Five Talking points from The Derby, which could help Mohun Bagan in the Long Term.

Mohun Bagan always aims to win. So, digesting a loss, that too against the arch-rivals is always difficult. Mohun Bagan lost a derby after a long 1657 days winning streak, but, the performance from the team was poor to say the least.

Though, a team, with addition of 5 new players are bound to struggle in the first few games, untill the combination clicks. But, everything was not so bad for Mohun Bagan that day.

In this article, we will try to discuss about 5 positive points from that game, which can guide us to success in long term.

The 'Anwar-Hamill' Wall:

Anwar Ali, when signed for Bagan, had huge expectations. And, he has lived up to it. Playing in his unusual Right Centre Back position, Anwar seems to have mastered the role already, and leading the defence with ease. But, people, after watching Brendan Hamill last season had doubts over him. 

But, Hamill has been rock-solid so far, forming a good understanding with Anwar, Hamill has shaped the defence properly, which allows Ashish, Bose and even Anwar to step up to the pitch. In the derby game, despite of the 1-0 win of East Bengal, they were unable to bother Vishal Kaith at all, and the pair of Hamill-Anwar deserves a lot of credit.

Last season Mohun Bagan's success came on the base of a rock solid defence. Mohun Bagan thinktank will be hopeful, Hamill and Anwar can continue that form.

Don Vishal Kaith is back Again:

Mohun Bagan's success in the last season was heavily dependent on the calm, composed presence of Vishal Kaith at the back. This time, it looks like VK has started the season from where he finished last season. In the earlier point we mentioned about the partnership of Anwar and Hamill. In my opinion, in the modern game, a Centre Back pairing is as good as the goalkeeper is. Vishal Kaith is the last man standing for Mohun Bagan, and, if the defence commits a mistake, Vishal Kaith will still rescue the team in 9/10 times. Last day, a brilliant Nandha striker helped East Bengal win, but, perhaps players like Manuel Neuer wouldn't have saved that.

But, Vishal was Vishal. Though, he was not summoned to make any saves, he played the duty of a sweeper keeper pretty well, which prevented East Bengal from creating many counter attacks in the game. Kaith was commanding in the box, as East Bengal couldn't test him with set pieces either. 

To conclude everything, Vishal Kaith is still Vishal Kaith, Mohun Bagan's saviour.

Juan-ball: A 2-3-5 build-up structure? 

This derby, we noticed a tactical twerk from the boss Juan Ferrando. Earlier we saw Mohun Bagan build up with 3-1-3-3 structure, with the CDM dropping between the centre backs, left back taking the CDM role in possession and the rest of team to press high and try to create changes with Kauko and Hugo pushing high with Ashish Rai.

This derby in the second half we saw Mohun Bagan to operate in a 2-3-5 structure. Hamill and Anwar stays in the deep defence, Bose Glan and Thapa forming a 3 man Midfield in possession with Ashique and Ashish Rai in the flanks as the wingers in a five men attack. While a triangle of Cummings/Sahal/Dimi operates from the centre to create space in the opponent defence. After Sahal's inclusion, Mohun Bagan took advantage of this shape few times, the most notable one, when Sahal and Cummings interchanged, and Cummings shot was deflected from a crucial block from East Bengal's Elsey.
With players like Hugo Boumous in the disposal, this 2-3-5 shape, if executed properly, can be a game changer for Juan's Mohun Bagan.

Cummings-Sahal Duo: Match Made in Heaven? 

People, especially the East Bengal fans are trolling Cummings because of few missed chances. But, if you've watched the game Cummings played that day, specially after Sahal was introduced was brilliant to sum it up. He almost scored two goals, could've had a penalty too. Cummings became alive after Sahal was introduced around the 60' mark. It looks like both will thrive from each other's strength this season and it surely looks like both have a great understanding already. Many people had double thoughts over the signing of Sahal, but, along with Anwar, he was the best performer for Mohun Bagan that day. It looks like Sahal will enjoy the Mohun Bagan crowd, same as the crowd will enjoy Sahal Abdul Samad. Jason Cummings is a big game player, when he will get 100% match fit, he will score goals. But Sahal Abdul Samad and Cummings duo might be the answer to Mohun Bagan's lack of goals last season and we hope the early promises this duo shown in derby will develop into a Cult partnership in Mohun Bagan's history over the years.

Anirudh 'The Engine' Thapa 

Anirudh Thapa is known for his creativity, work rate, and certainly his dead ball deliveries. Anirudh didn't had the best of the debuts against East Bengal, but early shines are good enough to get hopefull. Thapa is a man who will cover every inch of the pitch for the team, will win duels, will create for the team. Will defend the box with the defenders, and within seconds will be present in the opponents box to score a long ranger. Thapa performed this role to perfection for the National team, and looks like he will have the same duty in Juan's team. One particular situation in the game caught my eye in the first half, when Thapa was closing in on Mahesh in the left wing when the later was trying to create a chance for East Bengal, but Ashish won the ball, passed it to Manvir, who lobbed it to the box. Anirudh Thapa was there in the box to meet it, and put a low cross into the box, but he was just few milliseconds late as the ball went out of play before he could reach it. 

The quality Anirudh Thapa posses is bound to succeed in the Mohun Bagan team.If I was asked to predict the feature, I will surely say, Thapa will come good and will be a key Cog for Mohun Bagan.

Written By Probudhya 

Article written with help of @Mythfielder10

All Photos are taken from Mohun Bagan SG Social Media Page.
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