Indian Super League

Dynamos’ defensive problems, Jeje’s lacklustre game: Talking points from Delhi vs Chennaiyin

Chennaiyin are now three points clear of fifth-placed Kerala, but have a difficult set of fixtures to follow.

The last lights from Delhi Dynamos’ excruciating season were finally dimmed as the capital outfit, courtesy of a draw, were mathematically knocked out of contention for a play-off spot.

One may argue that those lights stopped flickering long ago, as Delhi earned only their eighth point of the season from 13 games. The 1-1 draw with Chennaiyin represented a fourth point earned at home, from seven games played.

For the visitors, Mailson Alves cancelled out Kalu Uche’s penalty but this was a game where they simply did not create enough as Chennaiyin were out played and looked sluggish.

The talking points from the game:

Chhangte is Delhi’s outlet

  • Delhi’s recruitment policy, despite their results, deserves a mention as four 20-year-olds started the game. On the night, Mohammad Dhot and Jayananda Moirangthem started in defence. Ahead of them, Vinit Rai took his place in midfield with Lallinzuala Chhangte taking his place on the left.
  • With the likes of Shubham Sarangi waiting in the wings and Albino Gomes out through injury currently, this Delhi team could potentially improve next season. On the night though, it was an all-familiar tale: domination in patches but a lack of solidity and confidence hampering any little progress made.
  • The Dynamos had the first chance of the game, as Dhot played a long ball down to Chhangte on the left. The Mizo winger shimmied past Keenan Almeida before crossing it into the path of Paulinho Dias who took a wonderful shot on the half-volley which fizzed past Karanjit Singh’s right-hand post.
  • Chhangte flitted in and out of the game, yet looked like Dynamos’ most-influential player. He kept running into deep pockets of space behind Almeida on Chennaiyin’s right, yet Delhi’s overall forward play was sluggish even as they opted for the Mizo winger as an outlet.

Injuries and decision making hampers Dynamos’ defence

  • Yet, it was a lack of co-ordination and confidence which let Delhi down. The shot for Dias was difficult as the ball went behind him but a Dynamos player should have ideally attacked the ball at the near post. That was a gamble worth taking, as Chhangte put in the best ball he could have from that position.
  • Calamity, however, is never far away from the Dynamos. A cross from Gregory Nelson on the left was almost turned into his own goal by Munmun Lugun under pressure from Fernandes. Xabier Iruetaguena reacted fastest to prevent the ball from going over the line.
  • Delhi’s Spanish keeper bailed them out on yet another difficult night for the defence.  In the second half, Jerry Lalrinzuala’s driving run set up Jamie Gavilan for an easy finish. The ball went to his weaker right foot as Delhi’s Spanish keeper dived the wrong way but got a foot to it to keep the scores level.   
  • Iruetaguena had a good game barring the mistake for the goal. In the return leg too, Delhi had taken the lead only for Chennaiyin to salvage a 2-2 draw. Injuries to keeper Gomes and Iruetaguena have not helped the defence either, co-ordination a clear problem as all three of Delhi’s keepers lacking time to settle in behind the backline.
Jeje was ineffective against Delhi. (Image courtesy: indiansuperleague.com)
Jeje was ineffective against Delhi. (Image courtesy: indiansuperleague.com)

Jeje’s off-colour game

  • This was another night when Jeje’s inconsistencies came to the fore. He had only 33 touches of the ball and failed to take any shots in his 96 minutes on the pitch. His overall play, on the night, left much to be desired.
  • He was caught dawdling as Iruetaguena’s botched clearance fell to Gavilan only 15 seconds after the restart. His pass, for Jeje, meant that the Mizo forward was on his own up front. He took too long and scuffed his pass, the rebound falling kindly to Augusto to fire high and wide.
  • Jeje has seven goals to his name this campaign but can be really wasteful when he’s not scoring goals. He failed to link up with the three men behind him as Dhot and Gabriel Cichero handled him with ease.
  • Delhi’s attacking intent possibly did merit a goal and it did materialise. Matias Mirabje was brought down by Augusto in the box. It was a clear penalty as Uche stepped up to take it. He stuttered, and Karanjit barely offered a dive, as the ball fizzed into the bottom corner. Uche now had six goals for the season.

Two draws against Dynamos will hurt Chennaiyin

  • Delhi have scored four goals more than the two teams immediately above them and only one lesser than Jamshedpur in third, having played two games fewer. The problems have come at the other end, conceding a league-high 30 goals and so it proved again as Chhangte’s comical hand-ball from a Rowilson Rodrigues’ clearance gave Chennai a free-kick 35 yards out.
  • Rene Mihelic’s delivery was perfect as Iruetaguena came for the ball, but could not reach it. Mailson jumped highest and headed the ball home with the Spaniard off his line. It was poor all around from Delhi and definitely a goal which could have been avoided.
  • This was a point which did not help Chennaiyin’s cause one bit. They now have two difficult away games against Goa and Kerala Blasters left, and also have to face third-placed Jamshedpur and a play-off spot chasing Mumbai at home. 
  • The result kept them four points ahead of Goa, who have a game in hand. Should the Marina Machans lose at Fatorda, this is a game that they will reflect upon. They have only managed two draws against Delhi; two points against the bottom-placed side will be a disappointment for John Gregory and his men.
Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Swara Bhasker: Sharp objects has to be on the radar of every woman who is tired of being “nice”

The actress weighs in on what she loves about the show.

This article has been written by award-winning actor Swara Bhasker.

All women growing up in India, South Asia, or anywhere in the world frankly; will remember in some form or the other that gentle girlhood admonishing, “Nice girls don’t do that.” I kept recalling that gently reasoned reproach as I watched Sharp Objects (you can catch it on Hotstar Premium). Adapted from the author of Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn’s debut novel Sharp Objects has been directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, who has my heart since he gave us Big Little Lies. It stars the multiple-Oscar nominee Amy Adams, who delivers a searing performance as Camille Preaker; and Patricia Clarkson, who is magnetic as the dominating and dark Adora Crellin. As an actress myself, it felt great to watch a show driven by its female performers.

The series is woven around a troubled, alcohol-dependent, self-harming, female journalist Camille (single and in her thirties incidentally) who returns to the small town of her birth and childhood, Wind Gap, Missouri, to report on two similarly gruesome murders of teenage girls. While the series is a murder mystery, it equally delves into the psychology, not just of the principal characters, but also of the town, and thus a culture as a whole.

There is a lot that impresses in Sharp Objects — the manner in which the storytelling gently unwraps a plot that is dark, disturbing and shocking, the stellar and crafty control that Jean-Marc Vallée exercises on his narrative, the cinematography that is fluid and still manages to suggest that something sinister lurks within Wind Gap, the editing which keeps this narrative languid yet sharp and consistently evokes a haunting sensation.

Sharp Objects is also liberating (apart from its positive performance on Bechdel parameters) as content — for female actors and for audiences in giving us female centric and female driven shows that do not bear the burden of providing either role-models or even uplifting messages. 

Instead, it presents a world where women are dangerous and dysfunctional but very real — a world where women are neither pure victims, nor pure aggressors. A world where they occupy the grey areas, complex and contradictory as agents in a power play, in which they control some reigns too.

But to me personally, and perhaps to many young women viewers across the world, what makes Sharp Objects particularly impactful, perhaps almost poignant, is the manner in which it unravels the whole idea, the culture, the entire psychology of that childhood admonishment “Nice girls don’t do that.” Sharp Objects explores the sinister and dark possibilities of what the corollary of that thinking could be.

“Nice girls don’t do that.”

“Who does?”

“Bad girls.”

“So I’m a bad girl.”

“You shouldn’t be a bad girl.”

“Why not?”

“Bad girls get in trouble.”

“What trouble? What happens to bad girls?”

“Bad things.”

“What bad things?”

“Very bad things.”

“How bad?”

“Terrible!!!”

“Like what?”

“Like….”

A point the show makes early on is that both the victims of the introductory brutal murders were not your typically nice girly-girls. Camille, the traumatised protagonist carrying a burden from her past was herself not a nice girl. Amma, her deceptive half-sister manipulates the nice girl act to defy her controlling mother. But perhaps the most incisive critique on the whole ‘Be a nice girl’ culture, in fact the whole ‘nice’ culture — nice folks, nice manners, nice homes, nice towns — comes in the form of Adora’s character and the manner in which beneath the whole veneer of nice, a whole town is complicit in damning secrets and not-so-nice acts. At one point early on in the show, Adora tells her firstborn Camille, with whom she has a strained relationship (to put it mildly), “I just want things to be nice with us but maybe I don’t know how..” Interestingly it is this very notion of ‘nice’ that becomes the most oppressive and deceptive experience of young Camille, and later Amma’s growing years.

This ‘Culture of Nice’ is in fact the pervasive ‘Culture of Silence’ that women all over the world, particularly in India, are all too familiar with. 

It takes different forms, but always towards the same goal — to silence the not-so-nice details of what the experiences; sometimes intimate experiences of women might be. This Culture of Silence is propagated from the child’s earliest experience of being parented by society in general. Amongst the values that girls receive in our early years — apart from those of being obedient, dutiful, respectful, homely — we also receive the twin headed Chimera in the form of shame and guilt.

“Have some shame!”

“Oh for shame!”

“Shameless!”

“Shameful!”

“Ashamed.”

“Do not bring shame upon…”

Different phrases in different languages, but always with the same implication. Shameful things happen to girls who are not nice and that brings ‘shame’ on the family or everyone associated with the girl. And nice folks do not talk about these things. Nice folks go on as if nothing has happened.

It is this culture of silence that women across the world today, are calling out in many different ways. Whether it is the #MeToo movement or a show like Sharp Objects; or on a lighter and happier note, even a film like Veere Di Wedding punctures this culture of silence, quite simply by refusing to be silenced and saying the not-nice things, or depicting the so called ‘unspeakable’ things that could happen to girls. By talking about the unspeakable, you rob it of the power to shame you; you disallow the ‘Culture of Nice’ to erase your experience. You stand up for yourself and you build your own identity.

And this to me is the most liberating aspect of being an actor, and even just a girl at a time when shows like Sharp Objects and Big Little Lies (another great show on Hotstar Premium), and films like Veere Di Wedding and Anaarkali Of Aarah are being made.

The next time I hear someone say, “Nice girls don’t do that!”, I know what I’m going to say — I don’t give a shit about nice. I’m just a girl! And that’s okay!

Swara is a an award winning actor of the Hindi film industry. Her last few films, including Veere Di Wedding, Anaarkali of Aaraah and Nil Battey Sannata have earned her both critical and commercial success. Swara is an occasional writer of articles and opinion pieces. The occasions are frequent :).

Watch the trailer of Sharp Objects here:

Play

This article was published by the Scroll marketing team with Swara Bhasker on behalf of Hotstar Premium and not by the Scroll editorial team.