Robbie Fowler’s promise to East Bengal: Possession-based soccer and a aggressive crew

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In harder circumstances than what Teddy Sheringham confronted, Robbie Fowler will search to disprove the notion that British coaches and soccer golf equipment in Kolkata don’t make good companions within the Indian Super League (ISL). The checklist isn’t lengthy however in Sheringham, who lasted 10 games in ISL4, Ashley Westwood and Robbie Keane, all of them by ATK in a weird 2017-18 season, it isn’t wanting in large names. Add to that Steve Darby, who lasted months at Mohun Bagan in 2011, and also you just have Trevor James Morgan at East Bengal being the exception to the rule.

But then, it’s at East Bengal or SC East Bengal, because the 100-year-old membership can be identified in ISL7 where they debut this time period, that Fowler, 45, has joined on a two-year deal. Unlike Sheringham, who had just coached within the third tier of English soccer earlier than ATK, Fowler has circled Brisbane Roar within the 2019-20 A-League earlier than Covid-19 disrupted the Australian soccer season. “We have built a team which struggled and made them successful….Our stats were better than most teams in the A-League. It’s a challenge we have accepted,” stated Fowler at a media convention over Zoom on Saturday from his residence in Liverpool. Now Fowler stated, he hopes to make ISL, “a relatively new league”, “a little more successful.”

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Barring Brisbane Roar, the Liverpool legend’s just prior teaching expertise was as player-manager in Thailand in 2011. But having received his UEFA Pro Licence in 2017, he and buddy Tony Grant, who may also be his assistant at SC East Bengal, took a crew that was second from backside in 2017-18 and had shipped 71 objectives in 27 games to fourth in 2019-20. “We went into it with our eyes wide open. We knew it wouldn’t be easy,” Fowler, 45, informed The Athletic in an interview referring to his transient stint in Australia.

Easy it gained’t be right here too, Fowler accepts. Especially as a result of whereas all ISL groups are in pre-season, SC East Bengal are constructing their squad; the names of seven overseas players, key to any crew’s probabilities, to be obtainable just within the subsequent few days. Fowler assured followers that the signings will make his crew “Full of marquee players.” And that he was “more than satisfied” with the Indians within the squad about whom Fowler stated he had been briefed by assistant-coach and former East Bengal captain Renedy Singh.

“We are a little bit late…we need to work harder on the training ground. That is why we have the staff we have. We have to create an environment where people will want to work hard and enjoy it,” stated Fowler. The new coach promised his crew can be aggressive and “play possession-based football.” As Liverpool ambassador, Fowler has met Juergen Klopp and has stated he loves how Liverpool shift the ball and play for one another. As player, Fowler has been below Gerrard Houllier and Rafa Benitez at Liverpool.

From being on the shortlist for ISL in 2013 earlier than the competition received deferred by one yr, to taking on a training job in Australia, Fowler has lived as much as his remark of not being afraid to strive issues that had been out of the bizarre. So requested why he selected India within the time of a pandemic, he replied “why not” though he needed to journey to Los Angeles from Brisbane to get residence.

Fowler stated he spoke to Peter Reid, who coached Mumbai City in 2014, and is open to talking to compatriots Sheringham, David James, Owen Coyle and Stuart Baxter. James coached Kerala Blasters; Coyle is answerable for Jamshedpur FC and Baxter at Odisha FC.

Asked how he thought the players would deal with what may very well be six-months in a bio-secure bubble, for much longer than what another competition has tried, he stated: “It will be a challenge but we need to adapt. We need to create an environment where players enjoy. And we will not be at players’ throats all the time.”

Born in Toxteth, Liverpoool’s inside metropolis, Fowler, who has thrown his weight behind laid off dock staff, is aware of “football brings joy.” So it match when Fowler stated he was appreciative of East Bengal’s historical past and knew about their storied rivalry with Mohun Bagan, now ATK-Mohun Bagan. “Rivalry drives players on. Tony and I have been involved in various derbies.” Grant is a former Everton and Manchester City midfielder.

Fowler, the sixth highest scorer within the Premiership, had an excellent first 4 years at Liverpool, scoring 188 objectives in 116 games. And he has received off to a brilliant begin as coach. SC East Bengal can be hoping that continues. He ended the interplay by referring to SC East Bengal as “our club.”

[Attribution HT.]

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