Bengaluru FC : Where will Albert Roca Fit In Marjan Jugovic?
Holders Bengaluru FC have their man. Fans are hoping he will have an effect like Zlatan Ibrahimovic has had on Manchester United. Towering Serbian striker Marjan Jugovic has been identified as the candidate to tackle the Blues’ striking woes. So, how will he line-up alongside his teammates?
The most obvious choice for Albert Roca would be to deploy Jugovic as an out and out striker. After the departure of Robin Singh, the Blues have lacked a physical presence upfront. Roca’s current roster has the likes of Sunil Chhetri, CK Vineeth, Daniel Lalhlimpuia and Seiminlen Doungel as the striking options, but none provides the recourse Robin Singh provided.
In comes Jugovic. From what has been seen of the Serbs’ stints with his previous clubs, Jugovic is a target man with superlative aerial prowess. Out of the numerous kinds of goals he has netted, the 33-year-old has a bundle of them from his head; a missing puzzle in the Blues’ jigsaw.
After playing in a 4-3-3 system for the best part of three years under Ashley Westwood, Bengaluru FC were reinvigorated in a 4-4-2 as witnessed in the AFC Cup 2016. The squad gelled well in no time, and it worked wonders as they went on a dream run till the final. The Spaniard could also tweak his system again to accommodate his new recruit.
SOLUTION TO STRIKING WOES
Starting the league with aplomb, Bengaluru FC started their title defence with three wins. Striking misfortunes in front of the goal coupled with individual errors at the back has the Blues winless since mid January, dragging them down to fifth in the table. Despite carving out the most chances in the league, Roca’s attack has been blunt for majority of the season.
Make no mistake, the Blues still possess two of country’s three best strikers in CK Vineeth and Sunil Chhetri. The former has been in his form of his life for almost a year, and was crucial in his sides’ AFC Cup exploits last year. His purple patch continued in the ISL, and has six goals this season. But the duo might just not provide the cutting edge and other abilities Jugovic possesses.
STAT ATTACK: Bengaluru FC have the highest attempts on the goal in the league.
‘Masa’, as he likes to be called, is supposed to be a massive signing for the Blues. Defending the league title seems to be a long shot, but Roca’s side has other things to look forward with their Serbian recruit. The 33-year old’s records speak volumes for itself. In his 15 years of footballing career, Jugovic has represented globes’ finest and historic clubs in Al-Ittihad SC Aleppo, FK Željezničar Sarajevo, Busaiteen Club, stretching his sojourns from Syria, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Iceland and Poland.
Netting over 100 goals in double the appearances, Masa has been more than just a journeyman. One of his career highlights are appearing in the Europa League with Montenegro side FC Zeta. To add to this, his experience in the ACL and AFC Cup will come handy for Roca’s side as they look to emulate last year’s AFC Cup heroics.
Roby Norales was roped in to add flair to the side that did wonders last season, but things did not pan out well with the Honduran as he was deemed not good enough, eventually being shipped out to city rivals Ozone FC in the second division. Jugovic has been a fan favorite wherever he has played, and the West Block Blues could be the next on that list. But the Serbian comes in with a burden of expectation, with the club and the fans alike hoping that he hits the ground running.