Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler, who is the new head coach of SC East Bengal, is all set to introduce ‘set-piece coach’ in Indian football as the Kolkata side makes their debut in the seventh season of Indian Super League (ISL).
Fowler has brought on board a specialist, Terence McPhillips, not just for throw-ins but also free kicks and corners.
McPhillips will be the Red-and-Golds’ ‘set-piece coach’, a new breed of specialists who focus primarily on preparing players for dead-ball situations, which are increasingly becoming a way to score goals.
“We know set pieces are important … you look at the stats of goals for and goals against. We need to try and use that to our advantage. So the set-piece coach will look at throw-ins, corners and free-kicks both for and against,” Fowler, 45, was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.
This is the first time an Indian club will employ a set-piece coach, which is still an evolving role globally. Manchester City and Arsenal are among the few top teams in Europe, who have a dead-ball specialist in their coaching staff.
But it doesn’t mean that East Bengal ‘will primarily look for set-pieces’ only. Fowler insists his team wants to play possession football, with quick, short passes and create intricate triangles.
Fowler is inspired by none other than current Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp to introduce ‘set-piece coach’ in Indian football. Klopp had hired a coach only for throw-ins.
On Kolkata Derby
The former Brisbane Roar manager said that the match against ATK Mohun Bagan in the ISL will be a ‘massive one’ for them.
SC East Bengal will take on ATK Mohun Bagan in their opening game on November 27, at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Goa.
The former England striker said that the side is ready for the clash and there is no pressure on the players.
“We know how tough any game would be. But for us to get the reigning champions and to get a massive derby out of the way is something for us to train for. It’s a massive game for our players and we can’t wait. We will be looking forward to it,” said Fowler in an East Bengal release. Defending champions ATK Mohun Bagan will face Kerala Blasters FC to kickstart the seventh season of ISL on November 20 at the GMC Stadium, Bambolim in Goa.