Jamshedpur FC banking on Owen Coyle's genius for success in ISL 2020-21
Jamshedpur FC's Best Finish in ISL: Fifth (2017-18, 2018-19)
Other Trophies: None
Jamshedpur FC Head coach: Owen Coyle
Over the years, Jamshedpur FC have been one of the most exciting teams to watch in the Indian Super League. It's true that they haven't been able to make it to the playoffs even once in their three seasons of appearance in the ISL but their attacking brand of football has always been pretty refreshing to watch.
In fact, they came very close to qualifying for the playoffs twice in the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons respectively. Jamshedpur finished fifth on both occasions and thus narrowly missed out on playing in the semi-finals narrowly. The last season didn't turn out to be that good for them though. They finished as the eighth-placed team among the 10 sides but things are expected to change for the better this time as former Chennaiyin FC manager Owen Coyle has taken charge at Jamshedpur FC.
Coyle turned around Chennaiyin's campaign completely in the 2019-20 edition as he took them from the bottom half of the table to the playoffs after taking over the reins midway into the season. Not only that but Chennaiyin also stormed into the final after beating League toppers FC Goa in the semi-final. Even though they couldn't win the final, it was a miraculous turnaround that Coyle led and he will be looking forward to doing something similar with Jamshedpur FC this time.
How did Jamshedpur FC fare in the last ISL season?
As far as Jamshedpur's performance in the last edition is considered, they failed both as a defensive and offensive unit. They conceded a total of 35 goals during the league stage, which was the second-most among all teams while scoring only 22 -- the third-worst among all teams once again.
Apart from Sergio Castel, who scored seven goals in 11 outings, none of the other Jamshedpur players was able to make meaningful contributions in scoring. Only Noe Acosta (3 goals) and Farukh Choudhary (1 goal, 4 assists) had something significant to show to their name.
Jamshedpur FC Squad for ISL 2020-21
Like most other clubs who were unsuccessful in the last edition, Jamshedpur FC have undergone a complete overhaul too. Their poor performance in the last season demanded improvements in both offence and defence and it looks like they have been able to achieve that, at least on paper.
It starts right with the acquisition of last season's joint-top-scorer Nerijus Valskis from Chennaiyin FC. Valskis scored 15 goals in his 20 ISL outings last time and Coyle was highly impressed with his scoring prowess. It is pretty evident why he sought the services of Valskis after coming to Jamshedpur as well. A target-man with his scoring prowess is pretty hard to find after all. Moreover, to assist Valskis from both the flanks, Coyle also secured the services of two quality wingers in Jackichand Singh and Nicholas Fitzgerald from FC Goa and A-League side Newcastle respectively.
Both Jackichand and Fitzgerald are known for their pace and agility. They are not only capable of playing as wingers. In fact, the duo can play as a second striker across any flank, if needed. That gives Coyle immense flexibility. He has acquired a good backup striker in William Lalnunfela from Aizawl FC as well. The 25-year-old is one of the brightest talents in India right now. The signing of Brazilian midfielder Alex is another notable acquisition to strengthen their offence.
As far as the defence is considered, Coyle has added some much-needed quality there as well. The arrival of Peter Hartley from Scotland's Motherwell FC brings some much-needed experience to their backline. The 32-year-old will be expected to lead Jamshedpur's defensive lines, which consist of Nigerian centre-back Stephen Eze, former ATK left-back Ricky Lallawmawma and former Chennaiyin right-back Laldinliana Renthlei as well. All three of Eze (26), Lallawmawma (28) and Renthlei (22) are pretty young and Hartley's role will be pretty important in leading them.
Goalkeepers: TP Rehenesh, Pawan Kumar, Niraj Kumar, Raj Mahato, Vishal Yadav
Defenders: Peter Hartley, Stephen Eze, Narender Gehlot, Joyner Lourenco, Laldinliana Renthlei, Karan Amin, Manash Protim Gogoi, Sandip Mandi, Ricky Lallawmawma, Subhash Barua
Midfielders: Aitor Monroy, Alex Lima, Jackichand Singh, Nicholas Fitzgerald, Issac Vanmalsawma, Amarjit Singh, Mobashir Rahman, Jitendra Singh, Manisana Singh, Harsha Parui, Billu Teli, Gorachand Mardi, Gaurab, Bhupender Singh
Forwards: Nerijus Valskis, David Grande, Aniket Jadhav, Sapam Kennedy Singh, William Lalnunfela
Jamshedpur FC predictions for ISL 2020-21 season
It looks like Jamshedpur FC's squad is shaping up pretty well for this season. They have quality on paper, in both defence and attack, and Coyle will be looking to get the best out of them. His stint with Chennaiyin FC last season showed how good a manager he is and now he has a much better understanding of the things with that experience under his belt. That will only help him in making things better for his new club, and we might see Jamshedpur qualifying for the semi-finals for the first time in their history of the tournament.