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Jamshedpur FC's glass more empty than full in drab game against ATK

Quite understandably, ISL newbies Jamshedpur FC were excited about hosting their first home game. So much so that a half an hour before the match against ATK, the 23,800 spectators packed into as many seats at the JRD Tata Stadium were treated to a glittering fireworks display.

Speaking from the benefit of hindsight, perhaps Jamshedpur FC had tempted fate a little by this premature celebration.

Undercooked pitch

Within minutes it was clear that the stadium pitch was not up to the task of hosting...

Football-crazy Jamshedpur all set for ISL debut

Subrata Pal (centre) had to wait outside the gates of the Tata football academy in order to give a trial for admission as a teenager, his image now features on the side of the team bus of Jamshedpur FC.
Subrata Pal (centre) once had to wait outside the gates of the Tata football academy in order to give a trial for admission, his image now features on the side of the team bus of Jamshedpur FC.

Subrata Pal remembers the first time he came to Jamshedpur. Back in 2002, he was just a 15-year old boy looking to jump start his career by joining the city's Tata Football Academy. It was a journey that almost began in failure after he arrived a day late. A sympathetic coach let him give a trial which he ended up acing.

"I'd say it was the turning point of my life. If you were a young football player in India, who wanted to be anything, you really wanted to go to Jamshedpur. It was a dream come...

The discreet charm of Steve Coppell

A knee injury, brought about by a bad tackle, ended Steve Coppell's career when he was only 28.
A knee injury, brought about by a bad tackle, ended Steve Coppell's career when he was only 28.

Ah, Steve Coppell. My first football hero, though I never saw him play. Not even a one-minute clip on the evening news. Not even, in the internet age, a 30-second archival clip on YouTube. But I was a fan. I read every word about him in every story I could find in the British Council, or in the United Reviews that occasionally turned up at our house. What was it about him that attracted a pre-teen kid thousands of miles away in Calcutta?

Maybe it was the fact that he was a winger. I've always loved...

ISL stalemate: 2 matches, 0 goals but don't panic yet

This is the worst start ever to an Indian Super League (ISL) in terms of goals.

While 2014 and 2015 had opening matches that saw three and five goals respectively, last year's opener saw a moment of magic from NorthEast United's Katsumi Yusa that sent Guwahati's Indira Gandhi Stadium on its feet, and his team on their way to a 1-0 win over Kerala Blasters.

This year had two decent match-ups on paper to get the season going -- a rematch of the 2016 final between Kerala and ATK but with a pronounced...

'Main man' Andre Bikey looking to make a difference

File photo of Andre Bikey in action for Middlesbrough.
File photo of Andre Bikey in action for Middlesbrough.

When Jamshedpur FC become the ninth club to play in the Indian Super League (ISL) during their season opener against NorthEast United FC in Guwahati on November 18, it will be a bittersweet homecoming of sorts for Cameroon's Andre Bikey.

Formerly of Reading, Burnley and Middlesbrough, Bikey was one of NorthEast's best performers on his ISL debut in 2015, capping off nine appearances across defence and midfield with a vital goal in a 3-2 win over FC Pune City at home in their last league encounter,...