ISL – How can Mohun Bagan harness their new trifecta of Cummings, Sadiku and Petratos?


Last season was a revelatory year for ATK Mohun Bagan, now Mohun Bagan Super Giant, all thanks to the sterling efforts of Dimitri Petratos. The Australian forward played a pivotal role in the club’s ISL triumph, displaying an uncanny knack for goal-scoring and an unquestionable commitment to the team’s ethos.

As we move forward, the squad’s landscape is undergoing a seismic shift, especially the forward line. Enter the new signings – Armando Sadiku and Jason Cummings. This begs the question: Can Juan Ferrando accommodate all of Cummings, Sadiku, and Petratos; is there any method to this madness?

The New Signings’ Distinct Instincts

Jason Cummings, the new acquisition for Mariners, brings an unconventional goal-poacher’s style to the team. Rather than waiting for opportunities, the Australian international actively gets involved in the box to create chances out of nothing. With a preference for his strong left foot, Cummings displays unparalleled strength and precision in his finishes. His heading capabilities are also commendable, despite his height of 1.78m. The chances are that he would soon be the number-one choice for a lone striker and establish himself in the starting 11.

On the other hand, Albanian international Armando Sadiku exhibits a dynamic and versatile playing style. He excels in 1v1 situations, making impressive centre-forward runs to the back of the line. His positioning skills and long-range shots make him a threat from various distances.

A true team player, Sadiku’s instincts drive him forward as a unit, often positioning himself ahead of opposition defenders to create opportunities. He effectively links up with teammates, providing assists when needed, and also has the ability to create chances with his ‘dropping deep’ impulse from time to time, adding an extra dimension to his attacking prowess.

Mohun Bagan SG's New Forward Trifecta of Cummings, Sadiku, and Petratos
Armando Sadiku all smiles in between training drills

A Tricky Trifecta 

Cummings and Sadiku are two outstanding forwards whose careers speak volumes about their capabilities on the football pitch. Sadiku, a masterclass in clinical finishing, brings the experience of playing at various top-flight clubs in Europe. Meanwhile, Cummings, the ambitious Scot, is known for his surefootedness and fierce strike. Integrating them with Petratos into a cohesive unit will require strategic prowess and an adventurous spirit.

This integration will be crucial for Mohun Bagan SG. Given the reputations of these players and the various tactics they are familiar with, it will take not just smart management but also an openness to adapt. Furthermore, the new dynamics will have ripple effects across the team, necessitating adjustments from all players.

With Sahal Abdul Samad and Anirudh Thapa also joining the ranks, the squad now boasts a formidable arsenal of creative playmakers, along with Hugo Boumous who is now into his third year with the club. Sahal’s agility and Thapa’s relentless rigour will add a new layer of complexity to the team’s dynamics. Not only will these playmakers need to find their rhythm, but they’ll also have to synchronize their movements with the new forwards, creating a symphony of coordinated action on the pitch.

Mohun Bagan SG's New Forward Trifecta of Cummings, Sadiku, and Petratos
Jason Cummings in action for Central Coast Mariners

Possible Formations and Strategies

Juan Ferrando’s go-to formation, 4-2-3-1, has served them well so far, but accommodating the triple threat of Cummings, Sadiku, and Petratos could mean that the setup might need tweaking. One potential formation is to deploy Petratos as a CAM, thus leveraging his playmaking skills while allowing the team to benefit from the goal-scoring prowess of both Cummings and Sadiku. Alternatively, a strict 4-2-1-3 or a free-flowing 4-1-3-2 system might also work, giving both Cummings and Sadiku opportunities to play as centre-forward or second striker.

Such tactical innovations are exciting but equally challenging. They necessitate not only flexibility from the players but also a deep understanding of the team’s new dynamic. The key to success will lie in how seamlessly these tactics can be assimilated into the side’s existing style, creating a new, enhanced version of their classic play.

While these setups are effective on paper, the practical implementation will need time and experimentation. Cummings and Sadiku will have to adapt quickly to the ISL’s demanding pace while also developing a solid understanding with the likes of Ashique Kuruniyan, Boumous, Kiyan Nassiri, Sahal, and Thapa. This dynamic interplay between the old and new, the familiar and the fresh, will dictate the fortunes of Mohun Bagan SG in the upcoming season.

Mohun Bagan SG's New Forward Trifecta of Cummings, Sadiku, and Petratos
Dimitri Petratos celebrating in the ISL

The Potential Outcome for Mohun Bagan

No one can deny the potential that Cummings, Sadiku, and Petratos hold. When paired with the creative midfielders, this could result in a formidable attacking force that can create opportunities and finish them with ruthless efficiency.

It’s a new era for the Mariners, and this mix of proven and promising talent could catalyze that change. With the right tactics and a harmonious blend of skills, this team could very well redefine the football landscape in the ISL.

The Durand Cup provides a great platform for Ferrando to test his men and pick combinations that will serve him well in the AFC Cup and the ISL. Fans can expect a ridiculous number of various formations and tactics being tried to find a cohesive chemistry between the high-profile athletes.

The confluence of these skilled players at Mohun Bagan SG provides an exhilarating prospect for the upcoming season. Yes, accommodating all of the new signings is a challenge, but surely Juan Ferrando and his coaching staff have got something up their sleeves and that’s what we have to watch out for!

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