With just a few days to go for the I-League second-leg derby,East Bengal are in a dilemma over whom to choose as the goalkeeper in form Abhra Mondal or India No 1 Subrata Paul.
East Bengals goalkeeping coach Arpan Dey votes in favour of Mondal saying that Paul,at the moment,is short on confidence. Modal looked pretty safe under the bar against Vasco. He has good temperament. And I think that the winning combination shouldnt be broken. The final decision,however,rests with the coach (Subhas Bhowmick), Dey said.
At the same time,Dey had some words of encouragement for beleaguered Paul. He is the best in business. His keeping,even in Indias last match against Hong Kong was outstanding. However,while playing for East Bengal,somehow he doesnt have that confidence level. Its a psychological problem. Also,he has attitude problem he doesnt want to talk about his problems with the seniors, Dey said.
He,however,refused to blame Paul for the loss against Mumbai FC at Cooperage. Pauls outing was put under the scanner after the 2-1 loss in that match. But Dey said: Had I been in his position,I too would have taken the same approach. Actually,he was a tad slow to react. Timing is the key for a goalkeeper. Still,I think he needs just one good game to get back his confidence.
Asked about Mohun Bagan goalie Sangram Mukherjee,Dey said: He too has technical short-comings but is making that up with his positive approach. Mentally he is very strong and his team is winning. Everything goes well when the team is on a roll.
The derby on Sunday would be a big test for the goalkeepers as well. East Bengal need to decide fast.