Robbie Fowler’s promise to East Bengal: Possession-based football and a competitive team – football

In tougher circumstances than what Teddy Sheringham confronted, Robbie Fowler will search to disprove the notion that British coaches and football golf equipment in Kolkata don’t make good companions within the Indian Super League (ISL). The listing isn’t lengthy however in Sheringham, who lasted 10 video games in ISL4, Ashley Westwood and Robbie Keane, all of them by ATK in a weird 2017-18 season, it isn’t wanting in large names. Add to that Steve Darby, who lasted months at Mohun Bagan in 2011, and you solely have Trevor James Morgan at East Bengal being the exception to the rule.

But then, it’s at East Bengal or SC East Bengal, because the 100-yr-outdated membership will likely be identified in ISL7 the place they debut this time period, that Fowler, 45, has joined on a two-yr deal. Unlike Sheringham, who had solely coached within the third tier of English football earlier than ATK, Fowler has rotated Brisbane Roar within the 2019-20 A-League earlier than Covid-19 disrupted the Australian football season. “We have built a team which struggled and made them successful….Our stats were better than most teams in the A-League. It’s a challenge we have accepted,” stated Fowler at a media convention over Zoom on Saturday from his house in Liverpool. Now Fowler stated, he hopes to make ISL, “a relatively new league”, “a little more successful.”

Barring Brisbane Roar, the Liverpool legend’s solely prior teaching expertise was as participant-supervisor in Thailand in 2011. But having bought his UEFA Pro Licence in 2017, he and good friend Tony Grant, who may also be his assistant at SC East Bengal, took a team that was second from backside in 2017-18 and had shipped 71 targets in 27 video games to fourth in 2019-20. “We went into it with our eyes wide open. We knew it wouldn’t be easy,” Fowler, 45, instructed The Athletic in an interview referring to his transient stint in Australia.

Easy it gained’t be right here too, Fowler accepts. Especially as a result of whereas all ISL groups are in pre-season, SC East Bengal are constructing their squad; the names of seven overseas gamers, key to any team’s possibilities, to be obtainable solely within the subsequent few days. Fowler assured followers that the signings will make his team “Full of marquee players.” And that he was “more than satisfied” with the Indians within the squad about whom Fowler stated he had been briefed by assistant-coach and former East Bengal captain Renedy Singh.

“We are a little bit late…we need to work harder on the training ground. That is why we have the staff we have. We have to create an environment where people will want to work hard and enjoy it,” stated Fowler. The new coach promised his team can be competitive and “play possession-based football.” As Liverpool ambassador, Fowler has met Juergen Klopp and has stated he loves how Liverpool transfer the ball and play for one another. As participant, Fowler has been below Gerrard Houllier and Rafa Benitez at Liverpool.

From being on the shortlist for ISL in 2013 earlier than the competitors bought deferred by one yr, to taking on a teaching job in Australia, Fowler has lived up to his remark of not being afraid to strive issues that had been out of the bizarre. So requested why he selected India within the time of a pandemic, he replied “why not” though he had to journey to Los Angeles from Brisbane to get house.

Fowler stated he spoke to Peter Reid, who coached Mumbai City in 2014, and is open to talking to compatriots Sheringham, David James, Owen Coyle and Stuart Baxter. James coached Kerala Blasters; Coyle is in control of Jamshedpur FC and Baxter at Odisha FC.

Asked how he thought the gamers would address what may very well be six-months in a bio-safe bubble, for much longer than what some other competitors has tried, he stated: “It will be a challenge but we need to adapt. We need to create an environment where players enjoy. And we will not be at players’ throats all the time.”

Born in Toxteth, Liverpoool’s internal metropolis, Fowler, who has thrown his weight behind laid off dock employees, is aware of “football brings joy.” So it match when Fowler stated he was appreciative of East Bengal’s historical past and knew about their storied rivalry with Mohun Bagan, now ATK-Mohun Bagan. “Rivalry drives players on. Tony and I have been involved in various derbies.” Grant is a former Everton and Manchester City midfielder.

Fowler, the sixth highest scorer within the Premiership, had a nice first 4 years at Liverpool, scoring 188 targets in 116 video games. And he has bought off to a vibrant begin as coach. SC East Bengal will likely be hoping that continues. He ended the interplay by referring to SC East Bengal as “our club.”

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