Football in Calcutta

#1 Jun 28th, 2013, 07:38
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#1
An article from the BBC website.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-22814837
#2 Jun 28th, 2013, 08:40
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India, ranked 150 in the world by football's governing body Fifa, is not exactly the first choice for Nigerian players. But Calcutta fans love them for their skills and their physical dominance on the pitch.
Why? Aren't Indian footballers physical or dominant on the field?
It's always darkest before it goes completely black.
#3 Jun 28th, 2013, 09:58
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Nice to finally something football related being discussed on IndiaMike.

And to answer Nadreg's question, short answer, No.

Long answer, Indian's do not have the body structure or the finesse to match the high work-rate African's or the skill based South Americans. Lot's of reasons for it, wrong body governing the sport in the country, football not considered worthy of playing, no finances to support infrastructure et all, lack of qualified coaches, no help with diet or physical development and the list just goes on and on.

Things are changing now though with Dutch coaches coming in and imparting their style of play. Kids are being tapped at the right age of 11-13 where it does happen across the globe. Football is not being taught in the archaic methods that every physical education teacher in school teaches.

That being said, having been a professional footballer myself and now a licensed coach, we're about 30 years behind competition. And it doesn't look good.
#4 Jun 28th, 2013, 10:23
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Well put. And I'm guessing the best athletes probably gravitate to the more popular sports like cricket or field hockey.

With so many other problems on the country, catching up to the rest of the world in football is the least of the worries.

That being said, the US is pumping a huge amount of $$$ into the sport and it hadn't paid off in returns.
#5 Jun 28th, 2013, 10:24
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Where did you play professionally?
#6 Jun 28th, 2013, 11:34
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Originally Posted by nadreg View Post Well put. And I'm guessing the best athletes probably gravitate to the more popular sports like cricket or field hockey.

With so many other problems on the country, catching up to the rest of the world in football is the least of the worries.

That being said, the US is pumping a huge amount of $$$ into the sport and it hadn't paid off in returns.
You've touched on a lot of sensitive points. I'll give you cricket. It's laughing all the way to the bank with the IPL and the ilk. Not even hockey anymore. Did you see how we fared in the World Super Series just recently. Wooden spoon out of 6 teams. I'm sure Dyanchand is rolling in his grave.

As for the other worries, every country has worries. And they'd still labour on. Just after the tsunami destroyed Japan, their women's team won the World Cup. It's grit and determination. Here parents don't care unless it's getting you a steady source of income, sport is just for that grade so that the school doesn't flunk you.

Lastly the investment was smart. For example, Belgium was a nobody till even 10 years ago. Today they have a squad on paper that matches Germany and Spain. What they do on the field may boil down to their lack of experience dealing with pressure cooker solutions. Still, they are doing mighty well. And to turn it around in 10 years is commendable. In the ongoing Federation Cup, Japan almost spanked Brazil and Italy, the big boys of football. Smart investments in grassroots of the game. This is where India lacks. After having got a sponsorship of 700 crores from IMG-Reliance, been 3 years now and now sight of the money. Where did it all go?

You say US but they still have developed it to that level that David Beckham and Juninho etc play there now. Even the National Team didn't fare too badly at the World Cup in South Africa.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nadreg View Post Where did you play professionally?
A Super Division Club in Pune.
#7 Jun 28th, 2013, 14:37
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Thanks dan bushell for reminding us of football and Mark Rodricks for those points.

As pointed out, it is a pity we have not moved forward from Dhyanchand for hockey and winning gold at first Asiad and the 4th place at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics for Football. We do not even get to hear much about volley ball and the like.

Even in the recent years, where I have seen the era of Kerala police and Sathyan and Jopol Anchery and I M Vijayan, I used to be hopeful of some magic happening and India at least qualifying to play in some major tournament. Today Kerala has been wiped out from the football map of India, not a single club in I-league. Then I started pinning hopes on a couple of football academies. And I think these football academies have indeed produced some exceptional talent. Anyway another good point that I note is having two teams from Meghalaya, where a very active local footballing culture is being nurtured, which is great.

I was never good enough to play professional football, but fondly remember the 'sevens' tournaments in Kerala that I have played. The excitement and competition of these matches are inexplicable. The matches are often played in fields prepared after the harvest. More reputed tournaments are played in proper football grounds. To aid more participation (as most of the players in the local tournaments would be amateurs, who have other stuffs in the day) the matches were often in the evening or under flood lights. If there was a sevens tournament nearby, seven of us would get together form a team, give it a fancy name (Boca Juniors being a favorite, thanks to Maradona). Some football crazy talents would be a part of more than 1 squad (this was also allowed). So we had the same players play for Boca Juniors and River Plate on the very same night. . Is sevens even legal now as per AIFF?
Hmm. Kolkata has some great five-a-side tournaments too.

I think people think of football as a very easy game, and do not recognize the pain and effort one puts in to polish the game to higher levels. People are not even as passionate now.

Well, let us hope things improve, and we get some better news from the football field.
#8 Jun 28th, 2013, 16:02
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Originally Posted by markrodricks View Post In the ongoing Federation Cup, Japan almost spanked Brazil and Italy, the big boys of football.

You say US but they still have developed it to that level that David Beckham and Juninho etc play there now.
A. Are you sure Confederation Cup now playing in Brazil ? I watched all the Brazil games. Brazil beat Japan 3-0. And now, stage set for Brazil-Spain final on Sunday

As to Beckham, how many games did he miss while on Galaxy roster in LA ? He was indeed an electrifying player on the field to watch, Alas, his best years were with Manchester United.
#9 Jun 28th, 2013, 16:45
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@ashyashwin

Good points there. You're right, Kerala football fizzled out after I M Vijayan and Anchery. Even with Chirag Kerala, when they team got relegated, they just got up and left.

And as for the "sevens" that's very famous in Kerala, a lot of coaches though have said it's one reason why Kerala players have stopped doing well barring a few. Even Derrick Pereira when asked about what players should do in the off season, he mentioned categorically to avoid playing this tournament.

And it is not AIFF approved btw.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashyashwin View Post I think people think of football as a very easy game, and do not recognize the pain and effort one puts in to polish the game to higher levels. People are not even as passionate now.
See this is where I would respectfully beg to differ. As of today, India have coaches certified by AFC and the FA like never before. And there are many more who are doing their coaching certifications.

Corporates are investing in the sport in the country and kids these days have options I could have never dreamt off being a kid. I myself run a campaign for Bayern Munich across the country with one of their principal sponsors and we look at about 45,000 kids per year across the country in the 14-16 age bracket that fight for those 5 positions to be in the Bayern Munich Academy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nycank View Post A. Are you sure Confederation Cup now playing in Brazil ? I watched all the Brazil games. Brazil beat Japan 3-0. And now, stage set for Brazil-Spain final on Sunday

As to Beckham, how many games did he miss while on Galaxy roster in LA ? He was indeed an electrifying player on the field to watch, Alas, his best years were with Manchester United.
Weren't we watching the same game? Yes Japan bottled it but due to defensive lapses. Till then Endo, Honda and Kagawa were tearing Brazil a new one

As for the final, so damn boring. Same old same old.

Well yes MLS had the capability to atleast pull Beckham and Juninho and the likes to play there. Australia managed to get Del Piero.

India couldn't even manage to get that Arsenal 2nd choice LB. Can't even recall his name now. The guy they signed from Man United?
#10 Jun 29th, 2013, 14:48
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#10
markrodricks please do continue writing on this thread.
talking football is a breath of fresh air - do continue ...
'talk' us through about indian football / 2014 WC / the EPL fervour / spanish league whatever it is you want
ashyashwin - you too

Quote:
Originally Posted by markrodricks View Post India couldn't even manage to get that Arsenal 2nd choice LB. Can't even recall his name now. The guy they signed from Man United?
silvestre ?


Bonucci caramba !
:brishti


US & Australia should be disqualified just for calling the game soccer
#11 Jun 29th, 2013, 14:50
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Originally Posted by markrodricks View Post

Weren't we watching the same game? Yes Japan bottled it but due to defensive lapses. Till then Endo, Honda and Kagawa were tearing Brazil a new one

Well yes MLS had the capability to atleast pull Beckham and Juninho and the likes to play there. Australia managed to get Del Piero.
After BR went up 1-0 the game was over Unfortunately in soccer, one does not get points for being threatening or talented - It is the Hand of God.

Beckham moved to the US for his celeb wife, and Junior went to play for Redbulls after he retired from International Soccer. It is like Pele playing for Cosmos - For the money. MLS cannot fill stadiums in the US on a regular basis like NCAA or NFL or Baseball can.
#12 Jul 1st, 2013, 10:31
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Thanks brishti, I hope more football discussions come up on this forum

And yes, Silvestre. My God that was troubling me.

@Nycank, Now we know Brazil beat Spain 3-0 so we know they were special. I'm just saying Japan got to that stage you know? We aren't even close. While they could fight it out, we'd roll over on our bellies. My point was the progress Japan has made and we've been stagnant. Japan just don't have the experience at the highest level and hence bottled it. Time will change that. They're on the right track.

Oh and Brazil beat Japan and Spain by identical margins? So Japan = Spain?

As for Beckham et all, US did have the money to invite them right? Whatever the reason of moving, it still did wonders for the maybe 4th choice sport in the US.
#13 Jul 1st, 2013, 11:11
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Originally Posted by markrodricks View Post @Nycank, Now we know Brazil beat Spain 3-0 so we know they were special. I'm just saying Japan got to that stage you know? We aren't even close. While they could fight it out, we'd roll over on our bellies. My point was the progress Japan has made and we've been stagnant. Japan just don't have the experience at the highest level and hence bottled it. Time will change that. They're on the right track.

Oh and Brazil beat Japan and Spain by identical margins? So Japan = Spain?

As for Beckham et all, US did have the money to invite them right? Whatever the reason of moving, it still did wonders for the maybe 4th choice sport in the US.
I never watch soccer on TV with audio color commentary on if I can help it. So my read of the game is different from that of someone watching in a bar with color audio in Spanish, or English. Today, Spain did not arrive. They went down 1-0 within 2 minutes, and never got into the game.

The Spain Japan comparison is silly - really Did you watch the Confederation Cup 2009 ? You know how Spain got its clock-cleaned, and you know by who ? That Final was really exciting - Alas neither of the Confederation Cup finalists made it to the finals.

As to Beckham, and US paying him monies, I hope you followed the trade carefully and the machinations that went with it. As they say - Beckham followed Gretsky to LA.
#14 Jul 1st, 2013, 11:28
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#14
A little off topic from the OP but heres an article that parallels Gretzky and Beckham in the US: http://www.lagconfidential.com/2011/...y-galaxy-kings
#15 Jul 1st, 2013, 11:48
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Thanks Nadreg for that. Good read.

This paragraph encapsulates beautifully what I was trying to say.

Quote:
Anyone who watches Beckham play can see what he brings to this team. His assists are worthy of being broken down and taught in academies. He may not have a cool nickname like "The Great One", but in him American soccer got exactly what it needed, exactly when it needed it.
And yes, that "soccer" and not "football" is cringeworthy.


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