Archive for the ‘Indian Football’ Category

Armando Colaco

According to a report in Times of India today, Dempo SC Head Coach Armando Colaco has been appointed as Interim Coach of the Indian National Football Team by the All India Football Federation. Thus, the Indian Team will train under Colaco prior to their 2014 World Cup Qualifier matches against UAE. Colaco is regarded as one of the best Indian coaches, transforming Dempo SC into regular I-league contenders and leading them to an AFC Cup Semi Final in 2008. Mr.Colaco will be temporarily incharge until the AIFF finalises a foreign coach for the National Team

Source: Times of India

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This week we will be analysing Roman Abrahimovich’s Chelsea. The pensioners have come under great scrutiny this season following a disastrous campaign that saw them falling behind arch rivals Manchester united and Arsenal in the league and being knocked out of Europe and the FA cup.

Torres

Record Signing of Fernando Torres from Liverpool for £50 million posed more problems for Chelsea than it has solved and Carlo Ancelloti is the bookies favourite to face the sack in the summer but is it right to put all the blame over Ancelloti’s shoulders? Ancelloti was the mastermind behind Chelsea’s double last season, an incredible feat to achieve considering the level of competition that exists in the premier league. Then how can he loose his managerial abilities in a year? The reason for Chelsea’s poor performance this season is down to the fact that Ancelloti does not have full control over Chelsea’s transfer activities. How can a manager succeed if he is not allowed to build the squad the way he wants to? On top of that an unrealistic level of expectation of winning the treble with a squad that is ageing and needs heavy reinforcement.

Despite their revival in the last weeks of the season, their failure to sustain their winning form consistently highlighted the need for change in the squad. The lack of stability in club management recently has also affected player performances. I feel if Ancelloti is given time and freedom, he is the best man to lead Chelsea to the holy grail of champions league trophy.
Chelsea still has one of the best squad in the league but most of the players are entering their twilight and the club needs to plan for the future. Fernando Torres has come under enormous criticism but I strongly believe it’s only a matter of time before he rediscovers his lethal goal scoring form just like Wayne Rooney has done recently for man utd. David Luiz will add steel and skill to an already solid defence marshalled by John Terry. What Chelsea lack is a pacy natural right winger and a quality right full back. Here are some of the players we think Chelsea should sign in the summer –

WINGER

Chelsea’s lack of width at times has been a major reason in their failure to pick up points during mid-season.

JESUS NAVAS
AGE- 25
ESTIMATED COST- £15-20 MILLION

Jesus Navas

The skillful winger is an integral part of Sevilla and has consistently been one of the best wingers in the La Liga. He can play on both wings and his trickery and direct style dribbling  will make him a hit in the Premier League. The only thing which could scupper the deal is his homesickness problem which stalled his transfer to Chelsea in 2006.

RENATO AUGUSTO
AGE- 23
ESTIMATED COST- £18-20 MILLION
Renato Augusto has been in scintillating form for Bayern Leverkusen and a move to a big club in future is inevitable. Primarily a winger but he can also play behind the striker.

AARON LENNON
AGE-24
ESTIMATED COST- £20 MILLION
Aaron lennon will be a very good signing for Chelsea. Lennon has the ability to terrorize any defence on his day with his pace and directness. He will add a new dimension to Chelsea’s attack which is often criticised for lack of pace.

FULL BACK

Chelsea’s full backs barring the mercurial Ashley Cole have been woeful at times and the imbalance between the two wings is apparent. Replacing Bosingwa is a priority.

Davide Santon

DAVIDE SANTON
AGE-20
ESTIMATED COST- £ 15-17 MILLION
A young and talented right back playing at Cesena (On Loan from Inter) who is very good going forward and is solid in defending. Can also play as a left back therefore providing cover for Ashley cole. He was a revelation under Mourinho at Inter but has since fallen off the radar ever since his departure.

DARIJO SRNA
AGE- 28
ESTIMATED COST- £15-20 MILLION
The experienced right back is one of the best attacking wingbacks in Europe. A dead ball specialist with amazing crossing ability, someone who can provide ideal ammunition for Torres and Drogba.

MARTIN KELLY
AGE-20
ESTIMATED COST- £8-10 MILLION

Kelly

A product of Liverpool’s youth academy, Kelly is one of the major upcoming talents of England. Very solid defensively and equally dangerous going forward with his energetic overlaps.

Lukaku

Chelsea also need to sign long term replacements for Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard. Romelu Lukaku will be an ideal long term replacement for Drogba while Christian Eriksen of Ajax has been earning rave reviews and a move to a bigger league is on the cards.

We also have a list of potential managerial candidates if Ancelloti is sacked in the summer :

FRANK RIJKAARD

The former Barcelona manager is undoubtedly one of the best managers in the world. Rijkaard knows what it takes to win the Champions League which should make him an ideal candidate for the Chelsea hot seat.

JURGEN KLOPP

Jurgen Klopp and his Borrusia Dortmund have taken the Bundesliga by storm this season and won the title with games to spare. Considering the resources at his disposal, Klopp has done a fantastic job and deserves all the plaudits coming his way. Definitely on his way to a big club.

GUUS HIDDINK

Guus Hiddink

Guus Hiddink is a master of man management and knows how to handle pressure well. Tactically sound and also familiar with Chelsea, he is an ideal candidate for the post. The only problem is that he is not too keen to manage a club at the age of 66.
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East Bengal will look to end their 2011 AFC Cup Campaign on a high when they take on Indonesian outfit Persipura Jayapura at the Yuva Bharati Krirangan in Kolkatta today.

East Bengal are unbeaten at home, however having picked up 2 points in 5 games, they are virtually out of the AFC Cup.

“We will rest four or five players… But I haven’t decided yet and will know only tomorrow (Tuesday). We have other games (I-League) also coming up,” East Bengal coach Trevor James Morgan said referring to their crucial I-League encounter against Dempo SC on the 15th of May.

East Bengal are missing a few key players . Penn Orji and Tolgay Ozbey are suffering from injuries while Mehtab Hossain is serving suspension and Saumik Dey will be missing the game due to personal reasons.

The Indonesian side breezed past East Bengal 4-1 in the first leg. They are tied at 10 points with Chonburi FC and will look to win to top the group.

With Bob Houghton resigning on Saturday evening,  Indian Football is at a crossroads again as to who will be the next man to try and take the game forward in the country. Sources say that the All India Football Federation (AIFF) will again look for a foreign coach to take over but after the fiasco surrounding Houghton’s resignation, will anyone actually come forward?

We take a look at some of the candidates in the running for the job:-

1.) Philippe Troussier

Philippe Troussier

The 56 year old former French footballer nicknamed the,”White Witch Doctor” is known for his astonishing success with African Club teams such as Asec Abidjan and the national teams of Nigeria, South Africa and Bukina Faso. He has experience of coaching in Asia as well as the Head Coach of the Japanese National team from 1998-2002, a period in which they won the 2000 AFC Asia Cup, 2nd in the FIFA Confederations Cup and reached the round of 16 in the 2002 FIFA World Cup.

Troussier, if appointed, will definitely provide a sense of excitement to both players and fans of the Indian Football team. However, after the controversies surrounding Indian Football in the last year, he might be wary of taking the job.

Troussier was linked with the job after the 2011 Asian Cup when some AFC officials allegedly recommended him to AIFF officials.

2.) Karim Bencherifa

Karim Bencherifa

The ex-Churchill Brothers and Mohun Bagan coach and current Salgaocar SC coach has been extremely successful in the I-League with each club he’s headed. He’s turned I-League struggler’s Salgaocar into Championship contenders and is very highly thought of by the AIFF. His strong connections with players India and familiarity with the facilities available will give him an advantage. He has also unearthed some hidden gems like R.Vashum and Robert Lalthamla who will be future stars for the National team.

3.) Armando Colaco

The current Dempo SC coach is one of the most successful coaches in India. He’s transformed Dempo into the top club in India and has even led them to the AFC Asia Cup Semi-Finals in 2008.

Sunil Chetri and Baichung Bhutia, the two icons of Indian Football, reacted with disappointment and shock to Bob Houghton’s resignation last night. Bhutia was distressed by the news and called Houghton the “best coach he had worked under”. He also stated that the allegations of racism leveled against Bob Houghton were completely baseless.

AFC Challenge Cup Winners

Bhutia believes whoever comes in next to become the Head Coach of the Indian Football team will have a hard time stepping into Bob Houghton’s shoes because of the success enjoyed under him.

Bob Houghton resigned on Saturday evening, ending a 5 year tenure which brought India 3 trophies and put them back on the Asian stage by playing in the AFC Asia Cup after 27 years.

Bob Houghton’s roller coaster ride as Indian football coach came to an abrupt end on Saturday  after a bitter stand—off with the AIFF, which had charged him with racism.

A press release from the AIFF said that the racial abuse charges against Houghton have been dropped due to lack of concrete evidence. The coach has decided to quit due to personal reasons.

Nothing has been said about the compensation due to Mr. Houghton as his contract was due till 2013.

Bob Houghton with Bhutia

Under Bob Houghton, the Indian team has been very successful winning two Nehru Cups, an AFC Challenge Cup but most importantly qualifying for the AFC Asian Cup 2011 for the first time in 27 years where they showed glimpses of brilliance.

Houghton’s final assignment was a successful one with India qualifying for the AFC Challenge Cup 2012 in style, topping their group.

Houghton was one of the most popular Indian coaches with both fans and players supporting him and his resignation has left them fearing the worst.

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) released a press statement today stating that the federation has taken “strong exception” to Sunil Chhetri’s remarks against the National Federation on the issue of Nation Team Coach Bob Houghton via twitter. AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das condemned Chhetri’s statement and said, “The AIFF is extremely perturbed and concerned that National Team players are making such unnecessary comments relating to AIFF’s functioning and on the issue of coach Bob Houghton as well.”“The matter will certainly be discussed at AIFF’s next Executive Committee meeting and action may be taken, if necessary.”

Sunil Chhetri

On Tuesday Sunil Chhetri tweeted:  “thinking and analysing everyt. that bob has done for us,infact football in india, can’t thank him enough!it ll be a shame if he has to leave N even worse,we charge him for racism, havnt seen a gentleman like him,leave behind d world class coaching n vast knowledge…sorry bob!”

Sunil Chhetri has been at the center of the support Bob Houghton enjoys with the National players and staff and his outburst condemning the AIFF has not gone unnoticed by the authorities.