At the start of 2017, Bengaluru FC must have been riding high. They had won their second I League in three years and although they lost in the AFC Cup final, reaching there was an achievement for itself. They also had the AFC Champions League qualifiers to look forward to. Fast forward four months and it looks like a pretty disappointing season so far. The club are languishing in fourth spot in the I League with three games to go and with no hope of troubling the front runners for the league. They also lost their AFC Champions League qualifier to Al Wehdat 2-1.
The problems for Bengaluru FC have been pretty much spread over the entire football field. Lack of creativity in midfield has been the main problem though. And this is pretty much due to the lack of form for central playmaker Eugeneson Lyngdoh. Lyngdoh scored 5 goals for the Bengaluru outfit last season and created a number of chances for the front trio of Sunil Chhetri, CK Vineeth and Kim Song-Yong. This season, Eugeneson has scored only a solitary goal scored in the AFC Cup. He has rarely made the starting XI and hence chances have been at a premium for the Bengaluru strikers.
The lack of midfield creativity has also led to no support for the key striking pair of Chhetri and Vineeth. Bengaluru FC had an able foreign striker in Kim last season who scored 6 goals in all competitions. Kim had moved to newer pastures this season and was replaced by the Serbian Marjan Jugovic and much was expected from him. But he has not lived upto the expectations and has scored only 2 goals so far. The lack of support for Chhetri and Vineeth has been quite evident on the playing field.
The central pairing of John Johnson and Juan Antonio which gave the Bengaluru fans surety in a back last season have looked quite tired and slow in many situations. Their tiredness could be attributed to the long season Bengaluru FC had last season with the Federation Cup having finished at May last year but their AFC Cup commitments dragged their season till November.
In spite of these problems, the young guns of Bengaluru FC have looked decent in various scenarios. The maturity of Nisshu Kumar and the emergence of Daniel Lalhlimpuia, Salam Ranjan Singh, Sena Ralte and Udanta Singh holds the future of the club in good stead. Bengaluru FC have also looked quite good again in the AFC Cup this season and have already notched up three wins out of three including 2-0 win over Dhaka Abahani today. Bengaluru FC will also be looking to regain the Federation Cup which they lost out last season in order to make up for their deficiency in the I League and give their vast number of fans something to rejoice about. The flagbearers of Indian football last season needs to rub their backs and bear their falling ambitions for a change.