The Indian Super League is only 14 days away! Excited? Of course you are, that’s why you are here.
It’s a tricky business trying to turn preseason form into any kind of coherent thought process around predicting eventual winners, but Atletico de Kolkata are looking pretty good.
Robbie Keane got off the mark in a 3-2 win against Dibba Al-Hisn Sports Club in the UAE. The win made ATK three from three on their preseason camp.
There has been some speculation as to whether Teddy Sheringham will be able to lead the side to back-to-back ISL titles. The former England striker will be coaching the side alongside I-League winning coach Ashley Westwood.
At a conference in India he said:
“It’s lovely opportunity for myself and Ashley to combine a team that will hopefully progress and win the ISL…I’m looking forward to be the coach of ATK.”
Some Indian news outlets are already on his back, as Sheringham had a short, unsuccessful spell with Stevenage in England’s League Two. However, the vast experience that he brings to the league has to be worth something you would imagine.
Mumbai City came back from a goal down to Levante B and settled for a 2-2 draw. FC Goa also notched their third win of their preseason campaign, beating Spanish side FC Cartagena.
Last year’s beaten finalists Kerala Blasters are obviously aiming to go one better this time round, but their preseason results were certainly mixed. The recorded two wins, one draw and one defeat in Spain – the final result a 3-0 beating by FC Marbella.
Their opening fixture on the 17th should be a memorable occasion as it pits them against the team that beat them in last season’s final – ATK and Robbie Keane.
However, Kerala were able to recover from the shock defeat and release this social media video to their followers.
— Kerala Blasters FC (@KeralaBlasters) October 28, 2017
Whilst the Blasters were being filmed, co-owner Sachin Tendulkar was using his connections to get some face-to-face time with Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to check he will be supporting the team. We can only assume that the answer was yes, with a bit of no and no firm commitment from the politician.
AFC Leopard’s Ugandan midfielder Keziron Kizito is hoping that his tactic of going AWOL will force through a move to Kerala Blasters so the player can line up alongside his hero, Dimitar Berbatov.
The Leopard’s chairman, Dan Mule (I know, animals all over the place) had this to say.
“We all know he (Kizito) disappeared, nobody gave him permission to travel to India and this is something that has not gone down well with us. As a matter of fact, we are still contemplating whether we take a disciplinary action against him or not; if we decide to take action, what will we gain as a club? Nothing!
“I have talked to Kizito, he is in Uganda currently, he will come we sort out contractual issues. There was a buyout clause in the agreement we had, and it is high time we discussed how much the club will get from his departure. It has to be something of value considering he has a contract with us running until next year.”
He’s not happy.
Finally, the owners of the ISL are keen to sell some more franchises. Watch this space!