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A Turtl e Media Ma gazine



Ar A un s av






Draft coming



Can you Feel a

ur i h d u a h





d o G e h T ay .. .

Happy Together Supriya Nair





Business Funny or Where Jesus Would Play Football Not


EDITORIAL Contact Details: Telephone : 011-40594981, 9560005265 For editorial request, kindly mail us at: Email: Editor in Chief: Pulkit Verma Art Editor: Meenakshi Chugh Managing Editor: Arijit Mukherjee Features Editor: Arunava Chaudhuri Features Editor: Mladen Barbaric Features Editor: Miranic Features Editor: Supriya Nair Features Editor: Rohit Ganguly Staff Writers - Ricardo Straughton Staff Writers - Sabari Jagannathan Staff Writers - Ricardo E. Colberg Picture Editor: Astha Sharma Jersey News Coordinator: Shivika De European Editor: Benjamin McFadyean Social Media Editor: Group S Online Social Media Editor: Darshan Aswath Picture Credits :- Flynet Pictures

ADVERTISEMENT Telephone: 011-40594984, 9560005265 Sales Head: Mahendra Verma Email:

I’ve just bought my nephew his first football kit. He’s seven years old and his only real requirement was to have his name at the back of the shirt, though I even saw him playing putting on that shirt and the just the undies. Somehow I realised that within the span of a week Messi has become his favourite footballer, for the only justified reason that the shirt carried the number 10 on it and that the Argentine has scored another hattrick recently. Young or old, it’s hard to deny the universal appeal of those who are around only to score goals and add to their fanbase on the daily basis. Zlatan is one such name in this universe. Though the Swede does his best to make us believe that he’s from another planet, Zlatanium. And thats the deal. He does things that are just very amazing, aren’t they? The kids grow up wanting to be them, let alone following. We grew up following many ourselves. Ask Jadon Sancho, we spoke to the Englishman last month and learnt who all he followed on his way to success. We jotted down some of such brilliant stories of utter inspiration in this issue. This time, we ferried you to the winters of England back to the humid summer of Kochi, after telling you where Jesus would play football! Finally we analysed the ISL season and the great comeback triumph of the Tamilians in the Bangalorean lands. Arunava Chowdhury tried to be uncritical for a change, but has he hit the target or scuffed it wide Have a Happy APRIL, fellas Thank you a lot and enjoy India’s first ever e-Tabloid at our fingertips…

Pulkit Verma



A DRAFT COMING? With the launch of the FPL Draft game mode, we asked our resident expert Steven Riley to provide a breakdown of the basics. As it turns out, the draft really is a breeze.


hile draft fantasy football has been popular in certain circles for a while now, a large number of the four million strong FPL fanbase have never played before. This is intended as a no-nonsense guide to a game I’ve been enjoying for years. What is FPL draft? Draft shares many similarities with the traditional game, with managers scoring points based on the performance of the players they’ve selected. The bog difference is that only 1 manager in a league is able to own each player. The game can either be set up as a private game between friends (2-16 players) or a public league (8 players). So how do you build your squad. Draft day? How does draft day work? Draft day is when all of the players in the league get together to pick their sides for the upcoming season. Each manager has a turn to pick a player, and once a player has been picked they are unavailable for the rest of the draft. The drat can take a number of guises, although the most common of these is the ‘snake draft’ (a term which will be familiar to those who follow NFL). In a snake draft, a random order is decided before the draft takes place. Each player picks a player in sequence for the first round, but this order s then reversed for the second round. Drafts in the official game must be completed before the Gameweek 1 deadline for Friday. If you’re unable to attend the draft, your team will be auto-drafted based on a pre-created watchlist or automatically by the site. How else does the FPL Draft differ from traditional FPL?

Aside from the big difference already discussed, draft has some other key differences with mentioning. There are no player prices, meaning you’re able to fit in any of those premium stickers, midfielders and defenders if you manage to snag them before your pals. Another difference is the lack of a captain, making a game more focused on building a squad that can provide points throughout. Then of course, there’s the business of transfers. Transfer, Free Agents and the waiverwire Transfers can be made in two ways. The first of these is free agents. These are players who were not selected from the list during draft day. These players can be swapped into the side in the Free Agency mode, which takes place 24 hours before the deadline. Players who have been taken out by other managers, as well as those added to the game after the draft, do not instantly before free agents. Instead, they go into what is called the waiver-wire. This is a pol of platers who can only be picked up with what us known as a ‘waiver request’, where you propose a transfer. 24 hours before the gameweek deadline, these requests are then processed by the site. Waiver priority goes to the lowest-ranked team, with other teams getting the player they have chosen if he is still available. Multiple waivers can be proposed but must be prioritised in case one doesn’t go through. In the current iteration of the gamemode no trades can be made between managers . The draft format lends itself to the ultimate fantasy experience, where mini-league rivalries and cut-throat tactics are at the the most prominent. Plan well and have fun. See you on the other side.


ime after time for past few decades, English football clubs have been in the gossips for their inability to shine enough in the Elite European club competition. No doubt there was sheer dominance by English clubs midway through 70’s, leading to halfway down 80’s where teams like Liverpool, Nottingham Forest and Aston Villa earned glory and reputation to their ranks across Europe. The Heysel Stadium disaster surely came as a setback to the running hegemony of the English sides as they were banned from participating in the European Cup for 5 long years(Liverpool were given six years ban); relating to the tragedy in Brussels. As we marched into 90’s, the competition’s format was changed through bits and pieces as European Cup paved way for UEFA Champions league, where one could

find the English clubs featuring in the competition ever since up till today - starting with Arsenal in 1991-92(post lifting up of ban). Even though the green flag for English club’s participation in Champions League meant a breath of fresh air for players and fans, the results in the first half of Nineties only reflected the levels where these cubs were at.

presence felt by making it to the quarterfinals in 2000. However did it meant that the domination period was edging closer for the English clubs? No! Though stepping into 21st century did change the performance levels of English clubs for a decade where on 9 occasions English sides made it to the semifinals and on 4 different outings the teams like Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester Next half of that decade did United ended as runners-up show some improvement in in the UEFA Champions theperformance of Premier league in four consecutive League sides in the seasons, starting from competition. While 2006 to 2009. Yes, the Manchester United won their winning of two second European title after UCL titles in more than 30 years of time 2005 and made it to the ic n semifinal and quarterfinal in ra i that phase, Chelsea also M y made their b


ry o St

and 2008 by Liverpool and Manchester United respectively were the good happenings for the English football fans, but does that speak of domination? Certainly not. Surely the graph of

performance did rise in that decade but was it of any benefit going into the next seven years where the supremacy of Spanish giants is very evident. No is the answer again.All the hard work put from 2000-2010 by English clubs goes missing in the next seven

years as 2012 (Chelsea) was the last time a Premier League side won the Champions League trophy.

progress and nothing much. As a critic and looking at the amount of money being shelved by the Premier League clubs, one thing should be clear that to attain

pinnacles of success you need to solidify yourself on all fronts, as just using money won’t get you titles. Using that money on right areas, grooming of high quality academy players, and high end ambition to succeed is the only way forward.

Manchester United did end as the runners-up in 2011, with Blues and the Manchester City making it to the semifinals in 2014 and It’s true that hectic schedule 2016 which is just a little in English football since

inception of Premier League in 1992 is considered as a reason for dip in performance when sides go to European level, as often players get injuries and aren’t match fit(fatigued) when needed. But regardless of hectic schedule about which Football Association is already planning for next season or two to bring in the needed changes, its high time that English clubs take the football on their hands seriously and come out of this friend-zone where they are stuck at since longest period of time. If they get to find a solution to this state then surely football will become more competitive and beautiful as ever. Without competition there’s no flavour. Anyhow, do you think there would be an English club to get the European glory home this term? So far it’s just Manchester City and Liverpool who are left in the quarterfinals of the competition in this season.

TREATING ANKLE SPRAIN The most common soccer-related injury is an ankle sprain. Research suggests sprains account for 20 to 30 percent of injuries in the particular sport. Rehabilitation and recovery varies depending on the level of sprain.

Ricardo E. Colberg M.D. THE HIGH INTENSITY OF SOCCER DEMANDS ATHLETES TO ENGAGE in constant running, striking, cutting and sliding.These actions often put players at risk for ankle and foot injuries.

inflammatory reaction in the tissue.) To alleviate swelling and bruising, compress the ankle with a elastic bandage by starting near the toes and wrapping until the bandage reaches above the ankle. Finally, elevate the ankle above the level of Ankle sprains and graded as Grade I (mild), heart. In addition to R.I.C.E., athletes may take an Grade II (moderate) and Grade III (severe). The over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication or amount of rehabilitation and recovery varies depending acetaminophen for the pain. Common treatments on the level of sprain. offered by a sports medicine physician for ankle sprains include prescription strength Grade I injuries stretch the outside ligament. anti-inflammatory medications, immobilisation with This causes pain on the outside of the ankle with mild a walking boot or ankle brace, and a referral to a swelling and difficulty walking, but no bruising. physical therapist for a rehabilitation program . In Symptoms usually resolve within three days, and the fact, the most common cause of ankle sprains is athlete may return to participation as long as he or she having a prior ankle sprain that was not is pain-free. If the symptoms persists or the athlete has rehabilitation appropriately by a physical therapist sustained multiple ankle sprains, the athlete should with a strength and conditioning program. seek medical attention. Although most athletes fully recover from Grade II and III sprains as well as high ankle ankle sprain with no long term problems, athletes sprains, require immediate evaluation by a sport need to take proactive measures to avoid these medicine physician. grade II sprains involve a partial injuries. Developing good habits can alleviate tear of the calcaneofibular ligament(CFL) and a full tear unwanted pain and weeks on the sidelines. of the anterior talofibulor ligament (ATFL). This degree Encourage athletes to warm up on flat surfaces of sprain limits the ability to walk, creates instability before engaging in any sports activity. Running hill and causes local bruising and swelling. Furthermore, can provide effective training. However, it needs to GradeIII injuries involve the complete team a=of both be done in moderation. Incorporating strength and the ATFL and the CFL and prohibit weight bearing on conditioning programs that include exercise the injured leg. Sever diffuse bruising and swelling will standing on a single leg at a time improves balance develop. Finally high ankle sprains create pain on both and strengthens the ankle. In addition, athletes the inside and outside of the ankle. This injury typically must train and perform in good cleats, replacing involves the ligament connecting the bones above the them regularly. This way, we can minimise injuries ankle joint and may require surgery. and keep our athletes healthy on the field playing football. In order to recover most efficiently, it is essential athletes begin treating ankle sprains upon the time of Ricardo E. Colbert, M.D. is a sports injury, regardless of severity. Athletes can respond by medicine and a non-operative orthopaedic following the R.I.C.E. acronym: Rice, Ice, Compression physician at Andrews Sports Medicine in and Elevation. Rest is a critical component, as it allows Birmingham, Alabama. He serves as team the body time to heal naturally. Apply ice to the injured physician for the Alabama Soccer Assocition’s area in 10-minutes interval every one to two hours. Olympic Development Program(ODP) and the (Note: Recent studies suggest that more than 10 Birmingham Hammers semi-pro Soccer team. minutes at a time may cause a reactive

The sound of ball being kicked, the panting of men running, and a coach’s whistle slowly faded out into complete silence. About 20 men, one after another, seized to move until, within

shorts that takes strange noise while calling for the ball? That is Tito. He was shot in the neck back in 2002 when he was watching Israeli soldiers through the window of his house in Nablus. Same year, a football player was shot in the head during Mladen the training session in Barbaric Tulkarm. However, since Luckily, the silence 2006, things have was broken by one of been a bit calmer in The the players and not West Bank.” gunfire.

e r he


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l e P J ould all W otb Fo

moments, Jenin Club’s training session was completely interrupted. Everybody was standing still, looking into the clear sky above Arab American University Stadium. I could only hear the sound of the ball rolling through the artificial grass as it passed between frozen football players. At first, it appeared to be some strange training drill… Suddenly, the field was invaded by the sound of a fast approaching helicopter. It was the same sound that continually paralyses Palestinian footballers. Any engine noise that flies above The West Bank is assumed to be that of Israeli Air Forces.

“They came to watch Ahmad!” somebody shouted. The session resumed and laughter and training noises slowly regained control over the false threat of Israeli gunship. “It used to be a lot worse in times when I was playing for the club,” explained Hassan Khamil, a 28-year old English teacher from a nearby university. “You see the guy in green

Despite Khamil’s claim of prolonged ceasefire, 17-year-old Mohammad Abu Hashhash was killed last month while he was returning to his refuge e camp home from a training session in Hebron.Each family in The West Bank has some story of death and horror that is a product of seemingly eternal conflict in the Holy Land. Hassan himself has lost four cousins, three uncles and two houses which Israeli Defence

Forces razed to the ground. Captain Ahmad, the assistant manager of Jenin Club, lost his father when he was shot in the chest while riding a taxi in downtown Jenin.

off the bus, and at other times, would force everyone off. It was impossible to know how long it would take to pass the checkpoint. So much so that many matches were canceled Palestine is a place because teams would where eastern and fail to show up because western civilisations were as a result of being stuck founded, collaborated on the road. and fought over for centuries. The story of “We’d sometimes Palestine and Israel is a play only one match a modern reflection of that month,” Khamil said, long history in which “We could train at least, every incident is but if there was siege or interpreted differently by curfew, we couldn’t do each side. even that. Even now you can see there are “It was much worse maybe ten balls on the back when I was pitch. Back then we playing for the team“, were lucky to have two.”, Khamil said. “We were playing in dirt. [We] didn’t Just as Hassan was have water for showers explaining this, three nor electricity and players started floodlights.” running toward the dressing room. Hassan However, the real explained that they were problems, according to from Sakhnin in Israel Khamil, were the and were rushing to get numerous checkpoints home before the installed throughout The checkpoint they needed West Bank by Israel. to cross closed.”Even Authorities claimed they they can’t move if the were needed for check point is closed,” security, but in reality, Hassan said. Without they were meant to check points, it would inhibit free movement only take two hours to go and foster frustration. from Jenin — a northern city — to the I would pull one player southern-stationed

Bethlehem. However, Palestinian vehicles can’t enter the roads that are in the vicinity of Israeli colonies so journeys take more than twice the time. Occasionally, roads will bring you close to the infamous wall that will completely surrounds The West Bank. Traveling is big part of football but in The West Bank, it doesn’t only mean traveling to away matches. It includes traveling to training. The West Bank covers an area similar in size to Chicago. However, while there are roughly 2,000 youth soccer teams in Chicago, there are no more than 50 in The West Bank — all of which have a minuscule 12 pitches to play on. Very literally they are few and far between. Add to that Israeli patrols and roads that are prohibited for Palestinians, and densely populated land that has no space for luxuries such as football pitches, nor money or water to grow grass and you’re left with a lot of problems. However, football is still an obsession for people in The West Bank. If you walk down almost any

city in The West Bank you will be greeted by enormous Israeli flags on nearby hills that mark the colonies. On the other hand, Palestinian cities are full of small but ever present Palestinian symbols. This eternal dichotomy translates into football. Palestinians are well aware of all football news, results and standings in all major leagues, cups and tournaments. However, they really care only about two clubs. Barcelona and Real Madrid, it almost feels as if the famous Spanish rivalry mirrors the Israel and Palestine struggle.

obstacles that exist outside of town.

He also shed light on how increased travel — a result of the lack of Other than your family pitches — means that status, one of the most parents are often hesitant popular questions you’ll about letting their kids be asked in many of the go to games. Traveling workshops is through The West Bank at football-related. night is risky.“When you “So, do you support go to Ramallah there are Barcelona or Real?” check points that might take hours to go through One of the shop-owners and parents never know plying his trade in the when their children will be Hebron market is Shady back,,” Talal said. Qwasme. He is a former goalkeeper for To this day, some teams the Palestine National are prohibited by Israel Team and a from leaving The West goalkeeper coach at Bank. As a result, there Shabab Al-Khalil, one of are two championships in the best teams in The Palestine: the Gaza West Bank. Championship and The West Bank “For that hour and half Despite Hebron being Championship. FIFA we can just sit, watch, The West Bank’s recently put pressure on relax and forget about biggest city, Talal, a Israel to allow the two everything,” Halil Amar mechanical engineer winners to play a final, said. “We start talking who studied in Ukraine, one-off match to crown a about El Classico a week said there are still many true champion. before and we talk about logistical problems for However, when the it two weeks after the its football teams. The Gaza-based team game was long forgotten primary one being attempted to travel for the in rest of the world.” sharing the ground with most recent match Halil explained that the youth teams. between the two football takes up most champions, seven players of his family’s free time. “We have huge were stopped by Israeli Although his wife and problems with forces at checkpoints. children sometimes equipment and get bored of watching transportation,” said It was business as usual games, it is always a Talal. “We train with size in a territory synonymous better alternative than 4 balls as we do not with a divide that mirrors dealing with the have proper size 5. the animosity between checkpoints and Real and Barca.

What for some time was in the gossips has now been a reality. Zlatan is now finally en route “The Pre-Retirement League” a.k.a MLS or Major League Soccer in the LA Galaxy outfit. Zlatan’s outsized personality has endeared one of the best strikers the world of football has ever seen, and now after one giant to another, the Swede is all

even if this trip to Hollywood ends up being considered nothing more than a working vacation. Talking about Zlatan and Galaxy, the experts believe that both the parties need to embrace the spotlight, but not in a dominant way.

Will Galaxy turn into Hollywood for Zlatan? by Pulkit Verma

set to forget his “Sell-by Date” to add to LA Galaxy’s Marquee players’ roster, probably to end his career—The playing career. Well, one would only think of Zlatan’s American expedition as the final destination, considering his 36-year old legs and body. But here’s the thing, Will Ibra’s tenure with Galaxy conclude with a Hollywood ending?

Though Zlatan adores attention, but his be-all-end-all exposure may end the team up in glum, which is already littered with stars, though not as luminous as Ibra himself. Let’s face it, Zlatan played as a marquee wherever he did, except Barcelona where Pep backed himself over the Tall Swede! With MLS too, things are not as

At 36, after a less than stellar pitstop at the Old Trafford, Zlatan knows the chances of holding Galaxy’s baton would be a zillion times more asking now than it’d be a few years ago. However, what Zlatan has tried over his own apprehensions of being plagued like a few other European Superstars on their voyages to MLS, is commendable. Though Zlatan comes to Galaxy with a major injury concern—The knee mishap! It’s certainly seems that this signing is more of a risk for the Galaxy than Zlatan himself, whose legacy is secure

favourable for him as they were in Europe. Zlatan needs to learn to fit himself in the MLS, rather than the other way round. His announcement in the LA Times did say another story.

He needs to learn from the success stories of Drogba and Villa. They gelled well with the MLS situations. Something that Beckham couldn’t manage! Now the bigger question is, what should be the proper measure of success for Ibra. Well, we believe about 15 goals for the season to lead Galaxy to the playoffs, besides becoming the role model for the team, that everyone talks about. Or more? He did really well at United. He did exceptionally well at PSG too. But this isn’t a PSG Zlatan, or Barca Zlatan, not even closer. The entire Zlatan-Galaxy conjugation counts on the balance of success, and MLS teams have the recent blueprint to pull it off. Zlatan’s successful career is as real as his dream to make it to the Hollywood. Though Hollywood has said it in the past that it’s not for everyone, Zlatan too claims he’s not just that. Of everyone involved, The player will have more responsibility to make a permanent home in the team sheets and that he’s an instant hit to ensure this story has a Hollywood ending, for one of the most gregarious and prestigious strikers of his time, for a club that desperately needs to introspect its depth in the league, and for the league that’s seemingly moved beyond such juggernaut signings.

Around the World





Is that possible,Diego? Spain Madrid Former Atleti superstar Diego Forlan boasts his success in Spain higher over Messi and Ronaldo. The yesteryear champions last played for Atletico Madrid in the 2010-11 season before heading to Inter in Italy. No doubt Forlan showed glimpses of his greatness in the 2008/09 La Liga season, the most goals a player scored in a season before Messi and Ronaldo took over.

superstar Berbatov had a mediocre first season in India.Berbs aggravated fans’ anger all the most by using hashtags such as #ChipTheBallTo Striker ChestAndWe TakeItFromThere/WTF/Who PlayLikeThis and #worstwannabe coachever #worsttac ticaladvice.


GALAXY IS ZLATANNED USA Los Angeles While we all were analysing Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s do’s and don’ts on his Arsenal to import the German American expedition, the Swede took his reputation to another level while he scored Gun twice on his Galaxy debut, though he’ll be England London remembered for the long-range screamer Finally Arenal fans have a reason to that he scored. “It’s nice to score content. Though late, the news about important goals, but it’s important to score Arsene Wenger’s replacement has finally hit the ground after the world media nice goals,” Ibra said later. This goes in ensued Thomas Tuchel’s arrival to Arsenal. conjunction to his Hollywood aspiration as This news came as a shocker for the fans in the pundits reckon that the Hollywood sees Germany and England alike as the rumour what these European stars do in America, especially in the galaxy of their own! mills had filled the news of the German


joining Bayern Munich over the summer. Now the fans can expect some German air into their dungeon.


Angry Berbs India Kochi The most highest rated signing in the ISL-4, Dimitar Berbatov hit out at Kerala Blasters’ head coach David James en route to Bulgaria earlier last month. The ex-United


BAYERN DUCKS BVB Germany Munich The 6-0 thrashing of arch-rivals Borussia Dortmund became the second biggest margin defeat in the history of Dortmundchen rivalry. Well, in case you didn’t pursue the game that night, this scoreline wouldn’t do justice with the kind of result one was expecting after the end of the

first half.Lewandowski, Muller, James Rodriguez and Ribery, all took a slice in the cake. Peter Stöger, however took away all the highlights after the Austrian claimed that his side was better than Bayern Munchen.


Milner, Mercy No Twitter! England Liverpool So it turns out that James Milner was holding out on us all this while. He’s actually brilliant on Social media and we never knew it. Last month the Englishman decided to hit the social media and whoof, he became the trending figure on Twitter despite some of the most boring tweets. While his first tweet was him pressing his tee, the very next day he was taking a dig at his Liverpool and England teammates Jordan, Ox, Lallana and Joe Gomez. Be wary tweeds, the @ boringmilner is on you!


Prez Mo Salah Egypt Addis Ababa No Wonder Mo Salah is in more demand than any other candidate in Egypt. We’re talking about the recently conducted Presidential elections wherein Mo was the name people of Egypt wrote on the ballot, crossing the real candidates contesting. Mr Al-Sisi won 92 percent of the vote, per The Economist, but more than one million people spoiled their ballots, with many exercising their democratic right to protest by scribbling Salah’s name in the box instead. A future career, maybe?

. . . y a S I As d u a h C a v a n u r A by Minerva takes North, South goes to Chennaiyin! The underbelly of Indian football through my column...


he 2017/18 season in simultaneous season set while many I-League regulars Indian football will to follow in the upcoming decided to switch always be remembered as 2018/19 season as ‘No permanently to play in the ISL the first season in which the Merger’ is happening this for higher salaries, better I-League and Indian Super summer. foreign players and greater League were played facilities provided by the concurrently, and it has been Despite criticism, the Indian teams to their players. said in the media and AIFF football calendar in which the officials that the 2018/19 ISL was being played from And after Aizawl FC had lifted season will also see the two October to December and the 2016/17 I-League title, the leagues run in parallel with no then the I-League from Kolkata giants, Mohun Bagan merger taking place for now. January to April/May had and East Bengal were under somewhat settled over the pressure to bounce back and Both the leagues saw new three years. Now came the try to lift the coveted I-League champions, the 2017/18 experiment if the two leagues trophy with their rivals I-League was surprisingly can be held in parallel. Bengaluru FC also being no won by Minerva Punjab FC, longer part of the league. while Chennaiyin FC lifted So, let’s look back at the their second Indian Super success of Minerva Punjab The 2017/18 I-League League trophy after 2015. FC and Chennaiyin FC in remained a 10 team league their respective leagues. with Neroca promoted from With the Indian club football the Second Division League structure remaining Questions were raised about and the AIFF Developmental undecided, this joint season the competitiveness of the side Indian Arrows taking the showed what’s going right I-League with the departure spot of DSK Shivajians FC, and/or wrong in both the of Bengaluru FC to the cash who had pulled out of the leagues with at least another rich Indian Super League, competition after the last

dhuri It was at the half-time in the FC Goa game, Vita was arranging my air ticket to go back (laughs). But we came back and then we beat NorthEast 3-0 and suddenly things started to pick up,” Gregory explained. season.

having their downs, but together with promoted Looking at the above, despite Neroca they kept up the the mentioned issues, one pressure on Minerva Punjab could look forward to an FC, which culminated on the interesting and exciting final match day with Minerva I-League campaign, which Punjab FC,Neroca, East from the start kept interest Bengal and Mohun Bagan all levels high. having the chance to lift the I-League title. Minerva Punjab FC, who last season only stayed in the A four-way title race is league on a better something which at least I head-to-head record over have never heard of and at Mumbai FC, were the the end of the final match day surprise element from the on March 8, Minerva Punjab start with the Kolkata giants FC defeated Churchill having a mixed start, both Brothers to lift the I-League

trophy while their Goan opponents were relegated to the Second Division League as Neroca were held to a draw by East Bengal and Mohun Bagan couldn’t beat Gokulam Kerala FC. After Aizawl’s last season, another massive boost to the league with Minerva Punjab FC winning the I-League this season. It was a team effort led by co-owner Ranjit Bajaj and head coach Khogen Singh, who moulded a team without any stars, be it local Indian talent or the

foreigners, into a championship winning outfit. To name any standout performers from their squad would be unfair to the rest of the boys, but there is one name which often did standout,Chencho Gyeltshen, the winger and playmaker from Bhutan who in his home country is called the Bhutanese Cristiano Ronaldo. Chencho set to

market to make some impressive signings, they also signed Aizawl FC’s I-League winning coach Khalid Jamil to bring the trophy back to the Red-and-Gold brigade which they haven’t won since the 2003/04 season, then called National Football League. The club overall played well but had their massive downs which led them to throw away

replaced and towards the end, Mohun Bagan were a dangerous unit but it was not enough to lift the I-League trophy again.

grounds on fire and led his side to a number of impressive victories and upsets to prove he is the CR7 of South Asia.

the title. Even with two matches to play, if East Bengal had beaten Shillong Lajong FC and Neroca, they could have had a chance to lift the trophy. That’s how close they got this season!

on hand to hold on to their squad with ISL teams and the Kolkata giants waiting to offer higher salaries, etc to sign them.

In the end it was Minerva Punjab FC’s title to lose with the Punjabi side dropping a number of points towards the end of the season, but they somehow got over the finish line first and will have a task

IndianA new Sup be

But when one mentions the success of Minerva Punjab FC, one also needs to mention Neroca FC, the first-ever team from Manipur to play in the top tier I-League, one cannot forget to mention that the success of these teams was only made possible by the failures of the high spending Kolkata giants East Bengal and Mohun Bagan.

Due to the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup being hosted by Elsewhere, arch-rivals India in October 2017, the Mohun Bagan reacted in schedule of the Indian Super the transfer market and only League could not be played signed players after the ISL in his regular October to draft as they just had the December window which for left-outs to choose from.This another reason could also not showed in their performances happen as the ISL organisers and it even led to the had decided ahead of resignation of their coach ISL – Season 4 that the Sanjoy Sen midway in the league would be expanded league with his deputy by two teams to 10, so a Shankarlal Chakraborty longer duration was needed While East Bengal acted fast taking over. He did better to complete the league.This last summer in the transfer with some of the foreigners meant a new schedule for the

Indian Super League from mid-November to mid-March, a four-month window instead of the earlier 11 weeks, while the two expansion teams were I-League side Bengaluru FC owned by the JSW Group and newly formed Jamshedpur FC of the Tata Group.

league match phase.

Blues seen as the clear favourites to lift their Looking at the squads, I felt maiden ISL crown. that Bengaluru FC, Jamshedpur FC, FC Pune But as one-off matches can City, and ATK were by top always spring a surprise and choices for the semifinals it was Chennaiyin FC who with outside chances to lifted their second ISL title Kerala Blasters, Mumbai City with a 3-2 upset win at the FC, FC Goa and Chennaiyin Fortress to keep the stat FC with little to no chances intact that the league stage for Delhi Dynamos and winners of the ISL do not lift NorthEast United FC. the ISL trophy in the end.

per League eginning All this meant a domestic

players’ draft to mix and reselect the squads, which meant for some little, for some a lot of changes in their squads, while Jamshedpur FC had to workout a whole new team together.

In the end Bengaluru FC, Chennaiyin FC, FC Goa and FC Pune City made the semifinals. I’d say, I came pretty close with my pre-tournament predictions. The semifinals as always in the ISL proved to be a totally Bengaluru FC since their different affair as Bengaluru formation in 2013 has been FC and Chennaiyin FC both one of the most professional needed to dig deep to over set-ups in Indian football with FC Pune City and FC Goa a competitive team having respectively in their home won two I-League and two and away semifinals. Federation Cup titles in their four years of existence. The final was played on They went on to win the March 17, 2018 at the Sree league stage of the ISL in Kanteerava Stadium in style with 40 points from 13 Bangalore which gave home wins, one draw and only four advantage to Bengaluru FC losses in the expanded 18 vs Chennaiyin FC with the

Now Chennaiyin FC were surely not the best squad in ISL-4 on paper, but over the years one thing has marked their teams which is consistency in the squad selection. Players like Karanjit Singh or Jeje Lalpekhlua have been around for years, they signed experienced foreigners in Henrique Sereno, Inigo Calderon or Rene Mihelic, while also having talented Indian youngsters in Jerry Lalrinzuala, Anirudh Thapa or Germanpreet Singh. It was the right mix this season and it won them the ISL trophy.

There is a very thin line between success and failure. In fact, failure is always the most likely result. A Coach’s Voice

A piece by Supriya Nair


‌And they really WERE there. Because that is what legends are for. To take you to places you will never go. Half a million people believe they were there. They have no choice now. Once you have lied, there is no way back. You cannot belive yourself: it is an insult to the myth. And it istaboo. OM has been through its ups and downs, it has gone to and fro, here and there, by and large, never straight at goal. To me, OM is the tide that has been denied us. The Mediterranean is a liar. It makes you believe in stability, in the possibility of a status quo. It seems to say that things can stay the way they are, that the world cannot change.OM is here to remind Marseille that you can be rich one day and poor the next.

John Crace, beloved author of the Guardian’s digested reads, has written a book called “Vertigo: One Football Fan’s Fear of Success,” which we may suppose is John Crace’s delightful way of offering a point of view into every football fan’s fear of success. From an excerpt in The Guardian, titled “How football helped me to live with depression,” we learn that he writes about being a Spurs fan in an abusive relationship with a club that promises glory and delivers heartbreak routinely. Who doesn’t have those? Even Barcelona fans must remember what that was like. He writes, also, about the stability of this relationship, and how it becomes an anchor to normative time and space during his occasional lapses into depression. Earlier in the excerpt, Crace writes about a different space, a hospital, where he is admitted during an episode of depression, and in which he finds a relief. The hospital is a place where he feels absolutely safe because no one expects him to be “up to doing very much”. This makes it sound a little like the football stadium itself; a place where

he can watch life unfold without being too much a part of it himself. Perhaps any football fan, not necessarily one with depression, may understand this also. It explains the love of watching football as the love of escape, an idea so fundamental that no one talks about it anymore. Its minimum requirement is, at best, intensity; not necessarily an active emotion. Someone else owns the means of production. It is “just” a game, so it suspends our sense of the ordinary without asking us to discard it altogether. But it is also a routine, with the same worn-down comforts of work: an industrial pastime. It helps us to forget some things, by making us remember others. There is an unlikely parallel in, of all places, the universe of PG Wodehouse, where darling audience stand-in Mike Jackson, a cricket hero who expects to go to Cambridge University and compete for a place in that august team,suffers a reversal of fortune and must begin life out of school as a bank clerk, in a thinly disguised version of the Hong Kong and Shanghai

Bank, where Wodehouse himself worked for a while. At the beginning, Mike feels the absence of cricket in his life like a wound, but Wodehouse, in what for him must count as a sort of searing confessional, remarks that the daily rhythms of work themselves grind down the sharp edges of life, making it something comfortable, reliable; something not worth escaping. Work gives Mike something other than cricket to remember. (And when our hero Psmith blazes into Mike’s life shortly, to upend it with joyous absurdity, one of the ways in which he ingratiates Mike and himself with the grim supervisor is to memorise gossip about Manchester United players and repeat it to the older man, who in that good-humouredly snobbish Wodehouse way happens to be a soccer fan.) Both sport and work become ways to displace sadness, even boredom. What Crace writes about as a consequence of depression can occur in varying degrees, to—I think—most football fans. Perhaps here is one possible origin of the gentler, less clinical feeling

of melancholia that overtakes all of us, even Arsenal fans, now and then. Where does that put the sadness—and the boredom—of football on a scale of comparison with more private realities? One of the saddest things I have ever seen on film happens in a football stadium. It is the montage of the Boca-River derby in Wong Kar-wai’s most viscerally painful film, Happy Together, where we breathe in the atmosphere of the electrified stadium in Argentina in a few thrilling shots, lashed together in Wong’s almost cubist sense of time, and see, almost in passing, the grieving Lai Yiu-fai in the stands, head pillowed on a ledge, fast asleep mid-match. It lasts maybe all of four-seconds. As in many of Wong’s films, his self-contained characters simultaneously occupy noisy, bustling metropolises full of other people, and a totally autonomous inner world which others can enter only sporadically, if at all. Remember Fallen Angels, in which a mute man, who may or may not be mentally ill, may or may not be having an encounter on an empty football field with a mysterious woman. Here,

earlier in the evening, UC Sampdoria have come to play a friendly in front of millions of screaming fans; we have been hearing football commentary, as though issuing from the radio, in the previous sequence. In Wong’s movies, the song floating out from an all-night diner is transmuted into the soundtrack of your life. Football on the TV can bring you as emotionally close to a team as anything. Conversely, and opposite to what Crace writes about, being on the terraces during the world’s most passionate derby can be a perfectly remote experience when the place you are really inhabiting is the wreckage of your long-term relationship. Wong understands that football is one of those experiences that happen simultaneously on life’s centre stage and in its background. The intensity of following a match in Genoa doesn’t rival or aim to rival the intensity of the Hong Kong you inhabit. There are simply moments when one supersedes the other. His brilliant films of the 1990s struck critics repeatedly as films made like music videos, telling stories about an “MTV generation.” To me, watching now, they are just

as easily about an “EPL generation,” a population sometimes referred to in European football as “the Asian market.” As an AC Milan fan, I planned, this year, to summer like the French aristos in The Scarlet Pimpernel, who spend their whole lives tormenting the working classes, then escape the guillotine by the skin of their necks and then swan around London as though they own the place, marrying well and setting trends in society. Which is to say, unapologetically fabulous. Manners, especially those inculcated by exposure to Test cricket in early childhood, dictate that it is intolerable to celebrate victories too emphatically. But what is the use of these splendid new imagined communities if not to indulge in collective obnoxiousness from time to time? In football, at least, your stupid joy, smug and gloating, seems forgivable. It’s not a fabulous new job or house or date, after all. Unlike those things, it is relatively painless—and largely accurate—to predict that it will all be gone someday. Why not make a performance of celebration while it lasts?

At the beginning of July, I was also trying to reconstruct another celebration, this one across time rather than space. July 31st this year was the centenary of a seminal moment in Asian football, when Calcutta’s pre-eminent Mohun Bagan football club beat the East Yorkshire Regiment to become the first brown team to win the IFA Shield in Calcutta. The Mohun Bagan victory was a nationalist’s dream. For all the contradictions of victory in the colonial tournament of a colonial sport, in a country where British imperialists built cities without public squares so that natives would not be encouraged to congregate, the victory was an explosion of pride and joy that emitted light for years together in India. A century after the events, followed as they are by the radical march of history in Calcutta and India, it can seem like hijacking the event to jump on its bandwagon in retrospect. Yet, to generations of Indians in the decades between the victory and Independence, this hijacking must have been subversive and defiant in itself—a reactive, passive defiance, to be sure, but no less intense for that. It seems okay, in hindsight, to say that a victory of this

order could make it beautiful, even necessary, to become a football fan. Eventually, I wrote the piece in a very different state of mind, on the morning after three bombs exploded in Bombay, killing dozens and injuring hundreds. Having tried for weeks to imagine being a football fan in 1911, watching the red-and-green kites rise in the evening sky, signalling victory, it became impossible to escape back into that world at the precise moment of committing it to paper; and impossible, that morning, to believe that escape would ever be possible again. Sadness can turn human bone to glass. It makes the flexibility and playfulness of figurative talk—which is the main way we talk about sport—impossible. Thinking about something else requires conscious efforts to forget. Perhaps that much effort is why sports fans ill-advisedly judge each other by how intensely they invest in their teams, as though fandom is an adventure sport in a Mountain Dew ad. Perhaps this is also why we sometimes indulge in morbid calculations of all the things we could be doing if we didn’t pay so much

attention to football, invest so much energy in keeping ourselves from falling asleep on the terraces. And yet, we know that there is no true dividing line between fan and human being, or not much more than there is between football and the world in which it exists. There is a brash, terrific 2003 piece in Le Monde Diplomatique by Francois Thomazeau that describes what Olympique Marseille does to its players, fans, city and history. By forgetting some things, we remember others. Football is here to remind us that we can be rich one day and poor the next—in football. Is that a lesson we remember in the parts of our lives unaffected by sport? It seems to me that we carry a lot more into stadiums—into the blue rays of television screens—than we carry out. Perhaps what counts as forgetting in the world outside isn’t actually forgetting, but finding a place to store memory away, and let it come back in manageable instalments.



One of the finest players football has ever seen, Alan Hudson is still revered at Chelsea, Stoke City, Arsenal and Seattle Sounders, and yet his professional success was dogged by injuries and enormous personal challenges. His love of the glitzy ‘footballer lifestyle’, dominated by hard-drinking and glamorous women, saw Alan descend into rampant alcoholism, depression, and frequent brushes with authority.

Boasting about the golden era of Indian football, Novy Kapadia’s Barefoot to Boots walks you to the time when India was once called the “Brazil of Asia”. A contrasting tale between today’s football and a generation before, the book encircles you to the greatness that prevailed in India before it lost lustre.

Huddy - his official biography reveals for the first time, the full story of the real Alan Hudson, the man behind the lurid newspaper headlines and booze-fuelled anecdotes. A straight-speaker who doesn’t suffer fools gladly, he has as many enemies as close friends. So if you’re in an expectation of getting to know the critically charged insights of English football, Arsenal, Chelsea and more, Jason Pettigrove’s “Huddy” won’t disappoint you. Price: Rs. 1581(Paperback) Pages: 240 Jersey Ratings:

The book reveals Indian football’s glorious legacy through riveting descriptions and analysis of on-field action, stories of memorable matches, lively anecdotes, and exclusive conversations with legendary players and officials. So if you’re stimulative to Indian football, this is the book for you. Price: Rs. 280(Paperback) Pages: 392 Jersey Ratings:

Jersey Football Magazine April 2018 Issue  
Jersey Football Magazine April 2018 Issue