Fifteen days is an awfully long time in football. It’s even longer if it’s the length between an agonising final defeat and your next game, yet, that’s just the situation Bengaluru find themselves in. By the time their Super Cup round of 16 game kicks off against Gokulam Kerala, more than two weeks would have past which means Roca & Co would have had more than enough time to get things right on the training ground once more.
Can Kisekka Prove To Be The Difference Again?
We’ll start this preview by looking at the I-League outsiders, Gokulam Kerala, who saw off NorthEast with ease in their qualifier to make it this far. You could spin their form in one of two ways, you could say they’ve only lost once in their last seven games in all competitions or you could say they’ve only won one in four and both would be factually correct.
Such is the beauty of stats, you can pretty much make them fit whichever agenda you see fit. I’m not about that, though, so we’ll deal things that can’t be twisted. Henry Kisekka, the man who got both against NorthEast, has to be the one who Bengaluru keep an eye on as he is the one that will make them click. Not just with his goals, either as his all-round link up play is fantastic and he’ll relish the opportunity to play against what many consider the best team in India.
Speaking of Bengaluru, I just to want to touch on their gaffer for a minute. Albert Roca seems to be the only ISL manager who is treating this competition with any respect and this was particularly evident when he said:
“It’s serious enough for us to compete. For sure, we will play 100 per cent and try to win.
We’re a reference in Indian football right now. It’s a level that we have achieved and we don’t want to drop that. It’s a real challenge for us to keep this rhythm and do our best. We had a break for a few days. We are waiting for a lot of players, who are out on international duty, to come back. Circumstances may not be ideal to prepare with players out but we still need to try hard and play.
We Need To Change The Mentality
This could be the hardest game of the season since we need to recover mentally from the final loss. We need to change the mentality and I will push the squad to be ambitious. The season isn’t done as yet. We can still go on and win a trophy. The quality of Super Cup is good because there are some good teams and it’s going to be difficult to win it.
Both tournaments are equally important. I will not prioritise. We don’t want to take one step back but to move ahead and face these competitions and be ready. Both teams in AFC Cup are difficult opponents. I will manage the squad the best I can.”
All praise the mighty Roca! Breath of fresh air in comparison to Gregory and the other likely lads making a mockery of the competition with their underhanded digs.
Roca’s approach to this tournament is reflected in his selection of foreign players as he’s included the likes of Miku and Erik Paartalu, although Dimas does miss out through injury, it is thought that Victor Perez will fill in for him. I’m going to say this now and at the end of the article. Bengaluru will win the Super Cup. Period.
This next bit was planned for their head-to-head record what with Bengaluru migrating from the I-League to the ISL and all, however, I have been halted in my tracks as someone didn’t tell me that Gokulam only formed in January of last year and the campaign just gone was their maiden one.
Bengaluru Will Win The Super Cup
In that case, seventh wasn’t all that bad. And if they can get one over on Bengaluru then this season would have to be considered a success. Imagine if they beat Bengaluru and then get Kerala Blasters in the next round, that’ll be tasty, to say the least.
That’s your lot for this one, I’m not going to give you my normal if I was a betting man spiel because I’ve already nailed my colours to the mast by saying I think Bengaluru will win it. Fill your boots!
Until the next time.