The Lajong Way of Football

Despite crashing out of the Federation Cup 2011 Semi finals, the club from North East- Shillong Lajong FC gave a glimpse of what Indian Football has been missing for quite some time. Shillong Lajong made it through to the Semi Finals despite all odds, with teams like Mohun Bagan and Churchill Brothers in the same group. They could not have picked any worse team for themselves other than the i-League champions Salgaocar SC in the Semi Finals. But instead of bogging down under pressure the team responded mightily and gave a good account of themselves against the Karim Bencherifa's side by playing a completely different brand of football which has been missing among the Indian Footballing Arena.

We saw possession football at its very best with Shillong Lajong getting as much as 55% of ball possession in the first half. Quick passes, Deft touches, quick One-Twos combined with Unmatched speed was seen on display. It has been quite often seen that Indian players tend to tire after the 60-65 minutes mark and eventually the game speed decreases rapidly but the young boys from North East were seen making darting runs from both flanks. 
Doesn't John Menyongar(left) looks similar to Shaun Wright Phillips(right) of QPR
                                                                
One such player who produced a scintillating performance was Liberian born John Menyongar, an ex-United Sikkim FC. The little man whose face and physique might seem like Shaun Wright Phillips of Queens Park Rangers to some English Premier League fans dazzled the defence of most of the teams with his quick feets and turns.The little man seemed lively throughout his time in the pitch showing all kind of dribbling ability combined with pin point accurate passing. He also produced some very good shots from nowhere. He managed to get on the score sheet twice in this years Federation Cup.
Boithang Haokip, Winger

One other player which deserves a mention, Boithang Haokip from Shillong Lajong, not only did he control the midfield but his quickness and tireless stamina was a treat to watch. The way the lad produced bursts of speed and took some good shots at the goal was a joy to watch. Boithang might be a good prospect for the National team considering his exceptional workrate.

The brand of football that Shillong Lajong FC produced has turned many heads towards them. Their Speed and Stamina is unmatched along with the technical aspect. One can undoubtedly say that the number of passes that play on ground can be hardly seen among any other teams in the country. Some analysts might argue that their Physique does not support much aerial gameplay, but lets face it, whatever it is, it looks good and with some quality it will undoubtedly be a Hit. Indian football has been largely plagued by unnecessary long balls and thats what young fans hate to see. Perhaps its time to change and welcome the new brand of Football. We call it - "The Lajong Way of Football".
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About Debraj Banerjee

Hi, I am Debraj Banerjee from Adra, West Bengal. A keen follower of Indian football and always an optimist that the game will get the recognition it truely deserves. What we ask from you is your support and one day the dream might turn true. Fingers crossed for Indian football. Cheers!

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