Following the merger between ATK and Mohun Bagan last season, ATK Mohun Bagan FC has got one of the most star-studded squads in the league. The Mariners after falling short against Mumbai City FC in the title race as well as the league winners’ shield will be on the lookout for revenge this time around. With the likes of Hugo Boumous and Jony Kakuo joining an already established lineup, ATK Mohun Bagan is undoubtedly going to be a formidable force in the league.
Can ATKMB win the title? We at Halfway Football have a look at ATK Mohun Bagan’s squad for this season.
Head Coach and Formation
Antonio Habas, without a doubt, is one of the most successful coaches in the league. Having won the league already with ATK, he will be looking forward to adding to his trophy cabinet. Habas uses a 3-5-2 formation and is known for his defensive solidity. He uses a defensive gameplay and is focused on grinding out results. It would be interesting to see how some of the new additions slots into Habas’s system and would he be able to keep it as effective and efficient as always.
ATKMB’S biggest strength unsurprisingly is their defense. Conceding just 15 goals last season, the Mariners have a solid back three. Adding to that is the experience that the squad has in players like Tiri, Roy Krishna, Pritam Kotal, etc.
Coming to the offensive part of the squad, ATKMB has arguably one of the deadliest strikers in the league in Roy Krishna. Having scored 14 and assisted 8 goals last season, Krishna is definitely Habas’s go-to man in attack. The signings of Hugo from rivals Mumbai City FC and the young Indian talent of Liston Colaco from Hyderabad FC just adds to their attacking strength. Not to mention the presence of David Williams and Manvir Singh.
The Mariners have a well-balanced squad and are the heavyweights of the tournament on paper.
Talking about the weaknesses, the departure of Sandesh Jhingan will shift responsibilities to youngsters Deepak Tangri and Sumit Rathi and also it will be an added responsibility to Tiri. It would be a point to look out for if they can fill the gap of Sandesh in the defensive area.
Also in a star-studded team like this, Habas will be facing the challenge of finding the right balance, failing to which would result in great failure. Moreover, the heartbreak in the AFC cup will also be looming on the players’ minds and they will have to set things right this time.
As already mentioned, some of the new faces may take time in settling with the tactics of the squad.
ATK Mohun Bagan is coming into the tournament as one of the favorites, if Habas and co. can find the right balance, then an ISL title could well be added to their cabinet at the end of the season. The experience of players like Roy, Tiri and Amrinder in goal and the performance of young Indian players are going to play a key role in ATKMB’s trophy charge this season.
By Adarsh Hari