Open Letter To Trevor Morgan From East Bengal Fans
Dear Mr. Morgan and the Team Management,
We write to you with a broken heart and we are fearful that our destiny of being the second best may not be altered.
With today’s loss we handed back the advantage to our oppositions and will now have to fight to wrest it again.
By the time this is posted, we no longer lead the table. With their thinnest of win, Aizawl went past. Why do we falter invariably in the final lap? We still have a very good chance, but we will need to be playing our best in the remaining five games. There is no room for slippage any more.
As a general trend, we excel in relatively tougher assignments, but continue to falter against lesser oppositions – Churchill was handed their first away win in the tournament today. We are far less qualified than you, Sir. You are at the helm, because you are the Master of this game.
Having said that, we need an avenue to vent our observations – we may not be as erudite as you are; but we too have a tremendous amount of emotion at stake.
1. We excelled in away games this season and faltered at home. Our home performance is worse than MB, AFC, SLFC and BFC – in other words, we are the worst performing home team of the top 5 sides. Why? Are we pressing our home advantage? Every team is going for the kill at home – are we doing that? Are we playing our best offense in these games?
2. In a stark contrast, our counter offensive strategy worked wonders in Away games. No one is even close to us (at this point) in Away performance. Many of us think that we are transporting the same strategy in Home games – while it is very productive on the road, it backfires at home. Simply because even the opposition generally plays a waiting game. When the onus is on us, are we wresting the initiative?
3. February 5th was the last time we played in the turfs of Barasat against Chennai City FC. We played there again today – exactly a month later. How many practice sessions did we have in that ground in between? In other words, are we pressing our home advantage enough? Are we better aware of the home conditions than our oppositions?
4. We played on Saturday. The team took the arduous ride back home on Sunday and had an optional session on Monday; before taking the field today. Aren’t these situations tailored for squad rotation and bringing fresh legs? We fielded a nearly unchanged first XI barring Gurwinder Singh – unavailable because of injury. We made three changes before the hour mark – what does that signify? Bigger teams have larger squad to counter such schedule challenge; however, are we utilizing our squad depth? Sir, the players looked disproportionately jaded in the Lajong game, right after the derby. We dropped points. They came here in the back of two extremely difficult games, and looked far from best. Aren’t these games appropriate to challenge the bench strength that will be hungrier to prove their worth?
5. We know that the 4-1-2-1-2 demands defensive minded wing halves. This strategy worked well against most teams. But time and again faltered against some managers – Derrick Pereira or Khalid Jamil are a few good examples. Sir, are we too predictable for them? At the end of the day, you are the best judge. I am sure; your worry will be more than ours. We just made it difficult for ourselves, and now we will need to be doubly attentive to wrest back the initiative. After all, Championship is not delivered in a platter. It needs to be earned. Needless to say, we shall stand by your side, till the last glimmer of hope, and we expect that you respond to this final wake up call.
East Bengal Fans