Football

Jamshedpur FC’s ISL 2020-21 season: What went wrong, memorable moments, key players and more

Goal takes a look at the 2020-21 Indian Super League (ISL) season of Jamshedpur…

Jamshedpur ended their 2020-21 Indian Super League (ISL) campaign with a win against Bengaluru FC.

The Men of Steel failed to qualify for the playoffs yet again and were not consistent in terms of results throughout the season. As a result, they finished the season in sixth place with 27 points from 20 matches. They are yet to qualify in their four-year history in ISL.

With Jamshedpur’s league campaign coming to a close, Goal takes a look at their 2020-21 Indian Super League (ISL) season. 

What went wrong for Jamshedpur in ISL 7? 

Jamshedpur had a difficult time in front of the goal during the seventh season of ISL. They could only net 21 goals from their 20 leagues games – only Chennaiyin FC, Odisha FC and East Bengal have scored fewer goals this season. 

Nerijus Valskis, the team’s talisman and the 2019-20 Golden Boot winner, scored eight goals from the 18 games he played. The team’s second-highest scorer is centre-back Stephen Eze who scored four goals. The other centre-back Peter Hartley has also scored twice whereas the only other striker in the squad David Grande netted twice in six matches during what was an injury-hit season. 

Injuries have not helped Coyle and Jamshedpur at all. Nick Fitzgerald was out for a long time, especially at the start of the season. Amarjit, Grande and numerous other players were inured during the season, limiting Coyle’s options. As such, Jamshedpur never really managed to gather momentum and go on a winning run at any point in the season.

What are the positives for Jamshedpur from ISL 7? 

Despite the shortcoming in the final third, Owen Coyle, for the second season in a row in Indian football, showed that he has the ability to make good use of his squad in trying conditions. The Men of Steel were at the end of multiple irresponsible refereeing decisions in the first half of the season and later lost quite a few matches due to individual defensive errors.

And although they couldn’t land a spot in the playoffs, their performances improved and this version of Jamshedpur looks more likely to succeed in ISL compared to the team that took the field last season. 

Memorable Moment

Jamshedpur managed to beat both ATK Mohun Bagan and Mumbai City in their ‘home’ fixtures against these two teams. They are one of the teams who are unbeaten against the Islanders this season and a 2-0 win against Sergio Lobera’s star-studded team came at an important juncture in their race for the top-four. Boris Singh and David Grande scored twice in the second half as Owen Coyle managed to outwit his counterpart effectively.  

Jamshedpur’s Player of the Season

Stephen Eze was solid at the back and contributed four goals to become the team’s second-highest scorer this season. The Nigerian centre-back started every single game for the Men of Steel this season and was substituted off only once by Owen Coyle. 

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