Kerala Blasters FC – 2022/23 Season Preview

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Every time Kerala Blasters began a new season, there was a wave of discontent surrounding them. Before every season, the Blasters would usually have a new coach in charge and a completely revamped roster. This season, though, is quite different. Around the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, there is a sense of assurance rather than a flood of unfavorable sentiment. An assurance that the Blasters won’t let you down, all thanks to one man, Ivan Vukomanovic.

Since taking over as manager of KBFC last season, the Serbian has changed the way we perceive the club. They had a rough beginning, but as they advanced, they gradually found their feet. Vukomanovic was only setting the foundation for a sustained era, one that promises silverware.

Although the first team has not yet participated in a competitive game following the loss to Hyderabad in the ISL final, the results of the friendlies that they played have been encouraging.

Kerala Blasters

Head Coach

Since taking over, Ivan Vukomanovic has done wonders with the Kerala Blasters team. One of the first things he did last season was to set up Jeakson and Puitea at the heart of the midfield, with Luna driving the offense up front. The rise of Ruivah Hormipam and Prabhsukhan Gill was also supervised by Ivan, and his tactics and team dynamics made Alvaro Vazquez and Jorge Diaz an unstoppable front-line duo. Sahal Abdul Samad eventually broke free from his constraints under the Serbian coach as well.

Kerala Blasters

However this season, Ivan will face some fresh difficulties that he must overcome. He will have to make do with a new set of forwards after both Diaz and Alvaro left the team, while also incorporating Mongil and midfielder Ivan Kalyuzhnyi into his plans.

Foreign Signings

The only two foreign players who were able to keep their spots in the Blasters squad before this season were Marko Leskovic and Adrian Luna. Alvaro Vazquez and Jorge Pereyra Diaz, who both had one-year deals with KBFC, decided they wanted to move on to greener pastures and inked free transfers with Goa and Mumbai, respectively. They also released Enes Sipovic and Chencho Gyleshten.

Kerala Blasters

With the addition of the seasoned Victor Mongil and Australian forward Apostolos Giannou, Blasters have done a commendable job of replacing the latter two. They also completed the signings of Ivan Kalyuzhnyi and Dimitrios Diamantakos. While they have successfully added a quality midfielder in Kalyuzhnyi to their squad, it is still unknown if Apostolos and Dimitrios can successfully take on the duties of the Diaz-Alvaro duo.

Domestic Signings

Kerala Blasters made minimal tweaks to their Indian contingent given how balanced it proved to be last season. They added two talented players from Churchill Brothers, Saurav Mandal, and Bryce Miranda, to their team With the addition of Bengaluru FC loanee Bidyashagar Singh to their frontline, they also gained a much-needed Indian option upfront. Bidyashagar, who previously won the I-League Golden Boot, has a lot to prove and will be eager to score goals for the Blasters team.

Top Three Signings

Ivan Kalyuzhnyi, Dimitrios Diamantakos, Apostolos Giannou

Strength

The Kerala Blasters’ outstanding exploits under Ivan Vukomanovic have allowed them to retain their coach for the first time since the ISL’s establishment. Along with Marko Leskovic and Adrian Luna, two important foreign players from the previous season, they were also able to keep their core Indian players. Ivan Kaliuzhnyi and Victor Mongil have also been added, which has further reinforced their midfield and will offer Ivan more tactical strength.

Weakness

Kerala’s full-back positions exhibit a clear lack of depth. Saurav and Bryce, two of their recent Indian additions, are untested in the ISL and will need time to get used to the league. The fact that their forwards Dimitrios and Apostolos are both total strangers to India and that it is unknown how they will adapt to the conditions here will worry the fans the most.

Kerala Blasters 22-23 Possible XI

Kerala Blasters

Conclusion

Ivan will be required to make the greatest use of the Blasters’ strengths and flaws this time around. Even though they had a stellar season the previous time around, they still need to work on a few parts of their game if they want to have a true shot at winning the league. Since the competition is brief and KBFC needs to start winning right away, Apostolos Giannou, Dimitrios Dimantakos, and Ivan Kalyuzhnyi will need to adjust to the league immediately.


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Kerala Blasters FC - 2022/23 Season Preview b8af641dd0fdfdc3beaf152e1ad6503c?s=96&d=monsterid&r=g
Anurag Guha
Loves Indian Football and cars that go vroom vroom

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