Coppell returns to Jamshedpur as ATK face stern test

first_imgCoppell returns to Jamshedpur as ATK face stern testJamshedpur: Jamshedpur FC will look to turn around their fortunes at home in the Indian Super League (ISL) when they host a refreshed ATK, managed by former gaffer Steve Coppell here on Sunday.Under Coppell, Jamshedpur FC have managed a mere three wins at home from nine matches last season and just missed out on a play-off spot.“It’s great to be back. I am very proud of what we did last year, even though we did not make the play-offs. It was a great achievement for a new franchise and I look forward to the game tomorrow,” Coppell said. Also Read – Meghalayan mid-fielder Phrangki Buam joins ISL side FC Goa Current boss Cesar Ferrando’s team has impressed in their first two matches of the season, both away from home. They defeated Mumbai City 2-0 and then followed it up with an exciting 2-2 stalemate against Bengaluru FC.“ATK are a good a team. Their team has improved from the first match and they have a good coach. The ATK game, for me, is the most important match of the season. We will try our best. We need to play like a team and I am sure we can win tomorrow,” Ferrando stated. Also Read – COVID-19: Football team observes ‘social distancing’ during match, loses 37-0“Steve (Coppell) did a good job when he was here. He knows a lot of the players. I hope in front of him, we play well,” he added.Jamshedpur’s new signings and additions have all clicked so far. Mario Arques already looks to be one of the signings of the season while the familiar face of Memo has offered him unconditional support in midfield. Sergio Cidoncha and Pablo Morgado have hit the ground running as well. Also Read – Big push to sports infra in Mizoram, gets Khelo India State CentreIn fact, Jamshedpur FC have the most number of individual goal scorers (4) in the ISL this season. They also have the most number of debutants (4) this season to score a goal as well.Coppell, meanwhile, has got off to a difficult start as has been the case with his teams in the previous seasons as well. ATK succumbed to defeats in their first two games but the Kolkata-based club struck back with a 2-1 win against Delhi Dynamos. Also Read – Manipur’s Thounaojam Kritina Devi all set to be part of the FIFA U-17 World CupCoppell’s teams are usually solid at the back but John Johnson and Gerson Vieira are yet to hit the peak of their form after three games. The win against Delhi Dynamos, however, helped their forwards regain confidence.Balwant Singh and Noussair El Maimouni got on the scoresheet for ATK in their last outing and Manuel Lanzarote looked to be back to his best. Kalu Uche was also instrumental in linking up attacks up front.“Although it has just been two games, they (Jamshedpur) have made a solid start. We will be looking to press forward as well. It is a good challenge for us. We will look to pick up points,” stated Coppell.Tim Cahill’s presence up front and his impending battle against seasoned campaigner John Johnson makes for interesting viewing. Add Sergio Cidoncha to the mix and the ATK defence will have their task cut out.ATK showed that they are not all about defensive football. Their usage of space during quick counter-attacks will be lethal against Ferrando’s men who will be expected to dominate the proceedings at their home ground. IANSlast_img read more

Lakers’ Pau Gasol been there, done that but trade rumors persist

first_imgIt’s getting ugly in here for everyone.There were “we want Kobe’’ chants in the second half. There were no “Keep Pau’’ chants.“It’s not easy. I try not to let it affect me at all,’’ Gasol said. “I think I’ve done a pretty good job of it so far. Let’s see how long it continues or if (something) actually happens,’’Gasol and the Lakers have been here and done that. Over and over and over again. Gasol is standing knee deep in the midst of another trade rumor — this one all about a luxury tax-saving measure — and he can still find humor in the situation.This trade rumor, unlike the dozens of others, seems different. Gasol is on the heels of a controversy in which he didn’t play three games while sick. Everyone loves Gasol, but the question of whether he should’ve and could’ve played was on the minds of so many. Pau Gasol walked into Staples Center on Sunday with his usual friendly smile on his face. He could walk around rolling his eyes, and sighing profusely and you wouldn’t be mad at him since he’s dealing with yet another trade rumor. He walked out with the same calm about him, only this after the Lakers’ ugly 137-115 home loss to Denver.The Lakers center looked not the least bit worried about a possible reported trade with Cleveland for Andrew Bynum that hadn’t happened as of Sunday night.Gasol scored a Lakers-best 25 points and added 10 rebounds, but the Lakers’ allowed 58 rebounds and 77 second-half points. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img When you question a players’ effort, you start to question everything.His biggest endorser has always been Kobe Bryant, who has fiercely lobbied the front office to keep Gasol, his teammate and friend. On Sunday, Bryant didn’t lead the “Keep Gasol’’ campaign.“What do you think? How much more am I supposed to support a guy?’’ Bryant said of continuing to back Gasol. “You know what I mean? Beside making a Pau flag and riding in there with a horse with Spanish-colored paint on my face like Spaniard William Wallace or something.’’Or something. Maybe there’s something to be read between the lines with Bryant not being super vocal about Gasol’s status on the Lakers. Gasol has been on an island without Bryant this season. He has the green light in this injury-plagued offense. Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni isn’t making him play from the outside, and still, Gasol is inconsistent.Of course, the Lakers aren’t a good team, either. And Gasol has no indication of what’s happening.“No, not really clarity,’’ Gasol said. “(I) just (have) a love for the game. A sense of pride and loyalty to my teammates and myself, the fans, When I put that together, I put everything else aside. I play my best. I play hard. I give all I have.’’How sick was Gasol? With Bryant out and the playoffs seemingly a pipe dream, did Gasol not care to play hurt? The Lakers (14-20) are 13th in the Western Conference standings, with only Sacramento and Utah being worse teams.Gasol is a free agent in 2014 anyway, so why not save the burden of the luxury tax? Hopefully get a high draft pick and start building for the future. The future is not this season. Gasol is the most likable Laker and does so much in the community, but once effort is questioned, that’s a tough thing in which to rebound.On Sunday, Gasol played well, even earning the 16,000th point of his career. But are his days numbered, too? Gasol can’t like this trade rumor because it involves former Laker Bynum — who might have the worst attitude in professional sports — and money. If the Lakers don’t get a high draft pick or a Cavaliers player worth the paper the trade would be signed on, they’d be signing off on the season.That would be a new one for the Lakers, waving the white towel on a season. It’s nearly unthinkable. But it’s plausible.We’ve been lulled by the Gasol rumor time and time again. This one could be different.Even Gasol’s mind wandered to that place where this could be his final game as a Laker.“Any game can be your last game,’’ Gasol said. “It’s not something you think about very often, whether it’s through injury or trade. I’m happy with the way I’m playing the last few games. I’ve given everything I have. That’s all I can do.’’And he walked out with a recycled bag that had the word “peace’’ on it.Maybe, it’s peace out for Gasol.Or maybe, he outlasts yet another trade rumor. [email protected] @jillpainter on Twitterlast_img read more