The former India skipper feels that the Blue Tigers should aim for a place in Asia’s top 10.

The hunt for the new India national team manager is still ongoing, as AIFF is now weighing its options from the 200+ managerial applications made from coaches all around. While the federation has assured that news of appointment will be made by next month and possibly as soon as the end of April, they need a tough decision to make on exactly whom to appoint.

At this moment, Albert Roca definitely stands as the fans favourite to get the job. However, former England manager Sven Goran Eriksson is also an option after throwing his hat into the fray as well. As AIFF’s task gets even more difficult, former India captain Jo Paul Ancheri has urged them to appoint a foreign coach with a higher experience pedigree to take the Blue Tigers forward.

The former Mohun Bagan star spoke to, saying, “I believe that time has now come for the AIFF to go one or two levels higher and recruit a more experienced foreign coach.” Ancheri has also urged the federation to get someone suited to move India higher up the Asian Football ranking ladder and possibly get them into the Asiatic top 10.

“A foreign coach with more exposure in more developed European or Asian football cultures is now the need of the hour as India looks to take a step up towards becoming a top 10 Asian team,” he added.

As there are rumours spreading of the 2022 Qatar World Cup being a historic 48-team competition, India’s small chances of qualification have definitely attained a boost. However, Ancheri believes that the Blue Tigers should try to qualify for the final rounds of the Asian qualifiers, which itself would be a big achievement.


He explained, “Currently, the Indian national team is on the right track. But a lot of hard work will need to go in if we can go far in the Asian qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup. Our target should be to reach the final round of Asian qualifiers.”

However, according to the former India skipper, World Cup qualification is still out of reach. He said, “Going by recent trends, I think we can aspire for World Cup qualification. However, I am not totally confident we can achieve it.”

Before aspirations of a World Cup qualification can be done, the Blue Tigers need to appoint an experienced head to get the India Football team back on track. After the disappointing AFC Asian Cup defeat, where India narrowly missed qualification after a final-minute defeat to Bahrain, Stephen Constantine’s departure has left a hole in the team.

As India look to participate in the Kings Cup later in the summer followed by the FIFA World Cup qualifiers,  it’s a matter of great importance an experienced manager is brought in as soon as possible. With the Indian footballing season drawing to a close, it’s time to focus on the growth of the national team which can only be assured once a top manager is brought in to overlook a new era for the Blue Tigers.