I-League 2011-12 - General Discussion thread

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  • namewtheldnamewtheld Kolkata5595 Points
    Tehran is not as dominant as it used to be, however, as power has drifted increasingly to Isfahan. For Isfahan in Iran, read Goa in India. Since the formation of the I-League in 2007 to give the country a professional top tier, it has been all about the former Portuguese enclave on the south-western coast. Churchill Brothers and Dempo took the early titles and, in 2011, even Salgaocar got in on the act. All the while, the two giants at the opposite end of the subcontinent have gone without. East Bengal did finish in second at the end of last season under Morgan so perhaps it wasn't a big surprise when Mohun Bagan, who had finished way off the pace in sixth, also decided to go the English way.

    Darby's remit was simple if ambitious: to restore the club, formed in 1889, to its perch as number one in the city, the country and, ideally, make headway in Asia. If it happens, it won't be Darby's doing. After just two months in the job, he left in mid-October. It wasn't exactly mutual consent, that stock phrase now so beloved back in Blighty, but it is not difficult to get the feeling that both sides were mutually content to see the backs of each other.

    "The club was sold to me as being a big club that wanted to go to the next level in Asia," Darby told ESPNsoccernet. "I was told that we had to win the league, the cup and the local league [a big deal in these parts]." The well-travelled former goalkeeper from Liverpool never got a chance in the leagues and the Federation Cup was a disaster. MB finished last in their group, losing to newly-promoted Shillong Lajong FC and second division Royal Wahingdoh. It was shocking stuff for a team that boasts Sunil Chettri, the prince of Indian football, as well as the prolific Nigerian Odafe Okolie, a striker who averages more than a goal a game in attack.

    Things then turned sour for Darby leading to his mid-October resignation. He believes that the club wanted him out and made it impossible for him to do his job by forming a technical committee to oversee his every move. "The management stopped speaking to me and relayed information to me via the press," Darby said. "I learned about a three-man technical committee from the press. The club knew this was a way to get me out as no modern coach would work in this environment."
  • namewtheldnamewtheld Kolkata5595 Points
    Mohun Bagan refused requests to comment on the situation, though some parts of the Indian media have criticised the Englishman for not trying to understand Indian football and the local players. Asian football can be tough for Europeans to adjust to, and vice versa, though Darby is better suited than most. He lives in Hanoi and has worked in Bahrain, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia. Maybe India really is a different beast - Morgan, coach of rival East Bengal, certainly seems to think so.

    "Don't compare India to anywhere else you have been," the former Bolton, Bournemouth, Bristol City and Rovers player tells ESPNsoccernet when asked what advice he would give to overseas coaches heading for the world's second most populous country. "Just accept it for what it is, work hard and be open and honest with the players and officials. Have no preconceptions and keep an open mind on everything you face as there will be many challenges."

    Darby believes that the biggest challenge at Mohun Bagan is changing how they operate. "A club that can attract 100,000 to home games had no marketing manager or even a club shop and even had to buy their playing strip as opposed to being sponsored. There was a culture of fear throughout the club with everyone telling me not to trust anybody else. Sadly they were right. It was soon whispered to me that 'they' were not happy but you get other clues, such as when the honorary secretary was telling me I was wrong to play a back three, when I had in fact been playing a back four."

    Darby is unlikely to return to India again but perhaps his short tenure could have some long-term effects. He penned a letter to the Indian media detailing the reasons for his departure and it has caused some debate as to how big clubs should be run and how Indian football can improve.
  • namewtheldnamewtheld Kolkata5595 Points
    An obvious weakness is the lack of good facilities. Bob Houghton, another Englishman, managed the national team from 2006 to 2011 and often took the Bhangra Boys overseas to train as he felt there was nowhere good enough on the subcontinent. "Better facilities will develop better players," Darby said. "It's not that it can't be done as cricket shows that it can but everywhere I went in India the same problem was aired: a lack of training facilities. I was happy to speak out, not as a moaning foreigner but as someone who wouldn't be there forever and was striving to get better facilities for players."

    The potential that the two rivals, who should be more famous outside their country than they are at present, have is there for all to see. "I have no doubt that a well-run club in India can go on to become an Asian giant," Darby said. Morgan agrees: "With proper planning and infrastructures in place, there is no reason as to why East Bengal cannot become one of the biggest clubs in Asia. In fact, both clubs can become as big as the people at the top want them to be. Football in India is on the up - Dutchman Rob Baan has been bought in as technical director with the national team and four FIFA Academies are planned in cities throughout India. This will no doubt improve the future players of the I-League."

    There are long-term plans but, in the short-term, Morgan's goals are simple: "To bring the I-League trophy here and show it to our fans, who are deeply passionate and support the team through thick and thin." For all supporters in the city, Darby is someone who came and went quickly, but Morgan is still carrying the flag for the old country in the modern-day metropolis of Kolkata and, given the deep links between the Londoner's country of birth and his current city of residence, it would perhaps be fitting if he was to achieve his that goal and add another small chapter in the history books that tell the story of Calcutta and England.
  • namewtheldnamewtheld Kolkata5595 Points
    LINK to the ARTICLE
    <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://soccernet.espn.go.com/columns/story/_/id/975927/duerden:-a-passage-to-indian-success?cc=4716"; onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://soccernet.espn.go.com/columns/st ... ss?cc=4716</a><!-- m -->
  • shankarshankar 2600 Points
    after following both pailan arrows and india u-19....all i can say about this team is that
    iss team kya hoga???
  • Ok I am no footballing expert analyst but for the past 8 years I have been watching EPL, Championship (2nd Division in England), League 1 (3rd Division in England), League 2 (4th Division in England), Conference (5th Division in England), La Liga, Serie A, Bendesliga, Bundesliga 2, Major League Soccer, North American Soccer League (2nd Division in USA), USL Pro (3rd Division in USA), and USL Premier Development League (4th Division in USA) I can confidently say that after watching 4 full I-League matches and around 20-30 highlights that the I-League is a very fast paced league. You have to be fit in order to play here or you will fail. Now this is excellent that the league is fast but our main problem is technically. Technically we are shit. Take random shots that go over or to the side of the goal, crossing to much, goalkeepers letting in soft goals. That is where our problems appear to me. So for the youth I say we focus on building them up more technically. Thats how I see us getting better.
  • usaindiausaindia 1671 Points
    pune fc relaunced their website with stats page nice
    <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://punefc.com/?cat=12&flag=stat"; onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://punefc.com/?cat=12&flag=stat</a><!-- m -->
  • shankarshankar 2600 Points
    pune fc relaunced their website with stats page nice
    <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://punefc.com/?cat=12&flag=stat"; onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://punefc.com/?cat=12&flag=stat</a><!-- m -->" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
    looks like the site is designed by infosys professionals......a nice work by whoever designed the site ...probably the only site which has always been updated now probably one of the best looking football sites in india......all the best pune fc..... <!-- s:handgestures-thumbup: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/handgestures/thumbup.gif" alt=":handgestures-thumbup:" title="Thumb Up" /><!-- s:handgestures-thumbup: -->
  • ashindiaashindia 8761 Points
    pune fc relaunced their website with stats page nice
    <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://punefc.com/?cat=12&flag=stat"; onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://punefc.com/?cat=12&flag=stat</a><!-- m -->" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

    Great website <!-- s:handgestures-salute: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/handgestures/salute.gif" alt=":handgestures-salute:" title="Salute" /><!-- s:handgestures-salute: --> <!-- s:clap: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/eusa/clap.gif" alt=":clap:" title="Clap" /><!-- s:clap: -->
  • namewtheldnamewtheld Kolkata5595 Points
    Whoa!! That easily beats many of the top European clubs' website
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