ISL 2017: ATK sack Sheringham

Atletico De Kolkata

Teddy Sheringham has been sacked as ATK manager after a dire start to the season. He has been replaced by ex-Bengaluru manager Ashley Westwood for the time being. It’s hardly surprising that Sheringham has been got rid of as ATK’s form in the opening half of the season has been dreadful and they find themselves third bottom after only scoring seven goals in ten games.

Where’s the statement?

The thing that is most surprising isn’t that he’s gone, it’s more than Miguel Portugal of Delhi Dynamos has managed to keep his job longer than him, but such is the wonder of the ISL. With Sheringham’s sacking, it means that three out of the four teams at the bottom of the ISL have now changed managers and with the success that Kerala and NorthEast have had under new stewardship, it’s hardly surprising that ATK have gone the same way.

A couple of questions have to be asked, though. 1) Why did they speak to PTI (Press Trust of India) before releasing a statement?

“Sheringham is no more the coach. Westwood has taken over as interim coach and will interact with the media today. I will speak to (CEO) Raghu (Iyer) and we will shortly make an announcement,”

2) Was this Westwood’s plan all along? This might seem a little speculative but him and Sheringham haven’t really seen eye to eye since November and the timing is a little bit off as well, but what’s done is done. Westwood will take charge for the foreseeable future and it’ll be intriguing to see what changes if any, there are.

Who’s signing the players?

The signings of Cotterill, Paterson and Soram Porei have to be looked at now with question marks as well. Whose signings were they? If they were Sheringham’s, what on earth happens now? If they weren’t, then maybe Westwood has been planning this for a while.

To be fair to Westwood, it’s the perfect plan because he can’t really do any worse than Sheringham and he’s got a decent calibre after winning two I-League titles with Bengaluru. Thinking about it, it was always going to be a recipe for disaster having Westwood as a director of football because he’s a manager and a coach deep down and maybe that’s what finally sunk Sheringham’s ATK boat.

In Teddy’s defence, he’s only lost four out of the ten this season and those were against the teams that currently occupy the top three spots, so that’s not the end of the world, but, it’s the draws that have let him down and that have ultimately made the difference. If they had won some of the games they drew, it would be a totally different picture and considering the amount of possession they normally have, they perhaps should have done. Over to Westwood now, though.

Westwood isn’t coming in as someone completely new, either, so he won’t that transition period that coaches normally need and it wouldn’t surprise me if he got a positive result from the Chennaiyin game tomorrow. One thing is for sure, the next interview that Sheringham does will be very, very interesting.

About the Author

Jake Flock
Football and writing are my two biggest passions, so seems right to combine the pair, don't you think?