Chennaiyin FC was Sportzwiki’s standout performer at half way stage of Indian Super League and it surely didn’t disappoint in its first season. The team from south of India in first season was full of drama, emotions, ups and downs, injuries, victories and a emotional climax truly like a Indian feature film. Although the team couldn’t make it to the Finals and lost out to Kerala Blasters, it surely played a season with consistency and swagger.
Players who disappointed
It will not be the best approach to single out players who disappointed during the Chennaiyin’s debut season at Indian Super League, however throughout the league in all their defeats (including the semi final 1st leg) they conceded three or more goals. So whenever they lost they lost heavily, there might be a section which would state that probably they played to win and never stopped their attack minded approach but it did not serve them well at the final frontier. A tighter and a bit more energetic defense (besides Mendi) may have served them well.
The best marquee signing of ISL was at Chennaiyin FC
Elano Blumer was hands down the best marquee signing at ISL. He was energetic, wily and produced the goods for Chennaiyin FC whenever required. He is already chosen as the fan player of the tournament with highest votes from the fan and it will not be surprising if he is voted the player of the tournament by ISL. Blumer already leads the goal scorer chart and surely will be in the mix for the honors at the end of the tournament. Only blotch was his injury, but with the grueling schedule the player cannot be blamed and he had already paved the path for his team’s entry into the knock out stage.
First leg against Kerala Blasters was the knockout blow
If you see the season at the full length, nothing went wrong for the team. As the others teams were fighting for the semifinal berth, Chennaiyin FC was already sitting comfortably in the knock out rounds and was the team to beat. They never lost matches at a run, fought from losing position to take points and entertained everyone in the process. However as we always fear in such tournaments across the sports fraternity one bad day in semis can knock you out of the tournament. Unfortunately for them the first leg Semi-Final against Kerala was a knockout punch. Even with a home leg to play we always felt it will be a mountain to climb, especially as they had not open their account in Kerala.
Areas of improvement for next season
It is likely Marco Materazzi will only be a coach and not a player in the next season if he stays on, and the management should look to add more youth, presence and energy in the defense. If this model has to sustain addition of homegrown players will definitely play an instrumental role in building the base and also be lighter on the pocket.
Surpassed all expectations
As they were a late entrant in the Indian Super League and had little time to put things together, they surely surpassed all expectations. There would have been few who would have put their money on Chennaiyin FC sitting comfortably at the top of the table after the league stage. The owners of the club had previous experience at running a franchise and probably that helped in getting the management in order and the big crowds at the ground definitely was an added boost to growth of Football in Chennai.
Image Source: IBN LIVE & ZEE NEWS