Mumbai: Former Liverpool goalkeeper David James returned to the helm of affairs at Kerala Blasters on Wednesday.
The Englishman who was the side’s marquee player-cum-coach in the inaugural edition of the Indian Super League was appointed the head coach of the ‘Yellow Army’ after previous coach Rene Meulensteen stepped down from his role citing personal reasons, after failing to deliver the expected results.
“David James arrived in Kochi today and we have appointed him as head coach of Kerala Blasters for the remainder of the ISL. We have informed the ISL which has approved his (James’) taking over as head coach of Kerala Blasters,” said a club official as quoted by the PTI.
James who represented England in the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa have gone on to play 53 times for the Three Lions. He is said to have met the club owners and the officials immediately after his arrival, to discuss plans for the future.
The 47 year-old also played for English Premier League giants Liverpool between 1992-1999 and was part of the squad that won the League Cup in 1995.
Having led the Kerala Blasters to the ISL final in it’s very first season, James is very much aware of the conditions of Indian football and is expected to be present in the dugout when Kerala face Pune in the Maharashtra derby tomorrow.
With two runners-up finish in the last three seasons, Kerala’s campaign this time however have been woeful with just one win from seven matches, while losing two and drawing the other four. Such low profile performances that saw them placed eight has forced head coach Rene Meulensteen to step down and the Englishman now had the task of resurrecting the Blasters’ season that seems to go nowhere.
His familiarity not only with the conditions but also some of the foreign recruits may actually act as an added advantage for the Englishmen to deliver.