Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Kolkata Derby: Interest around Derby SUBDUED but ATK Mohun Bagan favourite against East Bengal – Check fan reactions

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Kolkata Derby: ATK Mohun Bagan vs East Bengal – It’s time for another Kolkata derby but the enthusiasm around one of the most-watched football matches in Asia isn’t at its high. The Kolkata derby is homeless for a second straight year with the most-watched football of the country happening in Goa for a second straight season due to Covid-19. Then there is the fans vs management tension that has been brewing for the last two seasons. Follow all the ISL 2021-22 Live Updates only on InsideSport.IN 

The coveted home of Kolkata derby has been empty for a second straight season with fans having to tune into tv sets to watch the matches. For fans, the energy of going to the Salt Lake Stadium for a derby is a different experience.

“Though the derby has been played in Goa for the past 2 years owing to Covid, the derby atmosphere here (in Kolkata) is a bit subdued,” Swayam Ghosh, a die-hard Mohun Bagan fanatic, told InsideSport.IN. 

Kolkata Derby: Interest around Derby SUBDUED but ATK Mohun Bagan favourite against East Bengal – Check fan reactions

Also Read: Kolkata Derby: Top Five players to watch out for in the match between ATK Mohun Bagan and SC East Bengal

Kolkata Derby: Interest around Derby SUBDUED but ATK Mohun Bagan favourite against East Bengal - Check fan reactions

For Mohun Bagan fans, the tension with the current management is a big factor. The merger with ATK and Mohun Bagan hasn’t gone down well for many Green and Maroon fans. The demands to remove ATK from the club’s name have only grown over the last few months.

There have been city-wide protests and demonstrations in Kolkata to remove ATK from the club’s name. The Green and Maroon fans were extremely disappointed as they saw ATK players playing in the Mohun Bagan jersey.

The remove ATK campaign will continue till the demands of the fans are satisfied. You need to understand that the team has not been made by considering the feelings of the fans,” Swayam said. 

Kolkata Derby: Interest around Derby SUBDUED but ATK Mohun Bagan favourite against East Bengal – Check fan reactions

Also Read: Kolkata Derby: Five things to expect from the high voltage ISL clash between ATK Mohun Bagan and SC East Bengal

Kolkata Derby: Interest around Derby SUBDUED but ATK Mohun Bagan favourite against East Bengal - Check fan reactions

Kolkata Derby: Interest around Derby SUBDUED but ATK Mohun Bagan favourite against East Bengal – Check fan reactions

For East Bengal fans, they have been locked in a battle with the management for the last two years. Once the tie-up with Quess got cancelled, things looked certain that East Bengal might not play in the ISL this season. However, just a couple of days prior to the commencement of the tournament in 2020, East Bengal announced that they would take part in the competition, much to the relief of the fans.

However, the coaching policy, as well as the recruitment of players, were severely criticized by the Red and Gold fans after the team underwent a disastrous form. They managed to win just a single game this season and are now languishing at the bottom of the table.

Criticizing the administration, Sagnik Bhattacharya, an ardent East Bengal fan said, “The administration is at fault in terms of building the team and the recruitment of the players. The foreign players are old and the Indian players in the team are at a sub-par level in comparison to the other teams. We would have been at a better place had Fowler been the coach. He at least knew how to bring the best out of a sub-standard team.” 

On the pitch, the two teams have had contrasting forms. Since the merger, ATK Mohun Bagan have won all three derbies with command. ATKMB have had success on the pitch while East Bengal have suffered two disastrous seasons.

Kolkata Derby: Interest around Derby SUBDUED but ATK Mohun Bagan favourite against East Bengal – Check fan reactions

“If you look at Mohun Bagan, they had the pull to rope in Juan Ferrando in the middle of the season after they sacked Antonio Lopes Habas for not producing results. The same cannot be said for our club. A manager builds the team according to his needs, if the officials interfere it becomes extremely disheartening. We the supporters are angry and if there hadn’t been these many covid cases, East Bengal fans would have undergone a massive city-wide protest. I believe that Mohun Bagan are favourites to win the game 3-0” Sagnik said. 

In ISL, SC East Bengal has not been able to counter the onslaughts of ATK Mohun Bagan after losing the two derbies last season and losing this season’s home match against the arch-rivals 1-2. The bragging rights for the city will be decided on 29th January when the two sides meet again. 

Kolkata Derby: Interest around Derby SUBDUED but ATK Mohun Bagan favourite against East Bengal – Check fan reactions

Also Read: ISL Season 8: SC East Bengal management are very unprofessional, slams former head coach Manolo Diaz

Despite not being happy with the things happening around Mohun Bagan, the fans seem confident that they will easily defeat a weakened East Bengal in the upcoming derby.

“Mohun Bagan after their merger with ATK has consistently built a core team while East Bengal went for a complete overhaul which could probably be the reason for their downfall. The derby can be anyone’s game, however, considering everything it will be a 2-1 victory for Mohun Bagan” said Swayam. 

Kolkata Derby: Interest around Derby SUBDUED but ATK Mohun Bagan favourite against East Bengal – Check fan reactions

East Bengal would be desperate to go back to the winnings ways and a victory in the derby would be the icing on the cake. However, the East Bengal fans are quite dejected by their team’s performance and think the derby result might just go in favour of their rivals.

“Mohun Bagan are placed 8th in the table having played 3 games less while East Bengal is languishing at the bottom of the table. The sudden downfall of East Bengal is unexpected. When these two teams enter a competition it is expected that both will challenge the title, but the same cannot be said for East Bengal for the past two years. I hate saying this but I think Mohun Bagan is going to win the match with a scoreline of 2-0,” said Moumita Dutta, an East Bengal fanatic. 

Kolkata Derby: Interest around Derby SUBDUED but ATK Mohun Bagan favourite against East Bengal – Check fan reactions

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