Former Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspurs striker Teddy Sheringham has been signed as the head coach of Atletico de Kolkata for the upcoming season of the Indian Super League (ISL), media reports suggested on Saturday. Sheringham will replace Portugese Jose Molina, who coached the Sourav Ganguly-co-owned franchise to their second title in three years.
The 51-year-old Sheringham is one of the prominent names in the football world as most of the Manchester United fans remember his equalizer against Bayern Munich in a thrilling Champions League final which Manchester United won 2-1 in 1999. The Red Devils won the treble that year under their legendary manager Sir Alex Fergusson. The addition of an experienced campaigner like Sheringham in ATK unit can really work in the favour of the two-time league winners.
Kolkata have also announced the signing of former Bengaluru FC head coach Ashley Westwood as Director of Football. With these two massive signings, Atletico de Kolkata have given themselves a great chance of retaining their title in the 2017 edition as well. Ashley Westwood was earlier considered as the Head coach but the ISL authorities had yet not approved of bringing in the Manchester United graduate.
Westwood served as Bengaluru FC's coach for three years between 2013-16, a stint which led to two I-League titles (13 -14 and 15-16 seasons) and the Federation Cup in 2015. Westwood joins ISL after coaching Penang FA in the Malaysian Super League.
Meanwhile, Sheringham also played for Tottenham Hotspurs and West Ham United back in his heydays. With age catching up, Teddy himself considered the coaching role as the best option. He began his coaching career with West Ham as an attacking coach which earned him many plaudits from all the corners. Kolkata fans will be expecting the same from him during his stint with the franchise.
With these two well-known former English footballers joining Sourav Ganguly’s franchise, Kolkata will be strong favourites to defend their title, a feat which has never been accomplished in ISL's short history. Delhi Dynamos and NorthEast United are also considered as strong contenders for the coveted title in 2017.