Keeping away from media spotlight

SAMEER MANCHANDA, CMD, DEN NETWORK, with Gido Vader, Feyenoord international relations manager, at the launch of Delhi Dynamos.-KAMAL NARANG

Ever since Delhi Dynamos was officially launched, the franchise owners from DEN Soccer have stressed that the team will play a vibrant and attacking style of football. Upon his arrival in India, Dyanmos’ Dutch-Belgian head coach Harm van Veldhoven sang from the same hymn sheet too.

Van Veldhoven’s preference for a high-pressing 4-3-3 formation is well known. Dynamos had entered into an association with the Dutch club, Feyenoord Rotterdam, in July this year and the 52-year-old was sounded out by the latter.

If pre-season form is anything to go by, the Delhi franchise has begun well under Veldhoven. Three wins in three practice matches and 16 goals were scored but none conceded. The quality of opposition, though, wasn’t very challenging. Thus, it would be foolhardy to attach importance to those results.

Van Veldhoven has chosen to train his side away from the media spotlight. Till a week before the start of the ISL, no open training sessions had been conducted. Hence, it’s tough to claim with conviction that the players have taken to van Veldhoven’s methods.

Before the first training session with Indian footballers, the coach had aired his apprehensions over the way the native players will respond to him. In fact, van Veldhoven had identified the first 10 days for explaining his vision to the Indian players.

During the draft, Dyanmos chose to buy Indian players who could excel on the flanks. The central areas of the pitch are expected to be filled by the foreigners. Hence, Naoba Singh, Shylo Malswamtluanga and Francis Fernandes seem to be strategic buys. The majority of the foreign contingent was identified by Feyenoord.