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ISL 2022-23: ESPN Team of the Season


The 2022-23 edition of the Indian Super League came to an exciting conclusion with ATK Mohun Bagan crowned champion while Mumbai City were the League Shield winners. Naturally, it’s that time of year when the awards come around and here’s the ESPN India Team of the Season.

There were many deserving candidates this year; Narrowing them down to a starting XI and the nine ISL substitutes with the 4+2 foreign rule was a tall order. We have opted for a 4-2-3-1 formation given the staff involved. Interestingly, only two of the 2021-22 Team of the Season have retained their places, which points to the new stars that have turned heads this year.

Goalie: Vishal Kaith (ATK Mohun Bagan)

In an unusually excellent season for goalkeepers, Vishal Kaith held his own. Literally. There were 60 clean sheets throughout the league and Kaith grabbed 12 of them (20%) to win the Gold Glove. His penalty-stopping heroics were crucial for ATKMB to reach and then win the final. The numbers just back up Kaith’s selection: he had the second best save percentage (78.2%) of 68 saves, though gurmeet singhThe highest save percentage came from just 39 saves. phurba lachenpa and Gurpreet Singh Sandhu He also had terrific seasons, but Kaith’s difference-making skills earn him the nod.

Back: ashish ray (ATK Mohun Bagan)

ATK Mohun Bagan had 12 clean sheets this season, and Ashish Rai was involved in every one of them, only missing 23 minutes out of 1110 minutes without conceding a goal. For a player who carved out an attacking fullback role for Hyderabad, Rai’s transformation into a crucial cog in Juan Ferrando’s defensive setup was impressive. He made the most interceptions in the league this season (51), which underscores his defensive sense. the likes of Prabir Das and Raul Bheke He also had excellent seasons, but Rai’s consistency was the deciding factor in his selection.

Center of the back: Odei Ona India (Hyderabad FC)

In the only game that Odei Onaindia missed against Hyderabad FC this year, the club conceded 19% of the goals it conceded all season. Onaindia commanded the Hyderabad defense with aplomb since his return, while also making the second most clearances in the league (95, Sandesh Jhingan with a barely credible 163). It’s no surprise, then, that even with a makeshift right-back in Nikhil Poojari and change partners like nim dorjee and Chinglensana Singhthe Onaindia-led defense kept the best in the league out with ease.

Center of the back: mehtab singh (Mumbai City FC)

Mumbai City’s style of football often left their defenders quite a bit to do, but Mehtab Singh was a crucial part of their defensive upgrade that propelled them to win the League Shield. A forward defender, Mehtab led the league in shot blocking (24), but was also instrumental in helping Mumbai play from behind, averaging nearly 60 accurate passes per game with the 24-year-old. pritam kotal and Jhingan also had spells of excellence, but Mehtab’s ever-present nature despite the changing back line of league shield winners, earned him the nod.

Left side: Naorem Roshan Singh (Bengal FC)

There was no sophomore slump for Roshan Singh after last season’s highs. BFC’s diminutive left-back was one of the few silver linings in his terrible run at the start of the season, and later a crucial part of the reason the club reached the ISL final. Roshan made the second most assists by a defender this season (behind Chennaiyin FC’s Aakash Sangwan), but given that he had to take on attacking and defending responsibilities in a full-back role, he is arguably more impressive.

Central midfielder: apuya (Mumbai City FC)

Not many midfielders in the league can outshine Ahmed Jahouh, but Apuia passed better (84.6% passing accuracy vs. 81.3%), attacked better (75.8% accuracy vs. 61.6%) and, incredibly, connected with more long passes (76.7%). % vs. 66.7%) throughout the season. The 22-year-old’s metronomic displays at the heart of Mumbai’s midfield were a crucial part of their title-winning campaign, and if that wasn’t enough, Apuia added a goal threat to his game. He is the most complete Indian midfielder at the moment, and he’s not close.

Central midfielder: rohit kumar (Bengal FC)

The ISL love a comeback story, and Rohit Kumar certainly is one. A supporting player at Kerala Blasters before and even at BFC last year, Rohit proved to be a spark that turned around Simon Grayson’s fortunes. Her move to a box-to-box role in the BFC’s 3-5-2 was crucial in their 10-game winning streak that saw them reach the final. The unrivaled drive from him saw him protect the defense and bombard forward to score crucial goals in equal measure, the archetypal #8.

Rightmost: Adrian Luna (Kerala Blasters FC)

In a year where the Kerala Blasters had a bit of turmoil on their front line, the constant presence of Adrian Luna proved to be pivotal as he was the glue behind their playoff push. It’s a shame his season ended in controversy, especially when he delivered moments of genius, capped off by arguably the greatest team goal the ISL has ever seen. His prowess as his assistant remained spectacular, with his xA (4.2) second only to Greg Stewart (4.7) and Dimi Petratos (4.6) in the league.

Attacking midfielder: greg stewart (Mumbai City FC)

From last season’s Team of the Season piece: “Stewart’s penchant for an unstoppable dribble, long-range shout or even delicate assist makes him an unpredictable weapon that just can’t be stopped.” Nothing has changed, Stewart remains as devastating as ever and Mumbai City relished scoring 16 goals en route to the title. Simply put, Stewart is magical.

Leftmost: Lallianzuala Changte (Mumbai City FC)

The ISL Player of the Season.

Need we say more?

Center forward: Dimi Petratos (ATK Mohun Bagan)

Dimi Petratos is literally the only reason ATK Mohun Bagan emerged as an ISL winner. Football is a team sport, yes, but Petratos led his team, with the most goal contributions in the league (19), an unrivaled xG+xA total (12.5), as well as countless decisive moments, including three unstoppable penalties in the final. . Jorge Pereyra Diaz, diego mauricio and cleiton silva He also had stellar seasons leading the line, but none could come close to Petratos’ ability to make it count when it mattered.


(One goalkeeper, three defenders, two midfielders, three forwards, only two foreign players) Phurba Lachenpa (Mumbai City FC), Sandesh Jhingan (Bengaluru FC), Pritam Kotal (ATK Mohun Bagan), Akasha Mishra (Hyderabad FC), Hugo Boumus (ATK Mohun Bagan), Naorem Mahesh Singh (East Bengal FC), Sivasakthi Narayanan (Bengaluru FC), Jorge Pereyra Diaz (Mumbai City FC), Sunil Chhetri (Bengaluru FC).

Manager of the Season: Des Buckingham (Mumbai City FC)

This is a close battle, with the inspiring turnaround of Bengaluru FC’s Simon Grayson, the resource-maximizing season of Hyderabad FC’s Manolo Marquez and the title-winning campaign of ATK Mohun Bagan’s Ferrando also in the running. However, for Mumbai City’s record triumph to the league shield title, Des Buckingham takes the crown. It’s easy to forget that Mumbai City finished fifth last season, and Buckingham has yet to implement his style of operation at the club. He was aided by a recruiting spree, yes, but the improvement in every player at the club is quite visible. If Indian football is aiming to make a dent at the Asian level, the city of Mumbai is its best bet, and the reason for that is the man in charge.

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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