Monday, August 13, 2012

What went wrong with Team India in the Olympics?

India's Olympics campaign turned to be complete disaster as it failed to win even a single match and finished in the last position in the Olympics. The team which promised to win Gold ( OR qualify for the semi-finals) failed to put up fight against any opponent and lost all the games played.

What went wrong Coach Nobbs?
So what really happened to the team which was expected to win a medal for the country? Why did India perform so badly? And what really went wrong with the Indian team in the Olympics?


Coach Nobbs who spent most of the time talking about team's fitness may be forgot to look at the other important aspects like passing, defending and India's biggest strength attacking. Let us look at every department of the Indian team and figure out what went wrong with it.


Midfield

What makes teams like Germany, Australia, Great Britain and Netherlands great? They have star studded midfield who have the ability to control the ball (possession), control the pace of the game and create opportunities for the strikers to score. In the Indian team which went to play the Olympics, midfield was virtually non-existent. We had only player in the team who had the ability to control the game (Sardara Singh) and he spend most of his time in the defense, trying to save Indian team from conceding. Indian team had no other player in the ranks who could control the midfield and create opportunities. There was a huge gap between the attacking line and the defensive line of the Indian team and the opponents took advantage of this situation and controlled the game. Lack of midfield meant we had to play the opponents game instead of playing our own game. Team that controls the possession usually goes on and wins the game, but Indian team rarely had possession, so there was no chance of Indian team winning the game.

Defense

In the era when most of the teams employ the tactic of zonal defense, where the objective is to win the ball without allowing to create goal scoring opportunities, Indian team still goes for traditional method of man to man marking which required lot of pointless running and trouble when the defender was beaten by the attacker. The opponents, employed zonal defending strategy and Indian players had no one to pass the ball and ended up giving the ball to opposition. Indian team when defended kept only one player to stop the opponent and they were easily beaten by the opponent. Its not just the style of defending that is the problem, since the retirement of Dilip Tirkey, Indian team has failed to produce any player who can defend. Indian team management (selectors) carried on with Sandeep Singh and Raghunath despite knowing the fact that they do not know defend. Once again the Olympics, Indian defense was in shatters with gifting goals and penalty corners to opponents as if it was Christmas. This was not the only thing that hurt the most. It was the fear of committing to tackles, that was most painful. The players, with the fear of getting hurt were afraid of make tackles which they were supposed to make, including the simple ones. Indian defense needs complete over hauling, if we are to reach among the top 6 teams of the world.

Attack

What was supposed to be India's strongest point in the Olympics? The Indian attack. But the people who watched Indian team play were in absolute shock when they saw totally ineffective Indian attack. The players who consider themselves as 'double' of Dhanraj Pillay were in their own world. The attackers failed to pass the ball to the each other and carried on individually like Dhanraj Pillay used to do. The Indian team only attacked from the flanks and there was no activity from the team in the middle of the turf. Out of 55 mtrs width allotted to the team, the team only utilized 5 mtrs on each side of the field and rest other was not used at all. Also, Indian attack had only one weapon in their arsenal in which was hitting the ball from the flanks with a hope that someone would intercept and put the ball in the goal. Indian attack failed to show any creativity and did not even earn enough penalty corners. In the last couple of games, the Indian attack cut our a sorry figure with no energy and intent in the play.

Passing

Indian style of hockey which relies in individual brilliance of the player, does not focus much on passing, and if the pass is to be made, it relies on long passes instead of small passes. Indian hockey team used passing as the last resort instead of making it a priority. First the players did not pass the ball at the first opporutnity available and instead kept on running, till there was no way forward and lost the ball. If they passed, the passes were long which were cut by the opponents. So first, India has to learn to pass and then and only then we can think about short or long passing.

Fitness

Team's fitness was talk of the town when Indian team went to London. Everyone from the coach and the players were talking about how fit the team was as compared to earlier Indian teams (promising to flash their abs, if they win). Indian players did manage to play 70 mins on the play, but even with all that fitness talk, the players were out of energy. Being fit means being on their toes for whole 70 mins of the game, but this was not the case with the players. Even if the fitness of the players improved, they team was slow as compared to other teams and could not challenge the opposition. All these fitness drills had taken the toll on players bodies and the players were visibly tired in the second game itself.

Indian team's planning, playing style have gone totally wrong the Olympics and it will take a lot of time for the Indian team to get back on the track. To get back on the track, Indian team needs to sort out the basics first. Lets hope the Indian players learn to play hockey and then we may see some positive results from the Indian team.

(Image Source: Google Images)

India should have defended instead of attacking the Olympics. Read my blog post written by me before the Olympics Why India should park the bus

Up next: Five players who deserve boot from Indian team after disastrous campaign

2 comments:

  1. I LIKED THE ARTICLE ITS WONDERFUL ASSESSMENT OF INDIAN HOCKEY  TEAM DEBACLE IN LONDON OLYMPICS .  I MAY ADD AND HAD WRITTEN IN MY FACE BOOK THAT TEAMS TRAINING PLAN HAS FAILED . THE Tour AND PARTICIPATION IN PRE -OLYMPIC COMPETITIONS WAS NOT A  WISE DECISION AS THE TEAM HAD ACHIEVED THE PEAK FORM BEFORE ARRIVED IN OLYMPICS IN LONDON. WHAT EVER  CREDIT THE M  NOBBS THE COACH HAD EARNED IN DELHI QUALIFYING TOURNAMENT WAS  A FLASH AND THE TEAMS APPETITE TO QUALIFY. THE TEAM WAS IN PEAK FORM.
    MY HEARTIEST GREETINGS AND CONGRATULATIONS .

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  2. nobes tried his best he trained them well but on field players have 2 perform but its a sad saga hw we played .the big failour of sandeep hurt us badly  only sardara played up to his potential,s 75% eles were not well ,but its not the end lets hope we rock in the next tournament come on india!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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