Chennaiyin FC had a horrible 2018-19 season in the Indian Super League(ISL). The two-time champions failed to play at the expected level and ended at the bottom of the ISL points table. The Chennai team could only manage to win two matches off the 18 matches they played. It looked like Chennai had lost their way and the team fell apart.
With the ISL 2019 starting in a few days, Chennaiyin has had its break and the management will look to bring back the winning mentality to the club. It is a huge question mark whether the team will be able to turn things around completely, but the signs look positive.
The team has made some serious additions to the squad with some exciting players joining. The pre-season has looked good with new foreign additions namely, Dragos Firtulescu, Andre Schembri and Rafael Crivallero. The club has also signed Versatile Afghani’s Masih Saighani to cover a midfield or centre back role. It is obvious that the new players need time to settle and work with the squad but so far the team looks positive.
New players like Lallianzuala Chhangte and Vishal Kaith have signed for the club. The Indian additions have made all the fans excited to watch Chennaiyin play good football. However, Mailson Alves and Raphael Augusto have left the team in search of new challenges. Both players were senior and experienced and their absence is worrisome for the fans.
The Chennai management has made it clear from their signings that they are in for winning games and they are extremely serious about having a good attacking side. The additions of Firtulescu, Schembri and Crivallero in attack with Lithuanian Nerijus Valskis and Chhangte, Channaiyin have got a versatile attacking front with several options. Although the team has spent in the transfers it is now up to the coach and players to show what they can do in the league.
Presenting a display like last season is not an option anymore. The return of Dhanpal Ganesh may just help the Chennai team to grasp their amazing form once again. Dhanpal missed last season of ISL and his absence was felt strongly. He plays in the middle of the park and provides much-needed stability and tempo to the team. Now that Chennai has Ganesh along with Edwin Sydney Vanspaul the team feels solid at the back and in the midfield.
Chennaiyin FC has fortified the squad in all departments from defence to attack. However, the team has not made any changes to their coaching staff and keep full faith in John Gregory.
Gregory had mentioned on the official website of the Chennaiyin FC, that the team and management have learned a lot of important lessons from the shameful defeats of last season. According to him, those lessons will be put to use in the upcoming season of ISL.
The fans have been behind their team through thick and thin and it is the responsibility of the club to produce something special for their fans.