ISL 2020-21 Weekly Round-up: Transfers flurry, mid-season sacking, Coyle's misery

ISL 2020: From the mid-season transfers being in full flow to Jamshedpur losing three in a row, here are the major talking points from the week gone by.

Mumbai City FC and Hyderabad FC were locked in an intense battle during a goalless draw. - ISL/SPORTZPICS

NorthEast United lets go of Nus

Another Wednesday, another coach sacked. Gerard Nus is the latest manager to be shown the door as NorthEast United FC let go of the Spaniard last week.

Gerard Nus was sacked by NorthEast United after a seven-game winless run.   -  ISL/Sportzpics

 

The club said that Nus' style of play did not suit the club's vision. “The club has decided to part ways with the Spanish national after taking into consideration a contrast in the team’s current tactics and the club’s philosophy and vision,” it said in a statement.

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Nus, the youngest coach in the ISL at 35 years of age, had the side in the top-four for eight weeks. However, a seven-match winless run and a poor overall display saw him receive the sack.

He has been replaced by interim head coach Khalid Jamil, who successfully guided the Highlanders to a win against Jamshedpur FC on Sunday.

Pandita rescues the Gaurs, yet again

Ishan Pandita came off the bench to rescue FC Goa yet again on Sunday as he struck the equaliser in the 1-1 draw with ATK Mohun Bagan.

The 22-year-old scored from close-range, within five minutes of coming on, to net his second goal of the season. He scored his maiden ISL goal last month when he found the back of the net within 30 seconds of coming on during the 2-1 victory over Hyderabad FC.

Ishan Pandita celebrates scoring the equaliser for FC Goa against ATKMB.   -  ISL/Sportzpics

 

The youngster now has two shots and two goals to his name from a total of 19 minutes spread across four matches.

Jamshedpur off to a miserable start in 2021

After a 12-day break, fifth-placed Jamshedpur FC played its first game of the new year against Kerala Blasters FC on January 10, Sunday. Fast forward a week, The Men of Steel have dropped down to eighth after three consecutive defeats, with 13 points from 12 outings.

ISL 2020-21: Points table, goals scored, goal difference - NorthEast United moves to fifth  

Owen Coyle has lost three league stage games on the trot for first time in his ISL career, with Jamshedpur FC (2019-20) and Chennaiyin FC (2018-19).   -  Twitter

 

Owen Coyle’s side lost to FC Goa and NorthEast United FC in the past week, and was clearly dominated in both games. JFC’s star striker Nerijus Valskis, who is second in the 2020-21 ISL Golden Boot standings, struggled for form in the two matches.

With multiple mid-table teams fighting for playoff spots, Jamshedpur can’t afford to drop too many points as the tournament heads into the business end.

Lanzarote returns to Goa, to play for Chennaiyin FC

Spanish attacker Manuel Lanzarote, who has played for FC Goa and ATK in the past, will replace the injured Brazilian playmaker Rafael Crivellaro at Chennaiyin FC for the rest of the 2020-21 ISL season, after serving his quarantine period.

READ | Can play, can't score: Chennaiyin's xG defying ISL season so far

The 36-year-old Spaniard Manuel Lanzarote is the tenth highest goal-scorer in the ISL's short history, having scored 20 goals in a season each for FC Goa and ATK.   -  Special Arrangement

 

Lanzarote made the 2017-18 ISL semifinals with Goa, scoring 13 goals and assisting six in 19 appearances for the club. The very next season, he moved to ATK but couldn’t make the playoffs, bagging seven goals and two assists in the process.

The former La Liga player, who is prolific with his goal contributions up front, is likely to provide CFC a new dimension in attack in the absence of its skipper.

Xisco boost for Bengaluru

With Bengaluru FC's season having hit a block in the last five matches, the management has turned to a familiar face to provide a creative influence in attack. Xisco Hernandez was part of Bengaluru's successful 2018-19 season, when the Blues went on to lift the title. He scored a goal and provided five assists before he spent the last campaign at Odisha FC. At Odisha, the Spanish attacker scored five and set up two as the Juggernauts finished sixth on the table.

READ | Bengaluru FC's Dimas Delgado returns to Spain due to family emergency  

Xisco Hernandez made 20 appearances for Bengaluru FC in the 2018-19 ISL season. - ISL/Sportzpics

 

Bengaluru has scored just one goal from open play in its last five matches and has let go off striker Deshorn Brown on loan to NorthEast United FC until the end of the season. BFC also announced late on Sunday that midfielder Dimas Delgado will return home to Spain due to a setback in the family.

Hyderabad hits pause on Mumbai

A resilient Hyderabad FC played out an enthralling goalless draw against table-topper Mumbai City FC, halting its four-match winning run. This was the first time in 10 matches, Mumbai City failed to score this season. Hyderabad coach Manolo Marquez Roca felt his side executed his plans well to come out with a point.

READ | Resilient Hyderabad holds Mumbai City to goalless draw

Roca said, "More or less, we played according to plan. They were better than us in the first leg. Maybe they had better possession tonight, but we played really well. I think that it's very easy to train my players. They do everything I ask them and believe in my work. Today, we were compact in defence and Mumbai hardly found any empty space."

Hyderabad had the better chances to win the game but Mumbai goalkeeper Amrinder Singh stood strong in goal.