Kerala Blasters is one team which runs on the fans’ support. Talking about the Blasters fans, they support the team even when the going gets tough. Players have unprecedented support from the fans on any matchday. There is no fanbase in Indian football that backs their team like the Kerala Blasters fans. Coach Steve Coppel would have like to have with the likes of Vineeth and Rino Anto from the start, but their duties with Bengaluru F.C. meant that it took time for them to come back. Aaron Hughes was also away playing in the Euros, which meant Coppel had a really humongous task in hand. But such is the state of football these days, too much pace, injuries do happen and the management has to cope up with the pressure.
Vineeth CK and Rino Anto has been a revelation for Kerala Blasters in this season of Indian Super League(ISL). They have been instrumental in deciding the fate of the Kochi club. When the ongoing season of the Indian Super League (ISL) started, Kerala Blasters didn’t have much options upfront and they struggled drastically to get the ball in the net. Steve Coppell could not help but play with the available crop. Not having a substantial left wing back in the eleven meant that Josu Currais had to take over the defensive duties at the back. Sandesh Jhingan and Aaron Hughes made a good defensive pair at the back, being almost un-assailable. But is the goal count which always hurted Kerala Blasters.
When they finally came, Kerala Blasters started delivering and the goals followed. In front of goal, Vineeth has been the go to man. Here is a man who has improved by time and bounds since he last played the ISL. He has improved a lot as a player, what was good to see during the whole tournament was about the fitness. Apart from Vineeth, Rino Anto has also been delivering the goods. Th arrival of Rino Anto gives manager Steve Coppel more options at the back which was an issue early on during the tournament. He provides that auxiliary pace and adrenaline we expect from the wingbacks conventionally.
The inclusion of Vineeth and Rino Anto gave wings to Kerala, with the former contributing with 5 goals. One thing to be noted is the fact that he joined the Kerala Blasters camp late, so one can imagine how prolific he has been. In the semi-final first leg match against Delhi Dynamos, the duo of Vineeth and Belfort were threatening the Delhi defense yet again, with constant threats everytime they had the ball with them. In the end it was a determined piece of individual skill by Befort that won the day for Kerala Blasters, but even then Vineeth was the fulcrum of all attack Kerala came up with on the right flank. In the second leg against Delhi, it would need Vineeth to once again show his best game for the ‘Men in Yellow’ to go through to the finals.
Cometh the moment, maketh the champion! We just hope as fans of Kerala Blasters the same would happen. Vineeth and Rino Anto will be having a lot of support even in the matches to follow. As Coach Coppel said, “When you feel tired of trying just listen to the reverberating sounds of the massive crowd in Kochi”. This would actually lighten up tired minds, send in a lot of adrenaline to the players on the pitch. It is a mutual love story between the players and the fans, either one switching off wouldn’t help the cause. The fans won’t stop, it is upto the players to repay the love and bring glory.