KOCHI: It was supposed to be a long-term relationship but the marriage between Kerala Blasters and David James has ended.
The Indian Super League club parted ways with the English coach after he was under intense scrutiny for the poor performances of the club this season.
Although this wasn't a surprise, it is interesting to note that prior to this season, James was handed a three-year contract by the club stating that they had a vision for the club.
They had put a lot of faith in James who had guided the club to the final of the first ISL edition before leaving.
The Englishman returned to Blasters last season as an interim manager after Rene Meulensteen was sacked.
However, in his first full season as the coach, the team has struggled. Blasters are going through their worst run in ISL history with six draws and five defeats and are eighth in the league on nine points. They have only one win from twelve matches.
The lowest point of the season for the Blasters was their latest 6-1 thrashing at the hands of Mumbai City FC.
"Kerala Blasters and David James have decided to end their association on a mutual consent. The club would like to thank David for his efforts towards the team and wishes him all the very best in his career," said Kerala Blasters CEO Varun Tripuraneni in a statement released by the club on Tuesday.
What really worked against James was losing the support of the Kerala Blasters fans. Fans started boycotting home matches and took to social media to express their displeasure. The results weren't coming, his tactics were questioned and everything he did was up for debate and discussion.
A section of fans had called him clueless and cricticised the way he set his team up. Attendance fell into the eight thousand bracket for the last two home games which was a substantial drop.
Before the Mumbai loss, they had lost 1-0 to struggling Pune City as well. They were expected to beat a team who were struggling with injuries and suspensions. However, Kerala struggled to create chances and looked like a disjointed lot.
James has been put out of his misery now.
“I would like to thank the management, players and all the staff at Blasters for their support and friendship. I wish them all the best for the future. I am grateful to the supporters who stood by me. Thank you too, for making it a memorable experience," James was quoted in the club statement.
The club hasn't announced a new appointment and assistant coach Thangboi Singto is expected to take charge as interim coach.