The coach will have to find a winning formula quickly
ATK’s new coach Steve Coppell will have to find a winning formula quickly after having recruited new faces in almost all the positions. His shrewd approach to tactics and obsession to win should help ATK in regaining its elite status.
State of play
After winning the title in the inaugural season, ATK (formerly Atletico de Kolkata) has not been able to deliver every season as the management resorted to frequent changing and chopping.
The club gained immensely from its association with La Liga giant Atletico Madrid, but deviated from its path after severing its ties with the Spanish club. Last season, ATK turned to former Manchester United forward Teddy Sheringham, but lost its bearings under the new system and finished ninth. Looking to reorganise its roster, ATK reached out to the astute Steve Coppell.
Manuel Lanzarote, the Spanish midfielder, was pivotal in FC Goa finishing third last season. He scored 13 goals and managed six assists in 19 matches. Lanzarote, who will upgrade ATK’s midfield, is a canny user of the ball but is particularly dynamic when it comes to winning it back.
The new centre-back pairing will take time to adapt to Coppell’s philosophy. It may hurt the team in the initial stages. The problem, and an area in which Coppell will be judged harshly even against the standard set in Sheringham’s troubled season, was in scoring goals.
Foreign recruits: John Johnson (defender), Manuel Lanzarote (midfielder), Kalu Uche( striker), Andre Bikey (defender), Gerson Vieira (defender), Everton Santos (midfielder), Noussair El Maimouni (midfielder).