Mumbai: When Alejandro Menendez, former Real Madrid Castilla coach, joined Indian football giants East Bengal back in September 2018 as their head coach, the only thing the East Bengal loyalists expected was to win the coveted I-League trophy that has remained elusive for more than a decade.
Jump cut to March 2019, the Red and Golds are in contention for the league title with just a match to go in the season.
Although circumstances do not favour East Bengal at the moment with Chennai City FC still favourites to win the title, the East Bengal fans and most importantly the club management are content with the work of the Spanish coach.
The team management has decided to offer a two-year contract extension to Menendez and the coach has already committed his future to the club.
Alejandro’s tenure at East Bengal has been extremely fruitful from the club’s point of view. The high profile coach has been successful in bringing out the best from some of the Indian talents in the squad.
A player like Jobby Justin, who was a bench warmer last season, has established himself as one of the top performers for the club. Justin has scored nine goals so far and is the joint top scorer for the club alongside Mexican forward Enrique Esqueda. The Indian striker rediscovered himself under the tutelage of Alejandro and has developed himself to be one of the best strikers in the country at the moment.
Alejandro, who was given a free hand by the management for recruitment of overseas players, has done a very good job in bringing quality players like Borja Gomez and Jaime Santos Colado and Esqueda. The 23-year-old Jaime has been a revelation for the club in I-League this season and has the potential to become an asset for the Kolkata club in future as well.
Only time will tell if the Spaniard will take East Bengal to new heights, but in the current scenario, the Quess East Bengal management has shown great proficiency in retaining the services of Menendez’s standing.
The club has finally learned from the mistakes of its knee-jerk reactions and decided to continue with the coach without thinking about immediate success.
Rasikh Salam banned for two years for submitting faulty birth certificate
Mumbai Indians and Jammu and Kashmir pacer Rasikh Salam has been handed a two-year ban by the BCCI after he was found to have submitted a faulty birth certificate to the board.
Subsequently, he has been removed from the under-19 squad that will travel to England to play in a tri-series and has been replaced by Prabhat Maurya.
Salam, a pacer from J&K, made news when he debuted for Mumbai Indians in this Indian Premier League. He was the third player from Jammu & Kashmir to get an IPL contract – after Parvez Rasool and Manzoor Dar – and only the second after Rasool to get into the playing XI. He hails from Ashmuji village in southern part of Kashmir, which is often said to be affected by curfew and power cuts. Mumbai Indians picked him for his base price of INR 20 lakh.
Earlier this week, IANS had reported that Salam could be in trouble for age fraud after the Jammu and Kashmir State Board of School Education informed JKCA that the age Salam gave the board doesn’t match the records they posses.
JKCA and the BCCI soon got involved in the matter and a two year ban was deemed appropriate.
Dhoni could be ‘exposed’ by Yuvraj’s dad after World Cup
Mumbai: Father of recently retired former Indian all-rounder Yuvraj Singh, Yograj has struck again, and all the signs point toward former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
While the cricketer is busy preparing for India’s next clash against Pakistan on Sunday after rain played spoilsport on the much-hyped India-New Zealand clash, a recent video of Yograj has surfaced where he speaks about an ‘un-named’ player who is responsible for the ‘dirty politics’ in the Indian cricket team.
Yograj further goes on to state that this player is the reason that many players like Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, VVS Laxman, and his own son Yuvraj Singh were not included in the Indian team at crucial points in time.
While Yograj didn’t reveal much about the player he talks about, he did mention that he’d make the complete revelations after the currently ongoing 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup. Based on earlier allegations by Yograj, who was also a former pace bowler, towards then Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, It seems pretty evident that he is speaking of ‘Captain Cool’.
“I don’t want to take his name but he has been playing these dirty politics from the last 15 years. He has made lives difficult for Indian cricketers. I will make this revelation after the World Cup gets over. He will remember this for life that someone said something about him,” said Yograj.
“I don’t want to speak about him at this point in time because I don’t want the team to get affected during the World Cup,” he added.
FIFA Rankings: India unmoved at 101
London: The Indian national team remain unmoved in the June 2019 edition of the FIFA Rankings released.
Following India’s exit from the 2019 AFC (Asian Football Confederation) Asian Cup, India have had a change in coach with Igor Stimac replacing Stephen Constantine.
Under Stimac, India recently participated in the King’s Cup 2019 in Thailand where a 3-1 defeat against Curacao (79) was backed by a 1-0 win over hosts Thailand (116) in the third-place play-off.
GFX India FIFA Rankings June 2019
The Blue Tigers are set to face Tajikistan (120), DPR Korea (122) and Syria (85) in the upcoming Intercontinental Cup 2019 next. India enter the tournament as defending champions.
Meanwhile, in the global standings, Belgium continue to lead at the top having bettered their advantage over second-placed France who also stay put in their position, the same as Brazil and England at third and fourth spots respectively.
2019 UEFA Nations League champions Portugal have displaced Croatia to stand fifth while Spain (7) has gained two places. Germany (11 – tied with Argentina), Italy and Netherlands (both at 14) have also moved two places up.