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The Story of a 'BIG IF'

Why didn’t Mr. Wim Koevermans include players like Lalrindika Ralte, Subhash Singh, Anwar Ali and Sanju Pradhan into the squad for the AFC challenge cup qualifiers? Why was there no training-cum-exposure trip before the AFC Challenge cup qualifiers,as we had during Bob Houghton’s reign?Why the starting XI had only one striker despite having Jeje Lalpekhlua in the team?Why Alwyn did’nt feature in the starting XI despite his superb game play which we noticed during the game against Palestine?Why Gouramangi Singh not being axed from the squad after so many repeated failures?Why was Rowilson Rodrigues not given a place in the team?Even the great talented players like C.K Vineeth and Lalkamal Bhowmick were simply the bench warmers in Myanmar.I feel,if some of my above mentioned questions were taken care of, then we would have seen Team India way ahead of their group members.Their fate would not have been hanging in a thread like it is at the moment.We need to wait till the end of March and see if India manages to finish in the top two among the second placed teams in their respective groups.I say,if the same selection procedure would continue then India can never improve.How many times the coach would experiment with the starting XI?Why can’t he choose the best players for the starting XI?Why was there no practice matches before the Myanmar tour against quality oppositions?

A BIG ‘IF’ still continues to haunt the Indian Football fans.If there was a good playing XI,we could have easily made it to the final eight at Maldives.If in place of  Maldives,had India got the opportunity to host the challenge cup then these weaknesses would not have been noticed by anyone.Why only India repeats its mistakes?Being the host nation,later we would have been thrashed by teams like Afghanistan and Palestine.But it was not the case.Still,what was expected by the team,was not ultimately achieved.

Even after the first match,the coach was so happy about the result.It was a big shame that we luckily manged to win that match and after that match also,there was no new strategy adopted by the coach.There is a Technical Director in place but still we don’t see any convincing developments in Indian Football.

Earlier also,I have mentioned in my articles that the only department where we need to focus and work a lot is the defense. I’ve even mentioned that Harmanjot Singh Khabra and Robin Singh can be trained as quality defenders.It was unlucky that Sandesh Jhingan got ruled out due to injury just before the Myanmar tour and it was also unlucky for Rowilson Rodrigues that he never got a place in the starting XI,I think,he’s is better than Gouramangi.The coach has also not manged to handle the midfield well.The talent which we have at present was not there four-five years back.We have Clifford Miranda, Lalrindika Ralte, Jewel Raja Sheikh, C.K. Vineeth, Mehtab Hossain, Alwyn George, Lalkamal Bhowmick, Lenny Rodrigues, Izumi Arata, Sanju Pradhan (even Subhash Singh can come in handy in the Midfield).

According to me,the idea of a single striker can only be fruitful if the the midfield is full of fire power. To give my opinion,I would love to have Clifford Miranda, C.K. Vineeth, Lalrindika Ralte, Mehtab Hossain and Alwyn George in the starting XI for the midfield.These players not only play intelligent football but at the same time they are full of stamina and footballing skills.

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