Now or Possibly Never for BFC
The defending champions face table-toppers East Bengal — in a slight slump — in Bengaluru today
“It was the start of our pain.” During the pre-match press conference Bengaluru FC coach Albert Roca remembered the trouble they’ve had since their 2-1 loss to East Bengal just over a month ago (January 22).
BFC were top of the table with three wins from three, but haven’t won since – two losses and three draws in the league. In contrast East Bengal’s rise to the top began with the turnaround win, having gone a goal down. They,though,havehitaslightslump–losing to Aizawl, and drawing the two prior first to Mohun Bagan and then Shillong Lajong.
The big talking point is the absence of Willis Plaza through injury. He was substituted against Aizawl, groin strain, and will have to sit this one out. Now that could have meant changing up Trevor Morgan’s trusted system of having two forwards up front. But he doesn’t think so.
“We’ve got a system that we’re comfortable playing with. There’s no need really for us to (change). We tried something in the first half of Aizawl that didn’t really work out (A 4-3-2-1 with Plaza up front ahead of Wedson Anselme). So we’re going back to the system that includes two forwards in it.
“Of course we’ll miss Willis, because he’s dynamic — he can make things happen. When you have someone who can make things happen, sometimes it makes the game easy for you when the ball goes forward. 2.05pm 7.05pm CLUB GAMES 10 9 10 10 9 “Buthe’snotplayingtomorrowandwe’vegot to get over that and just play to the strengths of the other two boys who’re up front. It’s really up to the other players now to get an opportunity in the team, to stake a place to be a regular now.” Morgan’s words shou ld be taken seriously by Robin Singh. He’s played six games, but hasn’t been as consistent as Plaza. And while the Trinidadian is “dynamic”, Robin would consider a physical approach his strength. This could mean that the East Bengal midfield will be set up to sit back a little and get the ‘long balls’ to Robin. Thongkhosiem Haokip, who came on as a substitute last match, could get into the starting line-up as the second forward. However the one man who could have helped Roca in countering the striker’s strength would be absent. “The game will be easier without (Plaza). (But) we also have to suffer, in defence we don’t have John (Johnson) with us,” said Roca. Incidentally, he was – uncharacteristically – at fault for Robin’s goal during the first meeting. To makeitworse,first-choicekeeperAmrinder Singhisalsoside-linedwithastrainedgroin. The Spanish coach’s other big problem has been Bengaluru’s lack of goals. It’s frustrating for the team because there’s no lack of
control or chances created. “We are creating chances. We are the team who’s making more passes, we’re the team making more offensive actions. I cannot complain all of this. I am complaining about… the last 40 yards where we have not been efficient
enough. We are still working on that. It’s not easy,” added Roca.
BFC have had a number of starting eleven’s this season as the coach deals with both injuries and finding the right fit for his possession-based system.
Bengaluru FC’s CK Vineeth I-LEAGUE (TOP 5) East Bengal Mohun Bagan Aizawl FC Shillong Lajong Bengaluru FC