Jayesh Rane ATK Indian Super League ISL Tactical Analysis
Can Jayesh Rane finally reach his potential after years of mediocrity in the ISL?

On the left-side of ATK’s faltering attack at the moment is 25-year-old Jayesh Rane. At the request of Rohan Salvi (@RowhunSalvi), we’re going to look at Jayesh Rane and his career in the ISL thus far. We were fishing for ideas about what to write, with it being an international break and all and this was one of three requests. The other two might be done sooner than you think, who knows? My initial plan was to analyse FC Goa’s win away at Chennaiyin but it’s still not fully uploaded to Wyscout so that will have to go on the back burner for another couple of days. Without further procrastination, let’s get going with Mr Rane.

Beginnings On The West Coast

After being born in Mumbai, Jayesh Rane joined his local club, Mumbai FC. This was a time before the ISL existed, so Jayesh joined the I-League side and worked his way through the youth system there. He played on a couple of occasions in the I-League for Mumbai FC before joining Chennaiyin on loan for the maiden ISL season. That is where our tale will begin.

He appeared on the third matchday as Chennaiyin travelled to Delhi Dynamos, he came off the bench at halftime as Chennaiyin looked to come back from two-nil down. This was a Chennai side which contained Mikael Silvestre, Marco Materazzi and Elano. An array of talent. Regardless of the talent on offer, Chennaiyin were unable to prevent themselves from falling to a 4-1 defeat and that was the last of Rane we would see until matchday ten.

Room For Improvement

A two-minute cameo appearance away at Mumbai City was followed by a 45-minute appearance against NorthEast United. His solitary start of the season came on the penultimate day of the season as Chennayin hosted FC Goa. With Materazzi’s side 2-0 down at the interval, Rane was brought off and didn’t feature in the end of season playoffs. Overall, his record for the season read: 139 minutes played, three shots, five crosses, 63 passes and 82 touches. His passing accuracy wasn’t the best, averaging out at 58.73% over the course of the season. Definitely room for improvement.

We are not going to focus on Rane’s time in the I-League, as this is an ISL website after all. He bounced back to Chennaiyin for the following season. It was a slightly bizarre season in many respects. After failing to come off the bench on the opening day against ATK, Rane appeared in Delhi as Chennaiyin succumbed to a 1-0 defeat after Manuele Blasi gave away a penalty early doors. It just so happened to be the game after that when Rane made his mark.

His First Full Game Yields His First Return

A blockbuster performance away at Zico’s Goa gave Chennaiyin a fabulous 4-0 win. Rane assisted Elano two minutes before halftime to all but secure the game. Two more goals after the break gave the scoreline a more flattering look. Another full game next time out against Mumbai City and another three points for Chennai. A defeat away at NorthEast United and a win at home to a Pune side containing Didier Zokora marked the end of Rane’s involvement once again. After playing four full games on the bounce, he was then consigned to the bench until the end of season playoffs.

He appeared momentarily off the bench in the first leg, playing the grand total of four minutes as Chennaiyin put themselves in the ascendancy, winning 3-0. Rane didn’t appear in the second-leg as Chennaiyin went one better compared to last season and made it to the final. In what was a remarkable game against FC Goa, Rane set up the winner in second-half stoppage time. All the action was in the second period as Chennai went 1-0 up, missed a penalty and found themselves 2-1 down with three minutes left. Rane was brought on for Jeje in the 68th minute and he set up Mendoza for the winner as Chennaiyin won their first ISL title.

There’s some dispute around how many assists Rane picked up in the aforementioned season, Transfermarkt has it listed as two and the official ISL site has it as three. Let’s look at everything bar the assists… 426 minutes played, 169 passes and a much better passing accuracy rate of 69.23%. Not too bad, not too bad at all.    

All Downhill From There

Once again, Rane returned to Chennaiyin for the 2016 season, however, their fortunes were not nearly as favourable. To be fair, it all started rather well. Rane got his first ever goal in the ISL as he drew Chennaiyin level away at ATK. Chennaiyin looked like they were going to come away with all three points from Kolkata until Iain Hume scored a penalty four minutes from time. After matchday seven, Rane only appeared twice, featuring for the full 90 minutes away at Kerala Blasters and Mumbai City. Chennaiyin lost both of those games and he was never seen again. He played more minutes in this season, 557 to be precise, that accompanied with 228 passes and 20 crosses, it was a somewhat productive season. It just wasn’t all that from a team perspective as they finished second bottom.

Overall, Jayesh Rane played 1,122 minutes for Chennaiyin and registered just one goal & two or three assists, dependant on who you believe. So, for the defending champions, ATK, to then take a punt on him, it’s safe to say that Rane landed on his feet.

ATK Had An Awful Season

ATK’s lack of success has been quite well documented so we won’t dwell too much on their overall performance. What we’ll do, is look at Rane as an individual. He wasn’t involved in the matchday squad for the first four games as ATK failed to win. He was against Mumbai in the next game and they won. Coincidence? Perhaps. The following game, a home tie against Delhi Dynamos, saw Jayesh Rane make his full debut for ATK. Interestingly, ATK also won this game as he proved a thorn in Delhi’s side.

Jayesh Rane ATK Indian Super League ISL Tactical Analysis
Rane makes his mark on his full debut. Credit: SofaScore.

As you can see here, his passing accuracy was much better than what his season averages were at Chennaiyin. One shot off and one shot on as well. All in all, a strong debut for Rane. After that, there wasn’t a great deal to write home about, a 1-1 draw with FC Goa followed the Delhi game before Rane was left out against Bengaluru. From that point onwards, ATK only won two more games; both against NorthEast United. In January, the game between the two sides was separated by a Zequinha wonder goal. Rane was again a vital cog in the win against NorthEast United, without doing anything spectacular. On the whole, Rane’s stats read like this from last year: 1,030 minutes played, 473 touches of the ball, nine shots and 21 crosses.

The crosses are arguably the most interesting stat of all. In his final season with Chennaiyin, he made 20 crosses after playing 557 minutes, yet only managed one more after playing 473 minutes more for ATK. In my opinion, I think that just goes to show that ATK were miles away from their best last year.

The Present Day

Despite an overhaul of the highest order for ATK, the tide doesn’t seem to be turning just yet. With the arrival of Steve Coppell at the club, there was a renewed sense of optimism around Kolkata coming into this season. Two losses and no goals scored in the opening two games of the season does not make pretty reading, though. Throughout all of this, Rane has still retained his place in the side, which is perhaps a problem in itself. Let me explain.

After signing the likes of Everton Santos, Balwant Singh, Kalu Uche and Manuel Lanzarote, many thought that ATK were going to be this attacking beast that could not be stopped. Hey, I’ll hold my hands up as I was very much in that court. In my preview for the opening game of the season against Kerala Blasters, Rane was nowhere near my starting XI for ATK, so much so, he wasn’t even mentioned in the article. That’s not meant to come across as disrespectful, it’s just that the other players that are available are better than him. Coppell, clearly thinks he knows best and this how he lined up (as well Kerala, just for good measure).

Jayesh Rane ATK Indian Super League ISL Tactical Analysis
Credit: SofaScore.

From Right To Left

For the best part of his career, Rane has more often than not, played on the right-hand side. Quite why Coppell sees fit to play him on the left, I’m not so sure. His drive with the ball is apparent when he’s playing, yet, his decision making tends to let him down in big situations. Take a look at his average position from the Kerala game.

Jayesh Rane ATK Indian Super League ISL Tactical Analysis
Credit: SofaScore.

Rane (16) is playing a very advanced role and while he may have completed 100% of his dribbles down the left-hand side, he was also guilty of missing ATK’s biggest chance of the game. Take nothing away from Rane, he did very well to lose his man at the back post and gamble on the flight of the ball, but the miss was inexcusable. Don’t believe me? Take a look for yourself.

He Must Score, Right?

Jayesh Rane ATK Indian Super League ISL Tactical Analysis
Rane does incredibly well to peel away from his man at the back post and create room for himself.

At this point, the ball is already mid-flight, nonetheless, you can see Rane sneaking away from his marker. What you should also be able to see is the fact that Dheeraj, in the Kerala goal, is trying to intercept the ball. All of these factors mean there is a gaping wide goal for Rane to simply head into.

Jayesh Rane ATK Indian Super League ISL Tactical Analysis
Despite have the whole goal to aim at, Rane’s lack of composure shines through as he heads wide.

To cut a long story short, he heads it wide when he could’ve headed it anywhere on target and there’s a high chance it would’ve given ATK the lead. In turn, the complexion of the game would’ve been massively different. Yes, it was the first competitive game of the season. Yes, it all happened rather quickly. If you want to make it to the very top, you can’t afford to miss chances like that. Ultimately, that cost ATK the game. I’m aware we don’t know what would’ve happened afterwards, therefore, it’s harsh to jump to conclusions. All the same, Coppell is one of the best at defending narrow leads and you have to feel he would’ve done just that if Rane scored.

Difficult To Judge The NorthEast Game

Rane was sacrificed early doors against NorthEast after Sena Ralte picked up two yellow cards in the space of 13 first-half minutes. Rane had only completed one out of his four attempted passes, so maybe that played a part in Coppell’s decision to withdraw him rather than someone else. Be that as it may, despite only being on the pitch for 37 minutes, he still attempted as many dribbles as all of his teammates, bar Balwant.

Closing Arguments

You have to feel that this season really is make or break for Jayesh Rane at ATK. Another club will undoubtedly snap him up if he doesn’t hit the heights that he can, but time is running out for him. Yes, he is only 25, nevertheless, with the current crop of young Indian talent coming through, he may find his chances limited sooner than he thinks. His explosiveness with the ball at his feet is his biggest trait by far. He needs to work on his end product, though. Let’s hope we’re not having the same discussion in a few games.

Until the next time.