Abhra is my choice for derby,says East Bengal goalkeeping coach

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.

Written by Express News Service | Kolkata | Published:February 19, 2009 2:19 am

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 Bengal’s 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 shouldn’t 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 India’s last match against Hong Kong was outstanding. However,while playing for East Bengal,somehow he doesn’t have that confidence level. It’s a psychological problem. Also,he has attitude problem…he doesn’t 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. Paul’s 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.

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