Is Des Buckingham’s Mumbai City FC the new “The Invincibles”?
Mumbai City FC, the current league leader of the Indian Super League 2022/23 season, is on a dream run. The club is on a 178-game unbeaten run in the Hero ISL 2022/23 season.
The Ranbir Kapoor-owned club has had a massive transformation. And the majority of the success can be credited to one person, Des Buckingham. The English coach has had spells at Stoke City U23, Melbourne City, New Zealand U20, and Oxford United.
Des Buckingham is seen as one of the most forward-thinking and progressive managers in world football. His young age allows him to be more flexible to newer ideas. While his extensive experience in youth development allows him to understand a player’s psychology, which is greatly important as a head coach. He likes to play fearless and pleasing football.
Buckingham likes his team to dictate the play with possession and passing. He usually opts for a basic 4-2-3-1 with two energetic midfielders in the pivot, who will allow him quick transitions and recycling of the ball during different circumstances.
The same strategy was executed at Mumbai City FC in ISL’s 2022/23 season. Due to Buckingham’s tactics has scored 53 goals, and 18 times his team has been on the receiving end, making Mumbai City FC with the highest goal difference in the league.
Buckingham’s positive and aggressive approach has earned his side the tag of “The Invincibles.” Now many of you might be aware of the tag famously earned by Arsenal during the 2003/04 English Premier League season.
While earning the “The Invincibles” tag, Mumbai City FC has made some excellent records that might be impossible for anyone to break in the near future.
→ Longest winning streak in ISL history:
After beating Odisha FC 4-2, the Islanders had equaled Jamshedpur FC’s record of 7 consecutive wins in ISL. The Men of Steel had achieved this in ISL 2021-22 when they were the ISL League Shield winners. Now after their 4-0 thumping win over Kerala Blasters FC, where all the goals came in the 1st half, Mumbai City FC became the first team to win eight games on the trot in ISL.
→ Longest unbeaten streak at home in a single season
Mumbai has played nine matches at home without losing a single game, and it is a club record. Their previous record was six unbeaten games at home, and they have now surpassed that with full power.
→ Longest unbeaten run in a single ISL season
ATK Mohun Bagan held the previous record of going 16 games without tasting a defeat in the 2021-22 season. In the 2022-23 season, the Islanders have gone a notch higher as they are unbeaten for the last 18 matches.
Let’s have a look at the other unbeaten runs by clubs in ISL.
|Team||Season(s)||Number of matches|
|Mumbai City FC||22-23||18|
|ATK Mohun Bagan||21-22||15|
|Mumbai City FC||20-21||12|
|FC Goa||2014, 2015||12|
→ Most goals scored in an ISL season
With 53 goals in 18 games this season, Mumbai City FC is the new owner of the record for most goals scored in the league stage of an ISL season. The club has averaged three goals per game, far better than The Invincible Arsenal, which averaged 1.92 goals per game during the 2003/04 Premier League season.
→ Most points in a single ISL season
The Islanders have secured 46 points from 18 matches this season. The Men in Blue have beaten Jamshedpur FC’s record (43 points in Hero ISL 2021-22) for the most points in a single ISL season by a huge margin. Only three clubs have managed to pick up 40 or more points in a single Hero ISL season. Mumbai City FC is one this season.
Des Buckingham is aware of the records his team is creating. Speaking of the records, he said, “The records are not something that we have spoken or are a target for us. If you start looking at those things, then you start chasing them. It is not the records that we are chasing but the performances. We have so many measures which we use internally to measure our performance. And if we hit those measures more often than not and hold ourselves to the standards we have set, we have shown that results often come.”
When reminded of the unbeaten run, he added, “It (the unbeaten run) is always a nice thing for people to talk about, but for us, it’s not something that we talk about.”
The Men in Blue has been phenomenal, to say the least. With such a brilliant performance, the club has enthralled ISL fans and has immortalized Des Buckingham in the club’s history.