AFC Asian Cup 2019: Twitter reacts as India coach Stephen Constantine leaves out Rahul Bheke in 34-man probables
- Erik Paartalu and Russell Osman were among those who were shocked by the omission.
The Indian football fraternity was in for a shock on Monday (December 11) when the Indian Super League (ISL), during its half-time show, released the Indian national football team's 34-man probables' list for the AFC Asian Cup.
While Soosairaj is still recovering from an injury, the omission of Bheke, who was incidentally named the Fans' Player of the Month for November, was a puzzling one.
Also read: Rahul Bheke gets worse than a raw deal
Many felt that coach Stephen Constantine has included players who do not deserve to be part of the 34-man list, while leaving out Bheke, a prospect for the Playing XI at the right-back position.
Among the 10 defenders named by Constantine in the squad, five are left-backs by trade while Pritam Kotal and Sarthak Golui are the only two right-backs.
Also read: Unpicked XI for India
Kotal is having a terrible season with Delhi Dynamos, who are lodged at the bottom of the table without a win in the ISL. Golui too has started only half of the games that FC Pune City have played.
Bheke, on the other hand, has played all 900 minutes for Bengaluru this season. He has registered two goals and an assist and has been really solid at the back for the Blues.
While those are his attacking stats, Bheke has made 27 tackles and 10 key interceptions for BFC.
He also accounts for 55 clearances and 15 blocks for the Blues, who have conceded the least amount of goals in the ISL (8). Not just that, BFC are the table-toppers in the ISL.
The 28-year-old is also a versatile player, which means that he can be employed at any of the four positions at the back for the national team.
He has consistently put in great performances for BFC in the last two seasons and yet Constantine decided to overlook him, prompting strong reactions from social media.
Bheke's teammate, Erik Paartalu was among those who criticized the selection process. ISL commentator Russell Osman too joined in.
Here are the top reactions from Twitter -
Many fans joined in the chorus too -