Ekendra Singh became the latest Indian coach to get fired this season and Sporting Club de Goa have roped in a Spanish coach, Oscar Barreras to guide the team further. After Santosh Kashyap and Sanjoy Sen were asked to resign in favor of foreign coaches, one wonders if the Indian coaches are taken seriously anymore. Despite the fact that barring two occasion it is the IndianAi??coachesAi??who have led their team to theAi??triumph, the Indian coaches have been given a raw deal. TheHardTackle takes stock of the situation and analyzes the reasons for this trend.

Karim Bencherifa’s appointment has not changed a lot of things at Bagan and one wonders if Santosh Kashyap was actually to be blamed. The Bagan team looks still out of sort and has not been able to string passes and probably sticking to Santosh Kashyap would have helped the team. Karim Bencherifa is trying to bring in a new system which will no doubt require time. Mohun Bagan officials should have given more time to Kashyap and one feels that Kashyap has been given a raw deal.

Similar story holds true for Ekendra Singh who had a lot of injury troubles to deal with right from the start. Adil Khan was injured so were the foreign duo ofAi??Keita Boubacar and Ogba Kalu. The new recruit Bong Bertand had to be released early on whileAi??Seiya Sugishita and Anorue Obiora were brought on late in the season. Sporting played a couple of games at the start of the season with no foreign players and yet despite lackingAi??consistencyAi??had some good results to show. Ekendra Singh probably could have down better had these things not happened.

Sanjoy Sen – Given a Raw Deal by Prayag

Sanjoy Sen led Prayag to a creditable finish last season and Prayag had a decent beginning in this season but with the largeAi??amount ofAi??moneyAi??pumped during the pre-season, it was felt by the PrayagAi??managementAi??that aAi??foreignAi??coach could lead the team toAi??successAi??and henceAi??Eelco Schattorie was roped in.Ai??Eelco Schattorie began his campaign with a 10-1 thumping of United Sikkim but since then the team has struggled. A late winner gave them a win over Arrows but they failed to beat the Salgaocar Ai??in a home match that ended in a 1-1 draw. Salgaocar defense has been one of the weakest but Prayag struggled to get a break-through. The match also witnessed an irritated Carlos Hernandez refusing to take his place on the bench after being substituted. The downfallAi??continuedAi??in the next two rounds as the big spending club lost toAi??ChurchillAi??Brothers and relegationAi??threatenedAi??Mumbai FC.

One wonders if sticking to Sanjoy Sen who knew each and everything about the players was the better choice as it is clearly evident that the new coach is taking a lot of time to settle down. When Sanjoy Sen left Prayag were three points adrift of the league leaders and now they find themselves 11 points adrift after round 10. It is interesting to see if Prayag managment takes any decision after club’s third succesive deafeat. This is what Sanjoy Sen had said after his resignation

We could not do well in this year’s Federation Cup and I take the responsibility for that failure. But we were in a very strong position in the I-League just three points off leaders Dempo SC. I don’t think you can judge anything on the basis of just four matches. You need to realise that success is a process and it takes time

With the exceptions ofAi??Zoran Djordevic who won the I-League with Churchill in 2008-09 season and Karim Bencherifa who won with Salgaocar in the 2010-11 season, Indian coaches haveAi??triumphedAi??on all occasions. A lot of foreign coaches have come and gone but few have been successful. Trevor Morgan is another coach among the current crop of foreign coaches who has beenAi??successfulAi??with Ai??East-Bengal but even he is yet to win I-League.

One reason that has often been cited by clubAi??managementsAi??is that foreign coaches areAi??technicallyAi??gifted and are better at man-management. However, the important thing to realize is that the number of foreign players is restricted to three and it is more important to gel with the local player andAi??Ai??understand the local conditions , something at which the Indian coaches hold an edge. Armando Colcao’ s success at Dempo is a glittering example of that. Armando’s tactical acumen, hisAi??abilityAi??to hold and gel with Indian players and keep the foreign players grounded show that even Indian Coaches can do marvels if given adequate time.

On the field I-League leaders Dempo taught Prayag United a footballing lesson as they handed the Kolkata side a 3-1 defeat. In a fast-paced match it was Prayag who looked the better side at the start andAi??deservedly took the lead when Ranti Martins scored against his old club.Ai??Joaquim Abranches was introduced in the first half after Dempo conceded a goal and the young striker had anAi??immediateAi??impact as he earned a free-kick. Sueoka headed home from the resulting Clifford Miranda free-kick to level the scores. Dempo looked the better side in the second half and added two more goals through Peter Carvalho and Climax Lawrence with Rohan Ricketts bagging assists on both the occasions. Prayag tried hard with Carlos Hernandez tested Dempo goalkeeper with a couple of long-rangers but Dempo hung for the victory.

Other Matches

The round kicked-off with the North-East derby where United Sikkim hosted Shillong Lajong. The much anticipated match failed to generate too much excitement and it ended in a goal-less draw , a result which both the sides would be contented with. Central defenderAi??Minchol Son and goal-keeper Ralte were the standout performers for Lajong whileAi??Attivi and Michael RodrAi??guez shown for the hosts.Ai??Nathan Hall would be taking charge of United Sikkim form next matchAi??own-wards.

Oscar Bruzon ‘s first match in-charge of Sporting club de Goa saw the Flaming Oranje come from 2-0 down in the first half to eke out a 2-2 draw against ONGC in Delhi. ONGC have troubled the best of teams in Delhi and took a 2-0 lead with goals from Eric Brown andAi??Ai??Keniston. JapaneseAi??midfielder Yusa Katsumi who returned from a match’s suspension was in the thick of things for the institutional side. Midfielder Jovel Martins was the star for the Goan side as he earned a penalty that Kalu converted and also set up the second goal forAi??Seiya Sugishita.

Team of The Round

The much awaited Kolkata Derby ended on a sour note with Mohun Bagan staging a walk-out after the first half. In a dramatic turn ofAi??events, East Bengal took the lead in the 42nd minute through Harmanjot Khabra but problem started when Odafa Okolie protested a decision that went in East-Bengal favor. Odafa showed extreme dissent and hence was red-carded which saw Bagan playersAi??surroundAi??the referee. In the middle of all this a rock thrown by the fans hit Syed Rahim Nabi on the head and he had to be taken off in an ambulance. When the play resumed after the half-time , the Bagan team refused to come out citing law and order reasons and the match was called off. Nabi is out of danger now but will be missing out for almost two months. It remains to be seen what sort of punishment is dished out by AIFF for this incident.

Air-India bagged the bragging rights in Mumbai derby as they thumped an in-form Mumbai FC 4-1 to revive their season. Skipper Micky Fernandes put in an inspired stuff in the center of the park to lead his side to victory. Henry Ezeh scored the opener while Micky scored the second from a stunning volley before Yakabu pulled one back just before the half-time. Goals from midfieldersAi??Vijith Shetty and Souvik Chakrabarty sealed the much needed win for the Air-men while Khalid Jamil and his team need to go back to the drawing board.

Pune FC sealed a 2-0 win over Salgaocar FC who were playing without any foreignAi??strikerAi??upfront as Sean Rooney had been released before the game. After a barren first half , substituteAi??Khangthang Paite, who is on loan from East-Bengal, scored a brace to earn full points for the Red Lizzards. Pune FC had the lion’s share ofAi??possessionAi??and looked the better side withAi??Karma Tsewang and Douhou Pierre leading the play from the midfield. Salgaocar remained at the second-last spot andAi??desperatelyAi??need to get their act together to avoid further slip-ups.

In the last match of the today Churchill Brothers continued their impressive run as they defeated a lack-luster Pailan Arrows side 3-0 thanks to a goal from Bineesh Balan and a brace from Beto , one of which wasAi??assistedAi??by Balan. Playing without their inspirational defender BilalAi??Najjarin, Churchill Brothers managed to keep the Arrows strike-force ofAi??Holicharan Narzary and Alwyn George under check. Churchill have adopted a 4-3-3 formation in recent times and have played an attractive brand of football which has yielded positive results for the team and this result has taken them to the second spot behind Dempo.

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2 Responses to “Indian Football: Are Foreign Coaches More Successful in I-League?”

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  1. Dr. Cajetan Coelho says:

    Foreign players are more successful in the I-League. Foreign coaches that come to ply their trade in some of our Indian I-League clubs cannot be blamed for not being someone like say an Alex Ferguson, a Jose Mourinho, Vicente del Bosquez, a Pep Guardiola, Arsene Wenger, Louis van Gaal, Roberto Mancini, Rafael Benitez, Jurgen Klinsmann, Luis Felipe Scolari, Carlo Ancelotti and their elite rivals and fellow competitors in Portugal, Spain, Italy, France, England, The Netherlands and Germany.

    India is producing some astute football coaches. Sanjoy Sen is certainly one of the best we have seen in recent years. Bengal’s Subrata Bhatacharya is another top name. Pune’s Derrrick Pereira looks good to take on the very best in the country. Mahesh Lotlikar, Mariano and former India captain Mauricio are as good as any in the available pool in the country.

    Dempo’s Armando Colaço is certainly India’s best ever and most successful team builder and winner of maximum accolades. New comers both foreign and Indian may take ages to match, equal or overtake what Armando has achieved so far during his illustrious career as manager of Dempo Sports Club playing in Goa, India and Asia.