Former England goalkeeper David James today returned at the helm of affairs of Kerala Blasters, a day after the Indian Super League side sacked Rene Meulensteen as their head coach following a string of poor performances by the team.
James, who has played for England in 53 matches between 1997 and 2010, was the marquee player-cum-head coach of Kerala Blasters in the inaugural edition of the ISL in 2014. He was the England goalkeeper during the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
“David James arrived in Kochi today and we have appointed him as head coach of Kerala Blasters for the remainder of the ISL. We have informed the ISL which has approved his (James’) taking over as head coach of Kerala Blasters,” a team official told PTI on the condition of anonymity.
As soon as he arrived, 47-year-old James, who spent seven years at English Premier League side Liverpool between 1992 and 1999 playing 214 matches, had a huddle with team owners and officials.
It is also learnt that the ISL issued a prompt permission to James’ appointment as he was earlier a part of the league in the inaugural edition.
That was the reason of his appointment being cleared just a day after the sacking of Dutchman Meulensteen.
James is expected to be at the Kerala Blasters dug out in their home match against FC Pune City on Thursday.
On Tuesday, the Sachin Tendulkar co-owned side sacked Meulensteen following their woeful performance so far in the ISL season. The decision came after the Blasters suffered a 1 -3 defeat at home to Bengaluru FC on December 31.
The Blasters, last season’s runners-up side, are languishing at the eighth spot in the 10-team league table with just one win from seven matches. They have four draws and two losses to collect just seven points so far.
The Kochi-based side failed to impress this season so far despite having signed high profile players such as Dimitar Berbatov, Wes Brown, Sandesh Jhingan and C K Vineeth.