Delhi Dynamos FC have had four rather disappointing seasons in the ISL. Given the star players who have played for the franchise, big things were expected from Delhi. But the players aren’t the only ones that have been high profile. Delhi has been home to some big names who have held managerial and coaching roles at the club in the past.
Roberto Carlos, Gianluca Zambrotta and Miguel Angel Portugal have been at the helm of the club. However, Delhi has failed to retain the services of any manager for more than two seasons.
Josep Gombau has taken over the reigns of Delhi from Miguel Angel Portugal for ISL season 5. The Spaniard might not be a high profile appointment but make no mistake, he has plenty of football wisdom at his disposal.
The 42-year-old manager has bags of coaching experience across various countries. He joined the coaching team of Amposta FC B team at age of 16. He took giant strides in his coaching career and continued coaching in Spain by joining the youth team of Espanyol and subsequently joking Barcelona B in 2003, where he stayed for six years.
Coaching in Asia is not new to Josep Gombau. After his stint with Barcelona B ended, he flew to Hong Kong to take charge of Kitchee FC. This proved to be a great decision as he went on to win multiple honours with the club in his four-year tenure. He adopted a possession centric approach and brought Spanish philosophy to the club.
His next adventure took him to Australian shores. He joined the A-League side Adelaide United in 2014. He adopted the same possession-based approach that brought him success in Hong Kong. He was then appointed as the head coach of the Australian U-23 team and the assistant coach of the Australian men’s team. His last assignment in Australia was with Western Sydney Wanderers which he will want to forget. He was relieved of his duties after the side failed to qualify for the 17-18 final series.
Now, he is in India to coach Delhi Dynamos FC and already a herculean task awaits him. The franchise has underachieved massively, the region is not known to be rich in terms of footballing culture and he has got a young squad at his disposal. It will be a huge challenge for someone who has never coached in India.
Gombau, however, is not too worried about the challenges and is excited for the new chapter in his coaching career, he said:
“I am really excited and looking forward to this opportunity in the Indian Super League. I am not new to Asian football, so I know what to expect and I am ready for this challenge. The goal is to keep the philosophy of this club intact and to take the players to the next level where they are ready to challenge for the title.”
What should the fans expect from him? Well, expect possession oriented formations and discipline with the ball. Expect high levels of energy on the touchline. He will bring the Spanish philosophy of football to Delhi which is not just tiki-taka but controlled possession play. He likes to boss the game and is not shy of making changes. Will this philosophy propel Delhi to the knockout stages? Does he have the players to implement this philosophy? How attractive will this be? There is only one answerer to these interrogations – time.