It was a tough start to life as FC Pune City manager for Miguel Angel Portugal, in fact, it was so tough that after one measly point and two losses out of the three first matches the Pune City board decided they’d had enough and sacked the Spaniard. Some may see that as a little harsh but you need to take into account the fact that there are only 18 games in the regular season.
That means that 17% of the season has gone already. So, while it may seem a tad bit on the trigger-happy side, it is understandable all the time the season is so short. Pradyum Reddy, the club’s Technical Director, will step in as interim manager and guide the boys in orange against FC Goa today.
There’s no danger of a sacking for Goa head honcho Sergio Lobera unless of course, the Goa board are stupid. Two wins and a draw from the first three fixtures see them sitting quite pretty in the league.
The draw on the opening day of the season against NorthEast could be seen as a poor day at the job. Because after that it’s been smooth sailing for Lobera’s boys. Chennaiyin were dispatched 3-1, with Sabiá’s consolation goal for Chennaiyin coming in the 90th minute. And at the match on Wednesday, Mumbai City were absolutely demolished and Goa didn’t stop until the scoreboard in the stadium read 5-0.
They opened the scoring after seven minutes and then it went quiet until the dam broke in the second half. Two quick goals in the 55th and 61st minute meant the game was essentially over and Miguel Palanca came on to add some salt to the wound when he scored twice after being substituted in the 82nd minute. Some would call that a stroke of tactical genius from Lobera.
Let’s return to Pune then. Portugal had to leave after a 1-1 draw with Delhi Dynamos in the opening round, a 2-0 loss to Mumbai and then a 3-0 smashing by Bengaluru. Sunil Chhetri opened the scoring for Bengaluru in that game with a brace just before halftime, while Miku put the game to bed with a goal slightly after the hour mark.
It all points towards a comfortable win for FC Goa and a difficult evening for a managerless Pune.
But we all know football doesn’t work that way at all. With Pune now having a new man in charge, albeit only a temporary one, that might just be the kick up the bum that they need to realise they’re a team who can be quite good at football if they so wish.