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East Bengal revives the wilting Kolkata Maidaan ?

“The Mecca of Indian Football” has lot to take a bow to its regained honour, after a marvellous season of the ongoing Hero I-League. To revolve around the axle of the Kolkata Giants, there’s so much to delve deep into!

Irrespective of how the table takes solidarity at its climax, East Bengal undoubtedly is proving a paradigm for all to absorb and cherish. It sparkled for East Bengal, when they could successfully drag a mammoth investment in Quess Corp, for greener pastures in the long run. Shortly after their hefty leap, things started falling at the right place. In Alejandro Menendez they’ve found an absolute curriculum master, whose so Spanish approach has been hugely moulded by the legs he opted for.

Despite a jerky start, East Bengal unlocked a collective team which was spirited and determined enough to pull through. Silken passes, sound coordination, quick-witted moves and classic finish. As transparent as that! One can hardly note laze in the squad. A plucky lot to keep up the fight till the last minute, no matter what the scoreboard displays! And since we affirm on being “led by example”, East Bengal has even set that up for us in its active bunch of regulars. Equally deft in picking up both foreign and indigenous recruits, they’ve presented the right maze for any rival to solve!

And look how it shows!

Having won two back to back “Kolkata Derbies” this season and bagging in points and crazy fandom, the club is on cloud nine. This stint deserves being satisfactorily treasured by every fan in Red and Gold. More of structure they demanded, here they got the fruit! And even they didn’t fail to repay! They thronged the gallery (with the largest attendance on a non-derby schedule, figured around 43,758) and that too, on a busy Thursday against Churchill, thereby puncturing the taboo of “only glitter of a derby” drawing masses over these years! Wait, not over yet! They’ve an astounding total of 272,699 whereas no other club (including both the top leagues) have risen above the 2L mark.

East Bengal

So, this time, it’s amazingly involving. The mutuality between the club and its admirers is relevant and rightfully conspicuous. There’s been a end to the drought with fresher lease of life. Fans adding vibrance to every game. Chanting their hearts out. Unfurling largest of banners. Speaking of struggle. Speaking of life, as far as football can glorify it. Just the amount of frenzy “Kolkata Maidaan” was in utter wait of!

Again, how unfair would it be to mention of Kolkata Maidaan and not speak of the other side of the coin?

Pardon, but the story has not been this rosy for the second. Arch rivals, Mohun Bagan, have instead cut out a poor figure wherever they’ve taken a chance. With their performance graph not up to the mark, they’re still at an uncomfortable position and to make matters worse, they’ve failed to drag investors.  Adding to the gaping wound, majority of the fan clubs on their behalf have solemnly pledged not to take part into any activity of the club. They are duly vocal enough to revolt and revolutionize for the resurrection of their dear heritage and esteem!

Mohun Bagan

With this sharp mismatch of the two Kolkata Giants, nothing is coinciding. Decisions still cloudy and roadmap still unexplored. This annual session is about to drop a full-stop. But what next? Where does this single league structure lead us to? How successfully do we chalk out our clubs for the ultimate unified league? And that too with complete justice? More to arise and more to answer.

Kolkata Maidaan is no exception being a part and parcel of this cycle. With East Bengal well armoured and quite potent to join the Indian Super League from next season onwards( if that’s how it remains identified), in all aspects, we have no clue which way they’ll turn to. Mohun Bagan yet lagging to get sponsored can’t provide us immediate certainty to join the elite. With confusion gripping hard, we rescue nothing reasonable for us to cheer up right at this moment.

Meanwhile, as the knots of Kolkata Maidaan gradually detangle, rewind to the beginning of this article and treat yourself with the positives this season has brought back to Kolkata and its all time soccer maniacs. One for all to recall and relish, until even better is unboxed from the store!

About the author

Anushka Chatterjee

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