The worst season in club history sounds quite bad, doesn’t it? Well, when the club is only four years old, that’s bound to happen at some point.
When the Dynamos last three seasons read fifth, fourth and third, a poor season seemed inevitable at some point. Last season they finished eighth out of the ten teams in the ISL and were never in the running for a playoff spot.
But it started well. A win on the opening day against Pune saw them sit in second after the first round. However, a 4-1 hiding at the hands of Bengaluru saw them drop to sixth, and those two positions were the highest they got all season. From then on it spiralled downward. Eighth place was their most familiar resting ground but for six of the 18 rounds of the ISL Delhi found themselves sitting rock bottom of the league.
The 60,000 Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium was mostly empty with the highest attendance recorded being 11,453 against NorthEast United and the lowest 2,332 in the final match of the season against Pune. And the few fans that did show up didn’t get much to cheer for in the first half of the season with losses like 5-1 against Goa recorded at home, while the travelling support suffered 4-1 and 4-0 losses.
Only a good end to the season saved their face somewhat. In fact, their last five games were so good that they were second in the form table come the end of the season. They picked up 12 of a possible 18 points and were only beaten by Bengaluru for form over the last five games, not losing a single match.
For a side that has had names like Roberto Carlos, Alessandro Del Piero, John Arne Riise and Florent Malouda in their squad the current crop of Delhi players look a lot less interesting on the face of it. Gone is last season’s top scorer Kalu Uche (13 goals, most in a single season by a Delhi player), he’s moved to ATK, and in has Marcos Tébar come from Pune, alongside former West Bromwich and Heerenveen player Gianni Zuiverloon and former Red Star Belgrade and Beijing Guoan striker Andrija Kaluderovic. Not the biggest names on the planet, but they could be able to make some noise for Delhi. We’ll bring you more on the star players for each club at a later date.
This season could be cause for optimism for Delhi, as their form at the tail end of last year showed. With a new manager in Josep Gombau (again, more on him in a separate article) and some foreign imports who need to impress after a few poor spells elsewhere, looking at you Kaluderovic, this could be the season Dehli get back into the playoffs.