Bengaluru FC unraveled: Fed Cup may resurrect their waivered form

Team Jersey  |  Bengaluru FC  |  1 Year Ago

A new coach, a new style of football and sadly a new found growing pain. The words “growing pain” has not been associated with Bengaluru FC. However, all that has changed this season. After three glorious years under Ashley Westwood, the Steelmen had to experience turbulence for the first time in their fledgeling history.


Bengaluru FC has brought around a revolution in Indian football, not only with their professionalism, but also the success on the pitch right form the start. Whilst most corporate backed clubs struggled to get the combination right, the Southern Eagles soared high not only in India but also in the continental scene where they excelled – becoming the first Indian team to reach the AFC Cup final last year. 


With the appointment of Albert Roca, the former Barcelona assistant coach, they wanted to turn a new chapter; bring the “beautiful” quotient in their game. Everyone knew that the task would be an uphill one. However, not many anticipated the climb to be as difficult as it eventually proved to be.


For the first time in four years of their existence, they were not within a sniffing distance of the I-League title courtesy of a seven-game winless streak that stretched the faith of the West Block Blues to its most extreme. 

And now going into the Federation Cup, they know fully well that this stands as their last chance of garnering any silverware this season at home.


BFC’s Strengths

For all the tough times that Bengaluru had to endure, they were certainly the strongest team heading into the finishing line. They finished their I-League campaign with four wins on the trot. What was even more impressive was that they didn’t concede a single, whilst scoring 13. 


The defence has always been the bedrock of Bengaluru’s success in the last three years and it is no different this year as well. They have looked like one of the best sides in the entire League when their backline has stood the test but that was few and far between in the middle stages of the competition, leading to some unceremonious results.


They will, of course, again be looking at their talismanic figure of Sunil Chhetri to conjure up a piece of magic. The Indian skipper has seen himself being deployed majorly on the left-hand side of the field. And while he hasn’t had the greatest of seasons so far, you can only take him lightly at your own peril.


Another point to look forward to in this tournament will be Udanta Singh. The youngster has come along really well this time and has now become an important cog for both his club as well as the National side. A good outing in the Federation Cup will soar his reputation to another level.

BFC’s Weaknesses

One of the major chick in the armours for the side has been their play in the centre of midfield. Eugeneson Lyngdoh, the man in the side for the first three seasons has seen his form waiver for much of the season. Whilst Lenny has not really embedded as smoothly as many thought he would, Cameron Watson’s performances have largely been inconsistent.


It’s while they will again have their work cut out against the likes of Kinowaki and Isaac.


Another thing that will be up in the air is the shape and formation of the side. Bengaluru have never found their true identity under Roca and that again on show in their latest AFC Cup game against Abahani where they went down 0-2.


What has held Bengaluru back this season is their lack of sharpness in front of goal last season. Whilst young Daniel Lalhlimpuia has shown glimpses of his potential every now and then, though he hasn’t been clinical enough with his finishing. CK Vineeth too hasn’t been at his sharpest after taking the ISL by storm last year.


The X-factor

Can Cornell Glen will make a difference? The last time the man from Trinidad and Tobago International played on Indian soil was for BFC’s bitter rivals where he scored 11 goals in 16 appearances. However, despite the gaudy numbers, he failed to ever become a fan favourite owing to his nonchalant attitude that sometimes bordered on callousness. 


Unlike other teams, Bengaluru have never boasted of a marquee foreign striker who punched in goals by the handful. However, with Sean Rooney and Kim Song-Yong, they got enough purchase to push the boat over the finishing line. With Glen, however, they would be looking for something different. This season, however, their recruitment up top has been dysmal. 


Roby Norales was loaned out even before he played a game and Marjan Jugović hasn’t inpsired much confidence either and now out with injury.


Thus, the signing of Cornell Glen is an interesting one. The 35-year-old, who scored 30 goals in 38 appearances during his stint with Shillong Lajong has a penchant for nifty play on the ground should suit the scheme of Albert Roca. But the question will be: Can he hit the ground running?


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