Jun 16, 2013

Is Michael Nobbs Right Man To Lead India?

The lousy performance continues, after 4 all draw against 16th place ranked Ireland, Indian hockey team succumbed to a defeat against Olympics silver medalist Netherlands. With one defeat and a draw, Indian team is at the bottom of the Pool B with match against New Zealand left in the group stages. Since the drubbing in London Olympics, many things have changed in the Indian team, the players, the management and the training techniques, but one thing that has not changed even after that disaster is the tactics which points to one man- Michael Jack Nobbs.
Is he the right man for India?

The contract of Jose Brasa was not renewed because Hockey India thought that Brasa who led Spain women team to Olympics gold had nothing else to add to Indian hockey after guiding the team to silver in Commonwealth Games and bronze in Asian Games. In came, Michael Nobbs with no experience in international hockey whose only highlight so far has been guiding India to Gold medal in the inaugural Asian Champions Trophy.
Since Brasa's departure the performance of Indian team has gone only one way- downwards. It has been two years since his appointment, but Michael Nobbs has nothing to show off in his CV except failure of Indian team. While the teams like New Zealand and Belgium have leapfrogged Indian team during last 2-3 years the likes of Netherlands and France have given India a tough competition all over.

Main reason for Michael Nobbs appointment was to introduce Australian style of play in India which is said to be similar to Indian style hockey. He was bought to ensure that Indian play with Australian style of hockey and become world beaters, but exactly two years on, India is no way near that. The team has gone two steps backward instead of taking steps forward. Looking at the performance in the semi-final leg of Hockey World League, it looks bunch of guys forced to mechanical hockey instead of hockey players using their brains and playing with flair and excitement.

Since Coach Nobbs appointment, all the flair that Indian hockey was known for has evaporated while the defense has not improved one bit. The current lot of Indian strikers are still using the same tactic of hitting the ball from the flanks despite knowing the result of that tactic very well. Why aren't they following Australian team strategy over there and using variations in attacking? The defense has not improved a bit and not to add the pathetic state of penalty corners. From the most feared trio of penalty corners, Indian experts have become the weakest in the world which was evident from the 4 penalty corners earned against Netherlands.

While selectors and Hockey India thought Jose Brasa could not add anything to the Indian team, Michael Nobbs has not added anything to the Indian team last two years except the wooden spoon in the Olympics. The only thing that Michael Nobbs is focusing on is the fitness of the players but as a coach he should know, fitness of players is not everything and tactics play a major role in hockey.

Whatever anyone might say in the defense of Michael Nobbs, the point is he has done absolutely nothing to improve Indian hockey. Under his guidance, the defense has not improved, the attack has weakened and the penalty corner conversion have gone down drastically, and Hockey India having to introduce Roelant Oltmans to overlook the performance.

So, with two years and all those flays, can he really be a right choice for Indian team when you have legendary Roelant Oltmans by the side?

P.S- After the Olympics, Shivendra Singh blamed Michael Nobbs for poor performance of India and later retracting from that statement. What if he really meant that?

1 comment:

  1. not at all he is a suberb coah team has improved a lot but on the field he cant perform instead of team they have to perform !!!!!!1