Kerala Blasters Coach David James Speaks About ISL Challenges And Recruitment

Former Liverpool goalkeeper David James has spoken out about the challenges Kerala Blasters face, the desire to win trophies and player recruitment.

James stepped into the role of head coach of the Blasters four years ago taking the side to the final of the inaugural edition of the Indian Super League competition.

Rene Meulensteen was appointed head coach in the summer and roped in Dimitar Berbatov and Wes Brown as two of the biggest names in the league.

However things went downhill and after one win in seven games, Meulensteen was given the sack and former Portsmouth and England goalkeeper James brought in for a second stint to regain trophies.

Following a turn around in the team’s fortune, James was given a new three-year contract to sign.

“Initially, the request to come here was something that I had not anticipated but I was very eager to get involved.

“At the same time, I did not want to come out for just three or four months. So there was a possible interest in doing something long-term.

“I wouldn’t say the idea of signing long-term was a no-brainer but there is a lot of commitment involved from everybody. It allows the club and myself to plan and have a strategy going forward rather than just get through each season.”

Veteran forward Berbatov departed the Indian Super League a few weeks ago, berating the style of play and manner in which he was used under James.

James has since hit back suggesting that the Bulgarian had ulterior motives for joining the club and claimed indifference to his criticism. He also spoke of future signings having to fit in to a certain criteria.

“As far as Dimitar is concerned, I know why he came here,” said James. “I didn’t have a problem with that because I didn’t recruit him. I understand how he left, that’s up to him. I came in halfway through the season. We made some changes in the January transfer window.

“There are two aspects to the scouting policy. There are Indian players and the foreign players. There is a small number of Indian players to look for. There are many foreign players. There is no restriction on where they come from, as far as I am concerned. However, they have to fit certain criteria which I won’t give in detail,” said James.

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