Big things were expected in Kolkata last year when Teddy Sheringham took over at ATK. It didn’t quite go to plan, though. I’m not sure why good things were expected of him in the first place, anyway… We can sit here until we’re blue in the face and argue whether or not he was dismissed at the right time (he wasn’t!), but nothing is going to come of that, so let’s try and be adults about it. I know it’s not easy at times. Let’s give it a go! If we look at the ISL clubs over the summer, ATK are probably the one that jumps out the most, purely due to the business they’ve done. As I touched on earlier, one of their sticking points was an inexperienced manager at the beginning of the season and they’ve sorted that now by bringing in the wonderful Steve Coppell.

Lanzarote Has Gone From Goa To ATK

There will be an in-depth article into Steve Coppell’s time in the ISL coming up, so without saying too much, this is his third season on the spin in India. After a relatively successful time with new club Jamshedpur last season, he wasn’t going to continue in India. That was until ATK came knocking. He was told that he was going to have ‘star players’ to work alongside and the board haven’t disappointed as Manuel Lanzarote was confirmed as an ATK player yesterday. Now, for those of you that don’t know, Lanzarote is very, very good. I’d even go as far as saying Lanzarote is one of the best players in the league. That isn’t the end of my analysis on him, but much like Coppell, he deserves his own article.

Let me give you a little more background on Lanzarote. He was part of arguably one of the best-attacking partnerships in the league last season. He and Coro at FC Goa scored an obscene amount of goals last season as FC Goa made the top four. The one thing that ATK lacked last season, amongst other things, was goals. Lanzarote and fellow new signings Kalu Uche and Balwant Singh bring goals in abundance. Alongside the astute signing of John Johnson from Bengaluru, ATK should be a force to be reckoned with this season.

The Pressure Cooker Will Be On Coppell At ATK

While there was little or no pressure on Coppell last season at Jamshedpur, it’s thought the pressure cooker will be well and truly turned up this year. Considering the firepower at his disposal, it’s going to be interesting watching Coppell at ATK this year because he tends to set his teams up not to lose, rather than to win. Transfermarkt tells me that Debjit Majumder will continue between the posts this season as it stands. Not too sure what I think about that. He really did blow hot and cold last season.

If you were expecting the Can Tho piece following on from the Sai Gon piece yesterday, I apologise. I underestimated how long other pieces of work were going to take me, so you’ll have to make do with this snippet on ATK. Here’s a promise for you, though – there will be at least two articles on the V-League tomorrow. One about Can Tho’s fortunes and one about whoever is above them in the league. I know the answer, but you’ll have to wait and see.

One More Thing

If I was a betting man and luckily I am, I’d be backing ATK to finish in the top four this season. Get involved! Please bet responsibly. Or don’t. Your call.    

Until the next time.