Dynamos stutters at the signings

Roberto Carlos (above) insisted that his managerial style will be informed by the great managers who have coached him. The philosophy would be to score goals. Although he didn't say it, it would be reasonable to understand that he would be happy if Delhi dynamos scored one more than the opposition.-SHIV KUMAR PUSHPAKAR Roberto Carlos (above) insisted that his managerial style will be informed by the great managers who have coached him. The philosophy would be to score goals. Although he didn't say it, it would be reasonable to understand that he would be happy if Delhi dynamos scored one more than the opposition.

The Delhi team’s auction strategy wasn’t entirely convincing. Despite possessing the funds to drive up the price of Sunil Chhetri, everyone’s prime target, it relented early and allowed the Indian skipper to go cheaply. By Priyansh.

Upon his arrival in Delhi, marquee player and manager Roberto Carlos was eager to make a case for his management skills. He will probably need to make a case for his playing abilities too once the season begins, but let us address that later. Carlos insisted that his managerial style will be informed by the great managers who have coached him (Vicente del Bosque, Fabio Capello, Luiz Felipe Scolari to name few). The philosophy would be “to score goals.” Although he didn’t say it, it would be reasonable to understand that he would be happy if Delhi Dynamos scored one more than the opposition.

This is a marked diversion from last season. Before the Indian Super League kicked off in 2014, Dynamos’ emphasis was on clean, attacking football. The team prided itself on its high-intensity possession style and the Fair Play award it won last year. This is not to say that a turgid and rough approach will be seen under Carlos; but it is clear that Dynamos no longer aspires to a philosophy. Last year’s arrangements with Feyenoord led to the appointment of Harm van Veldhoven as the franchise’s manager. With the side prancing around in orange, there was a distinctly Dutch feel to the way the side prepared and played its football.

This entertaining style nearly took Dynamos to the semis as it finished fifth, just one point behind finalist Kerala Blasters and Atletico de Kolkata. Despite the eventual disappointment, there was little regret as the side had its philosophy to fall back upon. Carlos, it seems, will not enjoy the same luxury — results alone are likely to dictate how his tenure is judged.

The start hasn’t been too promising. The franchise has entrusted the Brazilian with playing duties as well. Despite his claims to the contrary, the 42-year-old is unlikely to be a playing force. While the player-manager role for Carlos did free up the funds for the franchise, it is yet to be seen if they will be invested in better personnel.

Dynamos’ auction strategy wasn’t entirely convincing either. Rs. 92 lakh were spent on acquiring Robin Singh and Anas Edathodika while everyone’s prime target, Sunil Chhetri, was allowed to go for a relatively cheap price of Rs. 1.2 crore to Mumbai City FC. Despite possessing the funds to drive the price up of the Indian skipper, Dynamos relented early.

As many sides realised last season, the core of the squad is formed by foreign players since six of them can be on the pitch at one time. Dynamos has much to do in this regard as well since it has retained only two foreigners from the inaugural campaign and signed none from the open market yet.

Hans Mulder and Gustavo Marmentini dos Santos, arguably the side’s best performers last year, are back but eight slots remain for overseas footballers. Crucially, Bruno Arias has been signed up by NorthEast United FC. This means that the successful midfield pairing of Arias and Mulder won’t be repeated this term.

The side also had a solid defensive base thanks to Wim Raymaekers, Stijn Houben (who replaced Raymaekers after he left the tournament midway due to injury) and goalie Kristof van Hout last season. However, none of them has been mentioned as possible returnees.

With the foreign contingent yet to be determined fully, it’ll be too early to pass judgment on the franchise’s chances. A clearer picture will emerge by the time Dynamos begins pre-season training in August.