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Shyam Thapa - ATK Mohun Bagan could have avenged East Bengal's 5-0 win in 1975

8:53 AM GMT+4 28/11/2021
East Bengal ATK Mohun Bagan ISL 8
The former player criticised East Bengal officials for the team's poor display...

Although ATK Mohun Bagan outclassed archrivals East Bengal 3-0 in the Kolkata Derby on Saturday evening, former Indian footballer Shyam Thapa believes that the Mariners could have scored more than five goals to create history at the Tilak Maidan Stadium. Bagan raced to a three-goal lead within the first 25 minutes of the match and never looked back thereafter. Meanwhile, East Bengal had zero shots on target which highlights their plight in the attacking third.

Thapa felt that ATK Mohun Bagan could have scored five goals or more which would have seen them register the biggest win in Kolkata derby history and avenged Mohun Bagan's 5-0 loss to East Bengal back in 1975.

What did Shaym Thapa say?

"When three goals happened so quickly I thought 1975 will be avenged by scoring five or more goals. But in the second half, I thought they relaxed way too much. I understand that they are professionals so they are saving themselves for the next matches. I don't think they have the emotions as before. We used to play for the supporters and fans. Now they think that three goals are enough. 

"Whereas East Bengal looked shaky throughout the match. Although they recovered in the second half, I don't think they can win the championship. They started building their team so late and it is a major problem. The management kept on bickering till the end, there was no guarantee whether they would play ISL or not, and now they are suffering. They did not get good Indian players and now with seven Indians are in the starting XI in the ISL, it does not help," observed Thapa who felt East Bengal do not have good quality Indian players.

Thapa thinks Arindam Bhattacharya should quit

East Bengal goalkeeper Arindam Bhattacharya, also the skipper of the team, was at fault for Mohun Bagan's second and third goals. He also picked up a knock while trying to gather the ball and ended up spilling it, only for Liston Colaco to score into an open net. Thapa believes that the shot-stopper is already past his prime and he should quit.

"Arindam might be a good keeper but now I think he should retire. He has played well for so long and now he should quit. He has lost his agility and reflex. The way he conceded the third goal is very poor. I think he should think about his retirement," he opined.

ATK Mohun Bagan can become champions

A brilliant display in the Kolkata derby has convinced Thapa that ATKMB has enough firepower to become ISL champions.

"Mohun Bagan are adept in all departments. They have a strong forward line with Krishna upfront, Kauko was brilliant in midfield and defence also looked very tight. Whereas, East Bengal are porous at the back, have no creativity in midfield, and with a toothless attack. There was so much hype about Daniel Chima but he looked pretty ordinary. Hopefully, next year we will see a better East Bengal. But this Mohun Bagan side can become champions. The Indian players are performing very well. Manvir is getting goals. Liston Colaco is also amongst goals. Let's see," he signed off.