Football India : What next after Bob Houghton?
We aren’t sure if Bob Houghton would be asked to leave. If that happens, it is going to be a disaster for Indian football solely because of the youth development project which he had initiated, will look like a rudderless ship.
It’s been five years now that we have seen much of the Englishman. He has many minuses but few pluses. It’s still not fathomable why he took half-injured players to Doha and thereby forced the AIFF to spend huge lot of foreign currencies on the various tours. What was the outcome of all these? There has been hue and cry within the Federation that it is the best time to show him the door.
But then, isn’t it too late a decision? Why at all the Federation kept quiet all these while? Today, role of a coach has become result-oriented. I understand that Bob has been able to put in something to streamline the system. But what will remain a mystery was the way he handled the national team for the Asian Cup campaign. He banked on players who weren’t fit. And he kept his unwavering faith, a decision which drew flak from all corners. Even while the Indian team was playing in Asian Cup, his unnecessary criticism on India and its football set up infront of the international media in Doha was something he could have avoided. After all, it was not the place to vent his frustration.
Much before this, his infamous spat with former manager Pradeep Chowdhury and his racial slur on an Indian referee shouldn’t become the valid reasons for the sack. The Federation would better ask him about the results. That makes footballing sense. After all, his presence has definitely since June 2006 has helped our game gain a marketing edge though it failed to capitalise on a confident start with two Nehru Cup wins.
Whoever replaces him, will definitely have his task cut out. After all, it is Indian football and there are too many cooks around who have already spoiled some good work done by the English coach.