While marquee players such as Robert Pires, Elano and Luis Garcia, have been a major driving force for their respective Super League sides, Delhi Dynamo’s marquee player Alessandro del Piero has been in the thick of controversy and rumors.
The legendary Italian, who was signed for Rupees 10.8 crores, two months back, has been sidelined – as a mere face of the Indian Super League and Delhi Dynamos. The Juventus legend has been a mere shadow of his former self and has struggled to match pace-for-pace in his outings in the Super League. Alessandro del Piero has warmed Delhi’s benches in Delhi’s last three encounters, in which the team has gone on to collect seven points out of a possible nine.
Harm van Veldhoven’s ‘change of tactics’ has certainly worked for the Delhi side. The Dutchman dropped Alessandro in Delhi’s crunch encounters against NorthEast United, Mumbai City FC and most recently Atletico de Kolkata.
A source close to TheHardTackle, revealed that Del Piero wants to feature more in the Delhi side and is unhappy warming Delhi’s bench. It also revealed that there were some ‘small verbal scuffles’ about the team selection and the coach is now choosing the side which Del Piero had earlier told him to start with. Although Del Piero has professionally accepted his axe from the team, he wants to feature more in the Delhi side. It also revealed that there were some minor dis-arguments between Del Piero and Harm van Veldhoven over the issue of captaincy.
Veldhoven has often played ‘coy’ with the Del Piero situation at hand. The Delhi coach has constantly said that Del Piero has a place in the Dynamos squad. Against Mumbai City FC, Del Piero did not even feature on the team sheet and was sidelined as said by the coach ‘due to a stomach cramp.
In the pre-match press conference ( Delhi Dynamos v Atletico de Kolkata ) , van Veldhoven again assured the fans that Del Piero would certainly feature in their next encounter against Kolkata. Delhi took on to the field against Atletico de Kolkata on 2nd December and once again Del Piero did not feature in the starting XI.
Even as Delhi Dynamos took to the pre-match training session, the Italian enjoyed his time – ‘jogging’ leisurely and hardly practiced with the ball. When inquired about about this scenario,van Veldhoven said ” “I did not see that so I cannot answer that. My focus was on the players who would be playing.”
Alessandro del Piero later blatantly said “‘You have to ask that to the first team coach”, when questioned about his absence in the match. There were already rumors regarding Alessandro del Piero being unhappy with Harm van Veldhoven’s coaching techniques – but those have been rubbished as just ‘rumors’.
With Delhi Dynamos taking on FC Pune City next, it would be interesting to see coach Harm van Veldhoven’s decision – wether to play Alessandro del Piero or once again ‘stomach ache’ him.