KOLKATA: December is shaping up to be a crucial month for the future of East Bengal coach Alejandro Menendez, with three must-win games if the Spaniard is to keep the hot seat in East Bengal.
It is true that the coach of East Bengal is always under pressure, such is the microscope that they are under and the expectation of fans. It’s something that could either hold someone back or push him to achieve more, depending on how he handle it.
Saturday’s 3-2 defeat against Aizawl FC, who were bottom of the table before kick-off, has turned up the furnace further, not so much for the result but also the manner of the defeat, where apart from the opening 20 minutes, the Red and Golds were very much second-best.
Tactically East Bengal looked poorer with defenders were exposed and looked incredibly vulnerable. There was very little penetration in attack.
While East Bengal now face a tricky home encounter against Minerva Punjab FC on December 4, 2018 in match that could define and possibly decide Menendez’s fate as East Bengal coach.
Should they survive that hurdle, there are also two matches that will be considered ‘must-win’ as the Red and Golds battles to stay in the hunt for the I-League title. The first is home to Gokulam Kerala FC on December 8, before the Kolkata Derby against bitter rivals Mohun Bagan on December 16.
Many former players and experts are already raising questions about Menendez’s strategy and even his ability to lead a team like East Bengal, and if East Bengal fail to collect full points in any of these matches, the former Real Madrid Castilla coach would found himself under immense pressure, if he is not already.