‘Robbie Fowler gives me freedom to play’ – East Bengal’s midfield maestro Matti Steinmann is loving life in the ISL

Matti Steinmann’s signing at the beginning of the season created quite a hype among East Bengal fans as a 26-year-old player, who had the experience of playing in the Bundesliga, joined the club in their maiden season in the Indian Super League (ISL).

As the season is coming to an end and the Red and Golds have played 17 out of their 20 league stage matches, it is safe to say that the hype around Steinmann was not misplaced.

The German midfielder has been one of the club’s best players this season. He is their top scorer with four goals in 15 matches and has three assists, the most in the squad. He has also played the third-highest number of passes in the team, 646.

The statistics speaks for itself and gives a clear picture of how the German midfielder has been an influential figure in the East Bengal team this season.

The 26-year-old player said that he has enjoyed his stay in the ISL and but he would have been happier if his team were in a better position on the league table. East Bengal are currently ninth on the table.

“It has been exciting,” Steinmann told Goal. “We have played 17 games now and obviously, I would have hoped for a better outcome. I think the points we have got are not good enough. But otherwise, it has been exciting. It is a new league, new fans and I have learned so many new things.”

Robbie Fowler, East Bengal vs Kerala Blasters

The former German youth international spoke about how he has enjoyed playing under a name like Robbie Fowler, who has had an illustrious career in football.

“The first couple of weeks were tough after having a short pre-season. It was a new team and new coaching staff, and it was the first year of the club in the ISL, so it was difficult initially. But I think we have improved a lot since the start.

“(Robbie Fowler) He has a lot of experience and he was a great player back in the days. So, it is a great experience for me to train under his coaching. He knows how football works and has a lot of experience in football. It is exciting to play under him.”

Being a central midfielder, the German is not used to scoring too many goals. In fact, he could not recollect the last time he had scored four goals in a season but at East Bengal, he is enjoying the role of a goal scorer. In fact, he also thanked Robbie Fowler for giving leeway to express himself in attack as well.

“The last time I scored four goals was back when I was playing in the youth teams or maybe for the second team at Hamburg. I don’t remember exactly. But I am playing higher on the pitch here. Robbie (Fowler) gives me more freedom to play offensive football. It suits me well, and I am enjoying it so far, and I am very happy to score some goals,” expressed the German.

East Bengal vs Hyderabad

East Bengal’s chances of making it to the play-offs this season are extremely thin and the German player admitted that their job is difficult but he is in no mood to give up until the equation becomes mathematically impossible.

“It is going to be very tough. After a very tough start, it is difficult to reach the play-offs but we still believe in it. We have to make the most out of it, we have improved a lot throughout the season. The chances are still there but it is going to be very tough. We are dependent on the other results which makes it even more difficult but we will try and make the most out of the remaining games,” said the East Bengal midfield maestro.