Here we are again. Good Friday is now upon us. I’m not too sure why it’s called Good Friday as it was the day Jesus was crucified, luckily, I’m not here to ramble on about religion or anything along them lines and I’m almost certain that’s not why you’re reading this. Now, this is going to be an opinion piece, last time out, the piece on Sol Campbell had mixed reviews with some saying it was a good idea and others, well, let’s say they said it was not such good idea. I can see both sides of the argument, however, it was just my opinion, hence it being an opinion piece. Funny how it works, isn’t it?
In this piece, I’m going to run through my team of the season and also do a bit of rambling about other matters which will probably make no sense whatsoever. Nonetheless, I always feel better once I’ve written my feelings down, sort of like a teenage girl writing a diary, if you know what I mean? I didn’t think you would, never mind.
We’ll take it from the top and begin with my goalkeeper in my team of the season, before we start though, I’m going to chuck in a little disclaimer; I’m not following the same rule that the teams have to follow in the ISL where there has to be a certain amount of Indian players on the pitch at any given time. Maybe I’ll do an all-Indian team of the season next week, who knows?
Back on point, my keeper is none other than Subrata Pal. I was going to look elsewhere for my keeper purely based on the fact that I have no idea if it’s Subrata Pal or Paul. His Twitter and Facebook both say Paul but everywhere else says Pal which makes no sense whatsoever, so I’m going to stick with him calling him Subrata for the purpose of this article.
Jamshedpur’s number one has arguably been the most consistent performer between the sticks this campaign and he oozes authority which is ace for the defence in front of him. Amrinder was another shout, but I’d feel much calmer with Subrata in goal.
No Wingback bollocks here
Formation-wise, I’ve gone for a 3-2-3-2 in a way which says, we’re going to score more goals than you, none of this wingback bollocks that you see nowadays. For the back three, I’ve gone for players from three different clubs. Tiri from Jamshedpur who will play centrally out the three, Sereno of Chennaiyin on the right and Bengaluru’s Johnson on the left. Before you all start kicking off, let me explain the method behind my madness.
Tiri, in my opinion, was the best defender the ISL had to offer last season and he plays centrally due to his relationship with Subrata that they’ve already built up over time. Just because he plays centrally, that doesn’t mean he’s stuck there, the three of them are more than welcome to interchange should they feel it necessary.
Johnson is somewhat of a calming influence and with a pass success rate of over 75%, that means he would be more than ample when it comes to playing the ball out from the back. Furthermore, he’s from Teesside so he’d be a great laugh at the end of season do as well.
Lastly, Sereno. It was a toss-up between him and Mailson and Sereno won it by virtue that he wouldn’t kill me if I substituted him. DISCLAIMER, I’m not saying Mailson is a murderer. I’m just saying he looks like one, that’s all. Again, just to reiterate, this is an opinion piece, so if you could put your pitchforks down that’d be grand.
That’s the back four taken care of, Subrata behind Johnson, Tiri and Sereno; looks like a mean defence doesn’t it? Wait until you see the rest of it.
Two Teams Of Five = Magic Happens
In the two in front of the defence are two holding midfielders that picked themselves. Initially, I had Memo as one of them, but that was only because I somehow forgot about the best midfielder in the league, in a moment of what can only be described as pure madness. I am of course referring to the wonderful Ahmed Jahouh and if you’ve seen anyone pick a team of the season without him in it, I’m afraid they’re insane.
Jahouh made the most tackles, completed the most passes, had the most touches of the ball, I could carry on for days, in fact, I’ve already done just that in this article here. So yeah, he would be one of my holding midfielders as he was absolute mustard from start to finish for FC Goa. I just hope he stays. Please.
Next to him was a tricky one. I looked at Jamshedpur’s Wellington, Ganesh of Chennaiyin and even Jahouh’s partner in crime at Goa, Edu Bedia, but really there was only one man that could slot in next to Jahouh. Edu Garcia of Bengaluru would have been a definite if he didn’t bugger off to China, so instead of him, I opted for Erik Paartalu who has recently signed a new contract with Bengaluru. Dimas had a strong case as well, but Paartalu just edged it.
Paartalu and Jahouh are relatively similar when it comes to playing style which probably has left you wondering why am I playing with two players who pretty much do the same thing. Fear not, I have not lost my mind. So my doctor keeps telling me anyway. The art of the 3-2-3-2 formation means that the outfield players essentially make up two teams of five, a defensive one and an attacking one. What you’ve seen so far is the defensive one, now we’ll get down to the business end…
Goals, Goals, Goals
In the centre of the three behind the two up top was a tricky one for me. Despite NorthEast’s poor season, Marcinho was relatively consistent throughout their campaign, it wasn’t him that I opted for though, it was another beginning with ‘Marc’ of course it was Pune’s Marcelinho.
In a completely contradictory manner, I chose him because of his fire and passion which was the exact reason why I discarded Mailson from earlier selection, nevertheless, a bit of fire in that part of the pitch never hurt anyone and plus, even if he did get sent off, the other four would do more than enough damage.
Either side of the Brazilian, I’ve gone for India’s sweetheart, Sunil Chhetri and the magical Manuel Lanzarote. Both of them pick themselves and there isn’t really any explanation required, you only have to look at what they contributed to their respective teams. A class above.
As the former did, the front two chose themselves also. Coro and Miku. For other contenders, you’d probably look at Uche and Jeje, but their lack of consistency let them down otherwise I may well have had more of a headache. Another reason why they’re perfect for this team is that Coro links up with Lanzarote seamlessly, same with Chhetri and Miku.
68 Of Them To Be Precise
That front five scored sixty-eight goals between them which is more than any team scored by a country mile so I suppose it could be argued that even if Mailson did play instead of Sereno, we’d probably still win 5-4. Not too bad if I do say so myself.
Just to wrap it up, here’s the side in case you’ve lost track amidst my rambling… Subrata (Jamshedpur) | Johnson (Bengaluru), Tiri (Jamshedpur), Sereno (Chennaiyin) | Jahouh (FC Goa), Paartalu (Bengaluru) | Lanzarote (FC Goa), Marcelinho (Pune City), Chhetri (Bengaluru) | Coro (FC Goa), Miku (Bengaluru).
I’d like to reserve a special mention for Inigo Calderon who didn’t get in purely because he didn’t fit my system, Iain Hume who would have been there or thereabouts if he’d stayed injury free and both of the Santos brothers (I know) at Mumbai. Cases could be made for tens of other players as well, I’ve not got all day, though.
In Other News…
That’s pretty much it from me today, one thing I want to leave you with is a dream I had last night that I’m still trying to figure out now. Sunil Chhetri scored the winner in the World Cup Final this year which obviously isn’t going to happen because India didn’t qualify. That’s not the bizarre part. He scored the winner for Germany! What that means I am not so sure, you may as well try and figure it out, though because I have not got a scooby.
Until the next time.