ISL: East Bengal show the way by hiring a setpiece coach in Terence McPhillips

No Indian club has made such a specific appointment before…

East Bengal announced the arrival of Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler as the club head coach on Friday on a two-year deal. 

The new East Bengal manager will be accompanied by a team of backroom staff to assist him at the club. Former Manchester City midfielder Tony Grant will be his assistant coach. Grant had also worked as Fowler’s assistant in his last assignment at A-League’s Brisbane Roar.

They have also roped in goalkeeping coach Robert Mimms, sports scientist Jack Inman, physio Michael Harding and video analyst Joseph Walmsley. But the most interesting addition that has been made to Fowler’s backroom staff is the appointment of former Blackpool manager Terence McPhillips who will join the team as a set-piece coach.

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The concept of having a set-piece coach is alien to Indian football and no Indian club has made such a specific appointment.

Setpieces play a very important role in modern football as nearly 50 per cent of a team’s goals in a season comes from dead-ball situations. Top teams across the world deploy innovative methods to take their setpieces and convert them into goals. 

Sergio Lobera Jesus Tato FC Goa Mumbai City

Almost every top club in the world have a specialist coach just dedicated to work with the setpieces of the team. Recently Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta recruited setpiece coach Andreas Georgson who used to work as Head of setpieces and Individual development at Brentford. 

A setpiece coach not just innovates the taking the setpieces and convert them into goals but they also help a team defensively while defending the opposition’s setpieces.

It is a specialist’s job and East Bengal have become the first Indian club to hire a setpiece coach.

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