ISL: Bengaluru FC have problems to tackle

Two defeats at home have set back Roca's men

ISL: Bengaluru FC have problems to tackle

The manner in which Bengaluru FC started their debut season in the Indian Super League, it looked they would sweep aside opponents with ease.

Dominant wins over Mumbai City FC and Delhi Dynamos in the first two games followed by a gritty performance against FC Goa, and wins over FC Pune City and NorthEast United FC showed what Albert Roca could do with his men.

Their performance was an instant hit among the fans as well with Twitter going gung ho seeing them perform. "I feel bad for #HeroISL franchises. They didn't know what they were doing. Bengaluru FC will not just beat most of them hands down but humiliate a few of them in the process. That's what happens when you let a real club into a league full of non-clubs," read one of the tweets.

But two losses at home, a place that never saw the side lose in over 10 months, has somewhat changed this perception. "We were not so good but I am sure that we are not so bad either," said Roca admitting the shortcomings of his team after Thursday's loss to Jamshedpur FC here. "To win two away games and to lose here at home is difficult. Hard luck but we have to learn."

Learn, and learn quickly is what Bengaluru should be striving for now. A closer look at their defeats to Chennaiyin FC (on Sunday) and Jamshedpur FC show a similar pattern.

In both the games, Bengaluru midfielders were barely allowed any space and time on the ball. This seemed to frustrate the Bengaluru midfielders more often than not. This frustration also rubbed on to their frontline. A team that had scored 13 goals ahead of their game against Chennaiyin, has somewhat found it difficult to continue their goal-scoring exploits.

Udanta Singh, one of the promising players in the side, has struggled to live up to his potential this season so far. For a player who relies heavily on his pace to get past his marker and send in juicy crosses, the Manipuri has barely found any space to operate this time. Skipper Sunil Chhetri has also not fired in the way he would have liked to.

These problems have seen Roca throw the kitchen sink at the opponents in the dying minutes. While John Johnson was withdrawn around the 70-minute mark against Chennaiyin, Juan Gonzales was taken off with less than 10 minutes to go against Jamshedpur. And this withdrawal of experienced men in the defence led to Bengaluru conceding late.

Can Roca afford to do the same in the coming games? Only circumstances will tell. But if they are to avoid slipping into dire situations, Bengaluru have to come up with a plan to tackle their problems.

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