Sunil Chhetri (Photo credit score: Matthew Ashton/Getty Images)
NEW DELHI: A perennial downside in Indian soccer has been the shortage of goal-machines. While there have been stars like I.M. Vijayan, Bhaichung Bhutia and Sunil Chhetri, there has by no means been a pool to choose from. The final time India had a fearsome partnership was when Bhutia and Chhetri had been enjoying collectively. And Bhutia, the face of Indian soccer on the world map, believes it’s a trigger for concern.
Speaking to IANS, Bhutia not solely threw mild on the shortage of a striker who can fill Chhetri’s boots as soon as he calls it a day, but additionally stated that similar to in Indian cricket, former gamers can are available to make a distinction and assist Indian soccer develop from the grassroot stage.
Two names that instantly come to thoughts who may have shaped a compact partnership with present skipper Chhetri within the entrance half are Jeje Lalpekhlua and Balwant Singh. But each did not create the affect anticipated of them and Bhutia feels accidents did play a job.
“It is a big worry because after Chhetri there is nobody else. It is very difficult to answer why they (strikers in Indian football) are losing their way. Consistency, I think, is very important. Jeje suffered lots of injuries and now his age (29) is also not in his favour. However, Jeje has done a good job. I think it’s injury that is the main reason. Balwant also suffered because of injuries,” the previous India skipper stated.
Bhutia goes on so as to add that the 2 did not even get to play a lot resulting from their harm woes. “That is what I am saying, they didn’t get to play because of their injuries. But then it’s very difficult to say why they lost their ways. And I will say it is very important to be consistent,” he stated.
Does Bhutia really feel that the All India Football Federation (AIFF) can have a job to play in serving to produce strikers? The former striker feels there is not a lot that AIFF can do on this regard on the high stage.
“Federation can’t do much. Clubs are paying the salaries and they would want to win trophies and they want players to perform. Since the clubs are paying the salary, federation cannot tell them you have to play this or that player. They cannot say unless they are willing to pay their salaries,” he defined.
But making a pool may undoubtedly be an possibility feels Bhutia as a result of all of the golf equipment are going through this downside and there may be set to be a dearth in a top-quality striker as soon as Chhetri hangs his boots.
“Definitely, I think. Lack of strikers is a problem. It depends on the clubs because everyone is facing this problem. Yes, there will be (a dearth post Chhetri). It is a big worry because after Chhetri there is nobody else. We need to focus more on the strikers from the grassroot level. Special training program for strong attacking technic from the grassroot,” he defined.
Asked if the AIFF can observe the footsteps of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and get former gamers to return into the system similar to a Rahul Dravid (in command of the NCA and the India U-19 workforce) or Sourav Ganguly (BCCI President), Bhutia stated it could possibly be an possibility for certain. “If capable they should, why not? It’s not easy, it’s difficult. But if they can do it, they should come forward,” he signed off.