The Telegraph
Monday , April 28 , 2014
CIMA Gallary

EB eyeing No. 2 spot

Calcutta: No one would argue that East Bengal have been very consistent in the I-League over the last four seasons. But they haven’t been able to transform that consistency into title triumph even once.

They have been consistent in coming perilously close to winning the coveted trophy before bungling at the crucial junctures.

Yes, they have finished among the top four in the last four years, but that’s hardly a consolation.

As the 2013-14 I-League draws to a close on Monday, East Bengal once again will have to be satisfied with a good season, not a great one.

Should East Bengal beat United SC at the Salt Lake Stadium on Monday, they would finish the competition on the second position.

Considering the disastrous campaign that arch-rivals Mohun Bagan have had, East Bengal certainly have done well. If they end with the No.2 tag, it wouldn’t be a petty achievement.

But at the same time, it would not give the club, its players and fans the joy of being champions.

Injury concerns and a tendency to miss the easiest of chances hampered East Bengal’s prospects to a huge extent. Colaco took charge during a turbulent period. Fighting against all odds, the Goan’s tactical acumen ensured that the team remained in battle for the top spot till almost the very end.

The focus has already shifted onto the next season. Ranty Martins is all set to recruited, and if Edeh Chidi is retained, East Bengal will have the force needed to push for glory next season.

Also, the Ranty-Colaco combination was a major hit for Dempo SC and, who knows, it could be the same for East Bengal too.

But will Colaco stay at East Bengal? “Probably I’ll stay (as coach),” was his reply when asked about his future.

On the other hand, it’s been more of an endurance test for United SC as they had to battle financial crisis throughout the season.

But they beat the drop, stunned mightier teams on some occasions and have proven themselves to be strong fighters.

Like East Bengal would hope to end the season with a win, United SC, too, will hope to end the season with a smile.