Mumbai: Ahmed Jahouh has been one of the influential intruments in FC Goa’s successful campaign in the Indian Super League (ISL) season 2018-19.
The 30-year-old had joined the club in the previous season, following former coach Sergio Lobera to the Goan franchise and has ever since become one of the key players in the side.
It is very harsh to term Jahouh as just a defensive midfielder. He dictates the tempo of the game for FC Goa and also is adept at breaking down opponents and frustrating them. The towering midfielder is good in the air and also possesses the physical capability to overpower his opposite number.
The medio has accounted for just three assists amid Goa’s 36 goals from 18 games but that has to be a deceptive figure given the moves that have been initiated by Jahouh that have ended up in goals. In particular, his long deliveries and through passes have been inch-perfect almost every time he decides to play the ball forward.
FC Goa’s improved defensive display this season also has to do with the fact that Jahouh has effectively covered the defence every time regular full backs – Seriton Fernandes and Mandar Rao Dessai – would venture forward.
With Jamshedpur FC’s Memo leading the interceptions chart (39), Jahouh (31) fits sixth only behind four regular defenders. Meawhile, to testify the tandem built with his team-mates, Goa’s Lenny Rodrigues has 30 interceptions to his name among the top 10.
Ahmed Jahouh leads the individual player statistics in not one and two but three departments. He has recorded nearly 150 touches more than Chennaiyin FC’s Raphael Augusto (1411) followed by Jamshedpur duo Memo (1336) and Mario Arques (1312).
Subsequently, the Moroccan has also made the most number of passes in the league, once again followed by Augusto (1180), Arques (1127), Memo (1116), NorthEast United’s Federico Gallego (1091) amid the Goa’s Bedia (1066) and Lenny (1049) in the thousand club.
Yet again, the effectiveness of those numbers is reflected in the number of tackles he has made, more than any other, ahead of the likes of Augusto (99), FC Pune City’s Adil Khan (91) and Mumbai City FC’s Paulo Machado (83).
Among all the 102 tackles, only 31 have been pulled out as fouls and five as bookable offenses which is not strange for a defensively midfielder who is so heavily involved. Take for example Christopher Herd, in his five matches for Chennaiyin wherein the Australian plugged in the void of a defensive midfielder at the club, he would be booked four times in five games.
Jahouh has had an exemplary season and will be the key man for FC Goa in the play-offs, perhaps more important than the likes of Edu Bedia and Ferran Corominas.