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Indian hockey's real culprits, the selectors (7/3/2010)
--K. Arumugam
Indian hockey's real culprits, the selectors

Argentina’s humiliating defeat in the Football World Cup quarters again gives us a message – great players need not be equally great in coaching.

So what about great players becoming national selectors?

This question is prompted now because Indians at Humburg – who have conceded 11 goals in two matches, that is, for two humiliating defeats – have brought another speck of bad image to the country.

Who is responsible for this? I feel it is selectors because they selected the team this time against the will of the man who should be doing it, the coach Jose Brasa.

The selectors are great players, but not turned so whenever given responsibility to train or manage teams. India’s worst defeats came when they were at the helm of coaching or observers, managers or selectors.

They are there as the Selectors because the powers that be consider them amenable, to put it in metallurgical parlance, malleable and tactile. If they ask them to bend, they will kneel.

These selectors never let down their masters, but only the game that gave them a standing in the world, where they are demigods.

Some selectors in the present set up are so selfish that history comes to the mind. One fellow refused to play the World Cup because he was not made captain. When the World Cup team fared badly, and a couple of his rivals in the team were shown the doors, he gleefully returned to the side to lead an Asian Games – where India faced another humiliation. So, the legend cost India an Asian Games and a World Cup just for his own ego.

These are the players who place themselves before the nation, and they do it now also. The beauty of their personality is that they never take responsibility. They are so thick skinned that they never resign or regret whenever the team audaciously selected by them fail miserably.

There is one player when given opportunity to train a world cup team the rank it attained was 12th! Strictly speaking he should have never returned to hockey, but, as it happens in India, he is the face of hockey for the bureaucracy in India. He has been an observer for the stone age selection process.

Now what is their agenda? Certainly, it seems, not team’s interest but to see their masters are happy.

They have collectively seen to it that all the senior players who were in the forefront of national team’s Pre-World Cup coup are driven away one by one not from the national team. They have totally pleased their masters.

Brooding youngsters, experimentation and such words they use now are cliché, we are bored of them.

When there is a paid coach, who trusted India and came here to train its national team, how can somebody else select the team? How success can be attained in such a situation in which coach has no say?

When you pay him a hefty sum, let him work, fix responsibility, demand result. Why these selectors force him to be a spectator by de-motivating him and draining his energies on wastefuls. Now will he nor these bunch of jokers own responsibility for the Humburg Humiliation. Or, they are used to it.

I feel they knowingly or unknowingly want to create an impression that foreign coaches cannot deliver. Even after 30 years of total failure, these former greats feel only they can coach!!

Every Olympian who aspire to be a national coach is envious of foreign coach, just because he gets good sum for his services.

Administrators came and gone, we all berated them, castigated them, they faced public humiliation for their mis-deeds, but these bunch of selectors, who are real killers of Indian hockey, never faded away.

As long they serve other purposes than team’s interest, future of hockey will remain to be bleak.

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by 6Test22102010 6Test2 on 10/23/2010 8:23:01 PM
very true sir...
by Manoj Mahala on 7/4/2010 3:41:14 PM
its great to read your articles sir. Coach should have full power of selection and managing the team and he should be responsible for debacle also but only after giving him power and time to improve the system.
No hope
by Ajeet Singh on 7/4/2010 3:36:29 AM
We got rid of our best hope-Ric Charlesworth- because the idiots who run (or ruin) hockey and their idiotic puppet selectors could stomach a strong character who would question their crazy selections or decisions. We end up with Brasa, who is now being slowly but inexorably being ushered out of his job by being handicapped with players he doesn't want, denying him any access to other available talent (HI disputing the Nationals), denying him the equipment he wants and generally being obstructive. Only in India could you get the administrators of the game 'self-harming' as spectacularly as this. Why pay a coach a lot of money and then mess up all his plans by 'giving' him players he is not sure of....just plain stupid. Next we will Prabhjot and Chandi joining Sandeep in the team.

by Ajeet Singh on 7/4/2010 3:37:33 AM
I meant...'could NOT stomach a strong character'