Former FC Goa manager Sergio Lobera has agreed terms with City Football Group or CFG and he is set to take charge of Mumbai City FC as manager. During his three-season term as the manager of FC Goa, he led the team to the playoffs in every season. FC Goa, under his leadership, ended their 2018-19 season as runners-up. The Gaurs even emerged as the champions of the 2019 AIFF Super Cup and won the first-ever ISL Winners Shield in season 2019-20 as they were at the top of the table at the end of the group stage.
FC Goa was struggling to gather points before Lobera took over. They had finished last in the 2016 edition of the league. Due to the Spaniard’s desire for elegant and possession-based tactics, the Gaurs finished 3rd in the subsequent season. Lobera played a major role in the winter transfer window post his arrival and signed extremely talented players like Ferran Corominas, Edu Bedia, Manuel Lanzarote and Hugo Boumous. These important signings resulted in the team’s core changing from Brazilian to Spanish, to match the new boss’s style of play.
Currently, Mumbai City FC has no Spanish players in their squad. Their philosophy under Lobera’s predecessor, Jorge Costa was that of counterattacking. Although this style of play is very effective and exciting to watch, Lobera’s tactics are completely opposite. Hence, among the first hurdles that he may face would include imposing his philosophy and finding the right kind of players that he needs. An attractive transfer budget will definitely be a boon for the Spaniard.
Counterattacking football is completely different from possession-based football. For example, Spanish giants Real Madrid play counterattacking football while their arch-rivals Barcelona follow the philosophy of possession-based football. Therefore, Mumbai fans will have to be very patient with their team’s new boss. Because of the conflicting style and philosophy that Lobera brings, it could take about a season for Mumbai to become accustomed to the style that Lobera wants them to adopt.
Young and local talent at Mumbai City FC can benefit from this signing. Lobera played a crucial role in the development of players like Jackichand Singh, Brandon Fernandes, and Mandar Rao Dessai at FC Goa. He clearly has an eye for local talent and the ability to nurture them. There are a lot of youngsters at Mumbai City FC who can benefit once Lobera takes over. Sourav Das, Sarthak Golui, Valpuia and Bidyananda Singh are some players who showed promise in the 2019-20 season and can easily adapt to Lobera’s style of play, resulting in a smoother transition for the team.
Sergio Lobera is among the best managers to manage in the Indian Super League. He has great plans to extend his legacy by transforming Mumbai City FC. Fans and connoisseurs can expect Mumbai FC to adopt an elegant and beautiful style of football under Sergio’s reign.