The penultimate Player of the Week award is here on the website and this week’s is a first for the accolade. It was a week in the Indian Super League that meant a lot for only a handful battling it out for the final two play-off spots.
Bengaluru stayed in control at the top with a couple of wins and Jamshedpur collapsed giving up the final two play-off spots to Chennaiyin FC and Goa.
In more managerial news, ATK scrapped Ashley Westwood as the caretaker role was not working out for anyone, which was quite obvious for everyone to see. They replaced him with Irish veteran striker Robbie Keane for the final game of the season.
Speaking of Keane, that brings us to our next winner of the Player of the Week and how about manager as well?
The two time Super league winners have had nothing short of a nightmare this campaign with Robbie Keane being the third man at the helm of the club. His task was simple, make sure they don’t finish bottom by avoiding defeat to fellow strugglers NorthEast.
VS NorthEast | 1-0 | G:1
And that is exactly what Keane did, delivering only ATK’s fourth win of the campaign in one that will be forgotten quite easily for the fans in Kolkata.
Not much to talk about in this game but the importance of a win, confidence cannot have been high for ATK or NorthEast but finishing bottom is not something any club wants. Robbie Keane had a big decision to make and that was his style, would he start himself or take a backseat and manage from afar?
Not only did the Premier League legend start himself but he made an impact almost instantly.
A long ball over the top of the NorthEast back line proved enough for a winner only ten minutes into this one. Keane watched the ball all the way over his shoulder to poke past the onrushing keeper on the half volley.
A strike that reminded us of a Robin Van Persie strike for Manchester United many years ago, only a lot more delicate to say the least.
ATK not only had Keane to thank but also their keeper Poirei who made many vital stops along the 90 minutes to keep the home side ahead and earn them their first victory in nine games. That takes us all the way back to early January, incidentally, it was also against their final day opponents NorthEast.
The only question left now is who will take the reigns of the two-time champions next? Or will Robbie Keane fancy his chances in management after an illustrious career in the game, guess we will have to wait and see.