By Jagannath Chatterjee
New Delhi– Former Indian football captain Bhaichung Bhutia feels that not all foreign coaches are tactically very strong and that even Indians could make for good tacticians provided they have the necessary skills to guide the team.
While not delving into the argument whether the current Indian coach, Croatia’s Igor Stimac, was the ideal tactician for the senior side, Bhutia told IANS that, “All foreign coaches are not bad and at the same time all foreign coaches are not great. The same is the case with Indian coaches.
“It depends upon under which coach (and) at what time you play. I was lucky to play under one or two foreign coaches who were extremely good like Bob Houghton. Similarly, I have played under some foreign coaches who were not good enough. Same is the case with Indian coaches. So, you cannot really differentiate,” he added.
“So let me finish it this way that, I have played under some foreign coaches who were not so great and also played under some who were wonderful.”
The former striker, who has seen the ups and downs in Indian football, the shift from Indian coaches to foreign coaches and from I-League to the Indian Super League (ISL), felt that though the Indian coaches knows the players, the climate and culture of the country better, it’s the technical expertise that keeps the foreign coaches ahead.
“Yes, they (Indian coaches) know the players, the conditions better but at the same time (they) need to be tactically very strong which they might not be,” felt Bhutia.
However, Bhutia said that the chairman of the All India Football Federation’s (AIFF) technical committee was best equipped to take a call on whether the coach should be an Indian or a foreigner.
“It’s up to whoever is in that position as technical committee chairman to take the decision whether it has to be an Indian or a foreign coach,” added Bhutia.
The ace footballer felt that whoever — Indian or foreigner — is the coach of the side he should have knowledge of the side and also the local conditions, which is the key.
“This is very important. I think the coach has to have a complete knowledge of football’s tactical side, local conditions (Indian conditions) and Indian players. So, this is very important.” (IANS)