too after a drab goalless draw against Delhi Dynamos FC.
Steve Coppell, Kerala Blasters FC coach, looks determined to change these statistics. Apart from the fact that he wants the change the fate of the Sachin Tendulkar owned franchise, he wants to prove that English coaches can also succeed in ISL.
Coppell is absolutely aware of the fact that English coaches haven’t really seen success in ISL. Peter Reid, Terry Phelan and David Platt have all tried and been unsuccesful but Coppell wants to change that.
In the second season of the ISL, Peter Reid, former England U-21 coach and former Leicester City manager, left the Blasters mid way and he was replaced by Phelan, under whom Kerala ended at the bottom of the league table. Even Platt, former Manchester City manager was unable to take Pune City FC to the knockout stages.
The only English manager to have seen success in ISL is David James, who was Kerala’s goalkeeper marquee player and manager. Under him, Kerala had managed to reach the final of ISL1.
Coppell, who has immense coaching experience, said, “I wonder why the English coaches have been unable to see the light of the day in ISL but I want to change that. We get so much of love and support from the crowd here in Kochi, so much that even the players praise it. We want to give our fans something to cherish.
Coppell is well aware of the difference between ISL and English Premier League (EPL). While the former is a 10-month tournament, the latter goes on for more than 10 months. That makes ISL extremely challenging.
“ISL is different between English coaches play with a plan of 10 months. Here, you get very less time to judge the players and the team and make plans,” said Coppell.
He further added, “I have been a part of English coach both as a player and a coach. I have felt the difference between the two leagues. This is the first time that I’m a part of such a tournament. Now I only think of ideas of achieving success in ISL and I am hopeful of coming up with a good formula.”