TODAY -

ISL: Subrata, Gouramangi lead Indian charge on field
Source: The Sangai Express / Agencies

Panaji, November 15 2014 : Ask any youngster which position they would like to play and they will more than likely fire back at you with either the striker or midfielder as their choice.

Since time immemorial, strikers and midfielders have hogged the limelight in world football but if you are an Indian, and watching domestic players in the Indian Super League (ISL), chances are you will want to be among the back-four.

At the halfway stage, the top-10 list of Indian players who have played maximum minutes in the ISL includes a staggering eight defenders, a goal keeper and a lone midfielder.

There are six players who have played each and every minute so far in the ISL, and it's no surprise that five of them are defenders.

The only exception is Mumbai City FC goalkeeper Subrata Paul.



File: Subrata, Gouramangi
File: Subrata, Gouramangi


Subrata Paul and Gouramangi Singh (Chennaiyin FC), the best-paid Indian players in the ISL with a contract of Rs 80 lakh each, have justified their top billing by playing each and every minute.

Subrata started and finished every game for Mumbai City FC, despite conceding three goals in the opener against Atletico de Kolkata, while Gouramangi, as expected, has been a pillar of strength at the back for favourites Chennaiyin FC.

FC Goa left-back Narayan Das has been the surprise package of the ISL, winning the confidence of chief coach Zico right from the day he played the opener against Chennaiyin FC.

He made a crucial mistake that allowed f Chennaiyin FC to take the lead but since that costly lapse, he has hardly put a foot wrong.

Even Debabrata Roy, benched for the opener by Zico, came back for the second game and since then has become the first name on FC Goa's team sheet.

The case of Anwar Ali and Shouvik Ghosh at Delhi Dynamos is even more curious.

The duo are not among the first names that come to mind when defenders are being circled for a starting spot, but their resilience has endeared them to coach Harm Van Veldhoven, ahead of established players like Adil Khan and even Govin Singh.

Then there is Arnab Mondal.

Away from his team's more glamorous players, and headline-grabbing officials, Arnab has actually been Atletico de Kolkata's best Indian player and has been a regular for Antonio Lopez Habas' side with a pass accuracy of 84 percent.

Another defender who has made heads turn is Sandesh Jhingan.

The Kerala Blasters defender has been hard to beat, throwing himself at al- most everything and tackling uncompromising defenders with comparative ease.

He was substituted just once, a mere two minutes before the final whistle.

The only player beyond those entrusted with defensive duties in the top 10 list is Denson Devadas.

The Chennaiyin FC midfielder has clocked 623 minutes on the field, failing to complete just one of the seven matches his team has played so far.


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