THE BLOG BY CPD FOOTBALL | The World of Indian football and beyond by Chris Punnakkattu Daniel

Arnab Mondal: Mangi-bhai is a great leader

Gouramangi Moirangthem Singh and Arnab Mondal

One stays 84 international matches old while the other has played just a couple. It’s just been the last two matches that central defenders Gouramangi Moirangthem Singh and Arnab Mondal have played together for India but their telepathy was very much evident as India beat Pakistan in their first match of the SAFF Championship 2013.

The day later, Gouramangi pronounces: “Sometimes when you have a new partner, there can be misunderstandings on the field which may prove costly. So off the field, we talk to each other often. We talk about basics, some fine tuning, how we will be covering for each other, etc.”

“The more we play together, the more will we understand and come to know the other,” Gouramangi adds.

Arnab agrees. “Coordination and understanding is very important. We came to know each other during National Camps. We need to adjust according to the situation, manage it and play,” he says. “In fact it’s not only me and Mangi-bhai. All of us – Nabi-da (Rahim Nabi) Nirmal (Chettri), Mohanraj, Mangi-bhai and myself sit together and discuss. It helps us to understand. Defending is always about backing each and sticking together.”

“Yes it is,” Gouramangi states. “Arnab is such a bright prospect. He has carved a niche for himself at the club level and his International career has just kicked-off. He deserves to be here,” Gouramangi signs the certificate for Arnab.

Arnab smiles. “Mangi-bhai has represented India in 84 matches. I have just started to learn. The intensity of International Football is much higher than Club Football. You need to adjust to the speed,” he quips.

Gouramangi pats Arnab on the back. “I may have played 84 matches but I am still learning. It’s a continous process,” Gouramangi says.

“Gouramangi is a true leader. His leadership qualities and calm assures me,” this time Arnab pats Gouramangi on the back.

“Stay away from injuries Brother,” Gouramangi urges.

“Yeah, injuries are so frustrating,” Arnab answers.

The duo walk upto Syed Rahim Nabi who was by then chatting with the Bangladesh Players at the Hotel Lobby. Minutes later, Nirmal and Mohanraj join them.

(Report & Picture courtesy AIFF Media)