ISL 2018: Kerala Blasters sack coach David James

Sajith B Warrier

Bengaluru, December 18: Following a string of poor results in the Indian Super League (ISL), Kerala Blasters and coach David James have decided to part ways mutually.

James had two stints with Blasters, first as a marquee player-cum- manager in the 2014 edition before returning as manager for the Kochi-based side at the beginning of this year.

Blasters, two-time runners up of ISL, have been struggling since the start of the seaon and are currently languishing eighth in the 10-team league with just nine points from 12 games.

Results | Points table

And to make matters worse they received a 6-1 drubbing at the hands of Mumbai FC in the last game before ISL went into a long break.

Things became so worse that the Blasters fans started boycotting the matches and the management had no other way out.

This is the for the second year in a row that Blasters have sacked the coach mid-way through the season.

Last season, Rene Meulensteen, who was the former Manchester United assistant coach, was given the pink slip after a not-so-good start. The Dutchman is the current assistant manager of Australian national team.

James, who in his playing career has donned the big gloves for top-notch Premier League clubs like Manchester City and Liverpool was brought as a stop-gap replacement for Muelensteen before taking over the job on a permanent basis in January, 2018.

But the former England goalkeeper's second tenure too has ended abruptly.

Club CEO Varun Tripuraneni thanked James; "The club would like to thank David for his efforts towards the team and wishes him all the very best in his career."

James returned the compliments.

"I'd like to thank the management, players and all staff for their support during my stint with the club. I wish them the very best for the future. The fans here have been amazing and I'd like to thank them too for a memorable experience," said James.

James is the second coach in the 2018-19 ISL season to loose his job. In October, Pune FC had parted ways with Spaniard Miguel Angel Portugal.

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