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Three areas in which Igor Stimac needs to improve Indian National Football team

Published at :June 7, 2024 at 9:24 PM
Modified at :June 7, 2024 at 9:24 PM
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Manav Chowdhury

The Croatian has been in charge of the Blue Tigers since May 2019

On 15 May 2019, the All India Football Federation announced the appointment of Igor Stimac as the country’s head coach after the departure of Stephen Constantine, Indian football fans had a lot of hopes for him to lead the national team to achieve new heights in the future, but unfortunately the Croatian is not able to deliver of what was expected from him.

Stimac became the first foreign head coach to win back-to-back SAFF Championship titles. The 2023 SAFF Championship was the first time India had defeated two West Asian countries in back-to-back matches, after winning the semi-final against Lebanon, also on penalties. Štimac led India to three titles in 2023, the most ever won by India in a calendar year.

Even though under his management the Blue Tigers qualified for the AFC Asian Cup 2023 but were not able to get any points from the tournament which also led India to go down in the FIFA rankings. In Round 2 of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers, India performed very poorly when they drew and lost to Afghanistan and also drew a must-win game against Kuwait in Kolkata and now the hopes for India to qualify for Round 3 are very low. Here are the three main areas where the tactician can improve:

3. Stop calling-up players who don’t deserve to be in the National Team

Even after consistently not performing up to standards some players are regularly getting called by the Croatian tactician again and again. Those players do well in the domestic league but at the international stage, they are not able to keep up with the intensity of the game.

Those players create a lot of problems for the team as other players have to suffer as well. Overall many people have questioned him for poor squad selection.

2. Start with the strongest team

Stimac most of the time doesn’t choose his strongest eleven for a match and keeps his players on the bench and when he makes any substitutes it is too late for them to make any impact or sometimes the players don’t perform up to the mark.

Even though he pointed out that substitutes need to be impactful from the bench and many people have already raised questions about the way he selects his starting lineup. In the last match against Kuwait as well in the players in the midfield were very poor in the first half and after he made some substitutions the game improved a bit for the Blue Tigers.

1. Game management

After some back-to-back disappointing results, fans questioned his game management as well. Tactically most of the time the Indian team gets outplayed and faces a lot of difficulties, whether it’s some technical fault or the tactics of Stimac the Indian team don’t look comfortable during the match and makes a lot of silly mistakes. The timing of his substitutes is not up to the mark which causes a lot of problems.

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