A REJUVENATED City Football Group-led Mumbai City FC is making all the right noises prior to the newest Indian Super League season.
Snapping up Sergio Lobera as the head coach along with some of the top scorers from ISL 2019-20 and star name Adam le Fondre, Mumbai City FC have certainly upped the ante.
An attacking-minded coach, winner of the Super Cup and displaying an entertaining style of play, Sergio Lobera slowly won over Goan fans in his near three-season spell at FC Goa. Sergio Lobera will return to Goa as this season is set to be played among three venues in the state.
During this unprecedented time, many teams and fans alike are left with loads of uncertainty heading into the season. Teams have had limited time in the offseason and preseason to gel and practice together. Mumbai have suffered heavy defeats while faced with Lobera’s team in the past. With the Spanish tactician on their sides, can fate change the fortunes of the Islanders?
Mumbai City FC parted ways after two seasons of being together in the Indian Super League. The ISL Final has been elusive for Mumbai City after six seasons. Sergio Lobera’s recent success in the ISL will prompt the expectations of fans to hit the roof.
With Sergio Lobera having seen the Indian football ecosystem closely, it looks likely that Mumbai City stands to gain a thrust in the initial run-up of the season. Mumbai City have not shown consistency and that was probably the factor that had them slip at the crucial phase of fighting to make it to the last season’s playoffs. Pumping the team with goal scorers, Lobera has certainly delivered the message of ‘expect the expected’.
In his early days in Indian Football, Lobera, had to deal with scoring and leaking a high number of goals. The Spaniard was certainly able to prove he can tighten his defences as easily as they were scoring freely. The foreign contingent does a good job to blend in with the Indian player’s strengths at play.
Sergio Lobera has kept his first-team staff the same, bringing along assistant Jesus Tato and fitness and conditioning coach Manuel Sayabera to Mumbai City FC. That usually is the trend when coaches move clubs. Also joining forces is a former associate of Lobera, goalkeeping coach Juan Maria Cruz Arias.
Alongside aiming for gold, Mumbai City FC will be setting their targets higher compared to the seasons so far. The City Group may certainly wish to benchmark their inaugural season for the successive ones. Big spends have not alone guaranteed success for any sporting team. It all comes down to the performance, integrity and resilience of the team and management till the very end.
The last team that Sergio Lobera managed was at the top of the standings when he parted ways. Mumbai City FC, this season, has been revamped by including some of the top performers from the previous seasons. A team and coach that are mutual gunning for their maiden ISL title could mean some interesting milestones being achieved to expect the least.