How to stop Mumbai City FC? Phil Brown shares his master plan
As a head coach, I would have loved to coach a side against Mumbai City FC in its current shape and form.
Mumbai City FC have been simply outstanding this season, winning seven out of their ten matches but, even more importantly, not losing a single match so far.
The Islanders have a look of a team that could go unbeaten all season as they have a fairly solid defence that plays behind an attack that finds goals from all sources and currently is able to create chances for fun.
Chennaiyin FC found it out the hard way when they lost 2-6 to them a few weeks back, and they face them again this week, knowing that Mumbai City FC have only gone from strength to strength since that win.
But Thomas Brdaric will have to devise a plan to stop the marauding league leaders, and it is a tough ask for any head coach at the moment, given the quality that Mumbai City FC possesses.
It is also an intriguing prospect to go up against such a strong side and try and plot their downfall. As a head coach, I would have loved to coach a side against Mumbai City FC in its current shape and form.
The key area in this game when you are playing against Mumbai City FC will always be the dominance of Ahmed Jahouh and how you play against it.
There are a couple of ways of doing it. First, you can go physical against Jahouh and make it a battle, or you can go technical against him, as I think the key lies in that area of the field.
The technical side of it goes out of the window because of Nasser El Khayati's injury. With El Khayati playing there, Jahouh would have had to worry about him as opposed to someone like Anirudh Thapa, who would threaten to run behind him. I think Jahouh would allow that to happen and hand the responsibility of tracking him to one of the centre-backs and his job then is done as he has two well-versed centre-backs who know his game. But he could have lost that battle if he had to go up against a technical player like El Khayati.
So, the player playing in that role is critical and given the situation with El Khayati, I would go physical against him.
I would try to make it a British game instead of a Spanish one. I would try to block off the midfield trio of Mumbai City FC. So, as a head coach, you have to think tactically and think physically about two players -- Ahmed Jahouh and Greg Stewart.
It will be easier said than done, but it is important to upset the rhythm of these players, and going physical is one way of doing it. As a head coach, I would go down that road and try to make Mumbai City FC play a game they don’t want to.
Brdaric will have his ways of playing, but whichever coach goes up against Mumbai City FC will have to be spot-on with his tactics, whatever the approach.