My friends, mostly non hockey-following, have been posing this question to me – ‘what’s happening with Indian hockey?’, and I am sick and tired of hearing this! I am sure though, that the whole country is asking the same!.
All I have to say is, What can you expect from a foreign coach? First he blamed the blue turf, now it’s the players who are his target.
Mr. Nobbs, I have some questions for you:
* “Blue turf..…too bouncy, cant convert pc’s”…..so whose fault is it? when you very well knew this change in turf for the Olympics, what/who stopped you from taking the team for pitch practice well in advance?
* “Players are awed at their first experience of Olympics”…….so who is to blame? Who made the decision to pack the team with younger players and drop all the experienced lot?
* “Players not doing what is asked of them”..…..really? What does that say about you? If even 25% of the time you spend with the media, was spent in actually coaching the team, they would have been more productive.
It is saddening to read what Nobbs has to say about our players; more so, to see that NONE have reacted to his articles. Watch his interview post the NZL match, he looks CLUELESS. All are missing a point here; Nobbs is/was very clear that he is an ‘outsider’, be it during the preparation or during the tournament. So, isn’t it high time that the federation appointed a local coach? Why cannot they select & train a probable list of 30 players, with the aim on the 2016 Olympics? That’s 4 years, a good 4 years of REAL coaching!.
If a commoner like me can think of a simple, straight forward strategy, why can’t the hockey federation in India do the same? Oh yes, I forget we have 2 groups here trying to claim that they are the ‘real’ authority in charge. Their egos are getting the better of the sport. God save my beloved game!.
Can you blame me for writing the above note???….read the excuses from Nobbs yourself:
22/7/2012: Nobbs slams the newly introduced blue turf for ‘being slow, bouncy and hampering penalty corners’.
“It’s a tough road ahead and I’m willing to stick my neck out, but people need to have patience and I need time,” Nobbs said.
“We still lack good finishing and that is the big problem.”
26/7/2012: “Anything better than a top-eight finish would be a bonus”, says Nobbs.
27/7/2012: ‘”Lack of experience worrying”
‘“It would have been good if Sachin Tendulkar had come to motivate the players.”
31/07/2012: – After losing to Dutch:
Coach Michael Nobbs said his players were “overwhelmed” by the situation and “could not play their natural game in the opening game”.
‘It is a poor umpiring, lack of big game experience & that indefinable thing called luck that contributed to our narrow 2-3 loss’.
3/8/2012: – After losing to NZL:
“I don’t know why the players are not doing what they have been instructed to?”.
“India were generally overawed in the first half due to inexperience”.
“The attitude of some players is disrupting India’s game and can’t figure out why the players are not able to follow the strategy that has repeatedly been explained to them and often practiced in the field.”
04/08/2012: – After losing to Germany:
“Are you up for the challenge, or are you all only happy getting the Olympian tag?’ Nobbs asks players.
“I don’t really understand why we are playing like this”.
“It seems they do not have the stomach to fight, the character to overcome challenges and the mental ability to survive against the best”.
“I am frustrated and very annoyed,”.
How I wish MOST of his statements were just team meeting pointers rather than news paper lines.
I know, after reading the article above, there would be a debate on who could be the right person to coach the Indian Hockey Team? But I feel its not only the coach, but also the system that needs some introspection. The bosses of Indian hockey, need to look into themselves, but does anybody know who the boss is? As mentioned in this article, we have two groups trying to claim the authority on Indian Hockey. Is it not hurting the game, players, Team India or all of them??
It is not just about the coach, it is about the state in which Indian Hockey is. An Indian coach may be more successful than a foreigner. But his selection should be on the basis of merit, his knowledge, not just being an Olympian or former captain of India. He has to be a given free hand to work with players and should be provided with the best facilities like any other foreign coach is provided.
Good Luck Indian Hockey 🙂
Courtesy: Times of India, Bangalore Mirror, fieldhockey.com and stick2hockey.com.