Jamshedpur FC have been a solid addition to the Indian Super League. In just three seasons, the men from the steel city have managed to create a fan following and have regularly recorded good attendance figures.
On their day, Jamshedpur have proved to be a force for any team in the ISL, especially in their own backyard. There have been some fine individual performances and a few good youngsters coming through from the Tata Football Academy. The only thing that is missing is a genuine title challenge.
In their three seasons so far, Jamshedpur have finished fifth – just a place below the semi-final cut-off mark – twice before settling for seventh position last time. The playoff berth has eluded them since their debut season.
In the off-season, it’s an aspect that the Jamshedpur FC board seems determined to put right.
Moving quickly to secure the services of Owen Coyle, who guided Chennaiyin to the final after disastrous start to the season, Jamshedpur have a manager with a great CV having found success in the Premier League with Burnley and Bolton.
And it’s fair to say that Coyle has been really well backed in the transfer market. Jamshedpur FC have made some noteworthy signings in the summer, with Coyle raiding his former club Chennaiyin.
What’s changed for 2020-’21 season
Ins: Jackichand Singh, Nicholas Fitzgerald, William Lalnunfela, TP Rehenesh, Peter Hartley, Bhupender Singh, Stephen Eze, Laldinliana Renthlei, Pawan Kumar, Nerijus Valskis, Alex Lima, Ricky Lallawmawma
Outs: CK Vineeth, Sumeet Passi, Memo, Subrata Paul, Bikash Jairu, Md Rafique Ali, Tiri, Farukh Choudhary, Noe Acosta, Robin Gurung, Piti
Nerijus Valskis, who won the golden boot last season is the most significant signing for Jamshedpur. Alex Lima is another big-name arrival that is certain to add plenty of quality to the ranks. In defence, the recruitment of Peter Hartley and Nigeria international Stephen Eze seems pretty solid.
Jackichand Singh, TP Rehenesh and Laldinliana Renthlei are quality Indian additions and should be able to fill the void left by departures of the likes of Farukh Choudhary and Subrata Pal.
Jamshedpur look very balanced in all departments and have a good blend of foreign and Indian players. The foreigners are distributed across positions and thus enhance the team’s overall strength.
With Eze and Hartley at the heart of the defence and the likes of Narender Gahlot, Renthlei, Sandip Mandi, Joyner Laurenco and Ricky Lallawmawma to add to Coyle’s options, Jamshedpur’s big strength is likely to be their defence.
Having Valskis up top will be a further boost for the team knowing that in his presence goals would pretty much be guaranteed.
There are few glaring weaknesses in this Jamshedpur FC squad, given how well-rounded it is, but their Achilles Heel might be between the sticks. Rehenesh has been a solid performer in the ISL but his performances in the last few seasons haven’t been up to the standard that he set during his NorthEast United days.
With a squad size of 34, Coyle will have a difficult task keeping all players happy.
Coach - Owen Coyle
Coyle has over fifteen years of experience in coaching and is not a newcomer to Indian football either. He proved to be the catalyst for change at Chennaiyin FC, who went of strugglers to finalists under his guidance last season.
In 2009, Coyle helped Burnley secure promotion to the Premier League and masterminded a win over Manchester United in the club’s first home game in the top flight. He then joined Bolton in that very season and helped them avoid relegation as his former team Burnley suffered the drop.
The 54-year-old has also had a taste of the MLS and hence has the ability to adapt to new surroundings.
His Chennaiyin FC side played a high-intensity attacking brand of football and with the players at his disposal at Jamshedpur, expect more of the same.
Player to watch out for: Nerijus Valskis
Valskis found the net with great regularity for Chennaiyin. A tall centre-forward, he is also good at bringing players around him in the play. His tally of six assists last season is proof of the fact. With the Lithuanian surrounded by several talented attackers at Jamshedpur, expect him to be a key figure for Coyle.
With a year’s experience of Indian football, Valkis will be expected to hit the ground running and get the Jamshedpur FC revolution under Coyle an early impetus.
|Niraj Kumar||Joyner Laurenco||Aitor Monroy||Aniket Jadhav|
|Pawan Kumar||Karan Amin||Alexandre Lima||Bhupender Singh|
|Raj Kumar Mahato||Laldinliana Renthlei||Amarjit Singh||David Grande|
|TP Rehenesh||Manash Gogoi||Billu Teli||Nicholas Fitzgerald|
|Vishal Yadav||Narender Gahlot||Gaurab||Nerijus Valskis|
|Peter Hartley||Gorachand Mamdi||Sapam Kennedy|
|Ricky Lallawmawma||Harsha Parui||Willian Lalnunfela|
|Sandip Mandi||Isaac Vanmalsawma|
|Stephen Eze||Jitendra Singh|
|Subhash Barua||Mohammad Mobashir|