Till outcomes do us half: Youngest ISL coach Gerard Nus’ rocky journey with NEUFC


There was loads of intrigue surrounding the youngest head coach within the Indian Super League (ISL 2020-21). Gerard Nus, 35, was the toast of the league with NorthEast United FC at the beginning of the season. The sceptics cheered him on when he began off with an final ‘David vs Goliath’ slaying of Mumbai City FC.

His workforce’s supporters loved his unbridled enthusiasm on the sidelines every week. When he swore on nationwide tv to precise his approval of his workforce, the followers of the sport all secretly wished it was them in his place.

Then the wins dried up. There had been simply two to start out with. After eight gameweeks within the prime 4, the workforce slipped to seventh. Seven winless video games later, NEUFC has determined to half methods with the Spaniard. The membership announced its decision to sack him hours after the 1-1 draw towards Bengaluru FC on Tuesday.

Nus reacts on the touchline throughout a NorthEast United recreation within the ISL. – ISL/Sportzpics


The membership’s religion in him has dissipated over the course of the run. The official assertion on his departure learn, “The club has decided to part ways with the Spanish national after taking into consideration a contrast in the team’s current tactics and the club’s philosophy and vision.”

When the administration made the appointment in August, it thought it was getting a coach who would thrill the supporters with attacking soccer. “He is known to develop budding talent whilst playing a brand of attractive attacking football. We are confident that he is the right appointment for the club,” said the club’s executive director Priyanka Runchal.

Criticism surrounding NEUFC’s style of play began after the team struggled to create many goal-scoring chances. “We are not a defensive team, like what I have heard,” stated Nus. “We are a team who knows how to attack and at the same time, we know how to defend. We need to stick to these things and convert our chances.”


With a median possession of 42 p.c per recreation this season, Nus’ ways largely revolved round being organised on the again and sustaining a good defensive construction than pouring males ahead in assault. NEUFC averages 299 passes per recreation, which is the bottom within the league. Lower than ATK Mohun Bagan.

In extra methods than one, Nus’ NUEFC was arrange within the playbook of ATK Mohun Hagan’s head coach Antonio Habas, who led ATK to the title final season. But ATK Mohun Bagan has the standard of Roy Krishna or a David Williams to squeeze its strategy to 1-Zero wins.

And when the probabilities got here NEUFC’s method, it didn’t take it. According to Opta, NEUFC has missed probably the most variety of huge possibilities (16) this season. Of the 13 targets it has scored, 4 got here from penalties. Strikers Kwesi Appiah and Idrissa Sylla have missed 9 huge possibilities amongst them, together with a penalty every. To add to Nus’ woes, his main goal-scorer, Appiah, suffered a season-ending damage throughout a coaching session late December.

Number of massive possibilities missed this season by ISL groups.


In all equity to Nus, he was working with a squad which was skinny on ISL expertise. Only 13 gamers out of the 28 have beforehand performed within the ISL and solely 10 gamers had been retained from the 2019-20 season, when the membership completed ninth on the desk. Among the abroad gamers, solely Federico Gallego was retained. The Uruguayan is essential to NEUFC’s attacking rhythm however an injury-plagued season has meant he has accomplished the total 90 minutes simply thrice.

“I think you have to get the best possible from your squad,” Nus explained early in December. “We have many new faces. This is a short season. We have established a plan since day one. We have started to bring in tactical ideas. We have a clear idea of how to do things. We know how to defend and how to deal with various situations. If everybody sticks to the plan then the job becomes easier.”

Twenty-year-old Lalengmawia was entrusted with the accountability of captaincy by Nus in Gallego’s absence. – ISL/Sportzpics


Nus has helped proceed the event of kids Lalengmawia and Ninthoinganba Meetei, who had breakthrough seasons final 12 months. He handed the captaincy to 20-year-old Lalengmawia, who has performed the proper foil to the senior central midfield companion Khassa Camara. Meetei, 19, has seemed incisive with out registering a aim or help and has usually needed to work laborious in operating in the direction of his personal aim to assist his proper again. Rochharzela, 22, has admirably made the step up from the I-League to the ISL. Gurmeet Singh, 21, was trusted with changing the senior statesman Subhasish Roy Chowdhury in aim.

Unfortunately, it was the weird mistake from Gurmeet towards Bengaluru FC on Tuesday, which denied NEUFC an opportunity to finish its winless streak. Nus, who was suspended from the touchline, seemed on from the stands, attempting to understand the error.


The NEUFC administration has seemingly sought to keep away from the wrongs from final season, when it determined to let go of Robert Jarni after an 11-game winless run, with three matches left to play. This time round, there are 9 matches to play and the Highlanders are nonetheless solely a win away from cracking into the top-four. The job is now within the fingers of Khalid Jamil, who was additionally named the interim coach final season, to justify NEUFC’s choice within the last two months.

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