Indian Super League: Plot thickens as David James signs extension despite ex-Man United star's criticism

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David James [photo credit: @KeralaBlasters / Twitter]

The talk of Indian football on Sunday morning was not focused on the Indian Super League crunch match between Jamshedpur and FC Goa for the final play-off spot.

Instead, a post on Dimitar Berbatov’s Instagram stories that featured some pretty heavy criticism directed at Kerala Blasters coach David James grabbed headlines.

The former Manchester United striker was the marquee player for Kerala Blasters in the ISL this season but struggled for form.

The Sachin Tendulkar co-owned outfit saw their campaign ended on Thursday after a 2-0 defeat to table-toppers Bengaluru FC meant they failed to qualify for the play-offs.

In his Instagram story, Berbatov stated that he was heading home and included several telling hashtags to direct criticism at James’s management and tactical nous – #WorstWannaBeCoachEver #worsttacticaladvice, #ChipTheBallToStrikersChestAndWeTakeItFromThere/WTF/WhoPlaysLikeThis

The post sparked a reaction across the board with Blasters fans coming to the defence of their coach – who replaced Rene Meulensteen halfway through the season after a run of poor results – and attacking the striker for his lack of professionalism.

However, despite the criticism from the Bulgarian, the club announced later in the day that James has signed a new contract that will keep him at the helm until 2021.

Iain Hume, who has played for Kerala Blasters in three out of four ISL seasons, appeared to lash out at Berbatov with a gif with the caption: If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.

Meanwhile, former Blasters striker Michael Chopra, sided with Berbatov.

James has yet to respond to Berbatov’s insinuations. Stay tuned.

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