Hyderabad had a debut to forget…
With a 5-1 win against NorthEast United in their final match of the season, Hyderabad avoided the tag of the worst performer in Indian Super League (ISL) history. They managed 10 points from 18 games, a point more than last season’s wooden spooners Chennaiyin FC.
The win in the final league match was only Hyderabad’s second in what was a disastrous season. Before that, the ISL debutants endured a 14-game winless run that laid bare the issues in the squad.
Having made a late entry to the Indian Super League scene, the player options were not abundant for Hyderabad. With FC Pune City shutting down, the entire squad was moved to Hyderabad.
The overall squad did not have enough quality to compete with the rest of the league and the poor output was for all to see. The foreign players failed to impress and there was no leader on the pitch for Hyderabad.
Marcelinho was often the lone warrior in attack for Hyderabad and although, he showed his quality here and there, it was not enough. He was also not provided enough service from the midfield. The likes of Bobo and Giles Barnes failed to create any sort of impact. Marko Stankovic put up a fight but the midfielder had too much to handle, apart from battling injury issues.
Nestor Gordillo’s four-month ban for negotiating a pre-contact with the now-defunct FC Pune City meant Hyderabad were handicapped in attack even before the season kicked on.
In defence, the likes of Asish Rai, Mathew Kilgallon, Adil Khan and Rafael Lopez all struggled to contain attackers and the team ended up conceding 39 goals in 18 matches – more than two goals per game!
Both Phil Brown and Javier Lopez failed to come up with a solution to the team’s problems. Injuries and suspensions to foreign players at crucial junctures of the season did not help but Hyderbad’s woes throughout the season are not mainly due to injuries. This is a team that was quickly assembled and although their debut did not go according to plan, Albert Roca’s impending arrival is a positive for next season.
Also, this was a team that was put together quickly with very little time for the players to gel and no pre-season.
With the league’s worst defence and second-worst attack, the team struggled with confidence throughout the campaign and will now hope for an improved display next season. The management took note of the downfall and roped in Albert Roca as the head coach for next season. They will be hoping that this will help the club improve their performances on the field.