Khel Now Impact: Soundararajan hits back at former players' 'unbearable' jibes
Written by: Guna Sheelan
The former southerners coach has said there is no truth to claims that his regime left the players repressed.
Days after former Chennai City FC coach V. Soundararajan was described as 'unbearable,' by some of his ex-players at the club in a Khel Now exclusive, the AFC Pro-licensed coach has responded to those jibes.
After a mediocre season, Chennai finished seventh in the I league, just avoiding relegation. Though the team from Tamil Nadu had their days of success, their overall performance was considered poor. The veteran coach who was appointed mid-way through the 2016-2017 campaign produced improved results soon after taking over. Thus, the southerners continued with Soundararajan as the coach for the 2017-2018 season with hopes of having an improved term.
However, the southern side managed just four wins out of their 18 matches in the country's top division. The lack of improvement and the drought of wins was followed by a series of complaints from various players about their former coach making it a season to forget for the Coimbatore-based side.
Players were unhappy with several issues including the training methods of the former coach. As an anonymous player stated, “We had two training sessions a day, each averaging four hours. That resulted in injuries to many players, including me.”
The players presumed he wasn't technically good enough to lead the side, Khel Now had reported. “His only tactics were long balls. He demanded players to shoot from 40 yards. You can't score like that. He did nothing else, to be honest," the player had said.
However, days after we reported the players' qualms, the Madurai-based coach denied it all, claiming the complaints to be of no credibility. “The anonymous player criticized me to avoid the criticism he would have faced after this season,” Soundararajan told the home of Indian football.
The tactician believes he has the ability to lead a side in the top division. For a coach as experienced as him, the players' jibes would have hit him hard. As such, the coach didn't shy away from expressing his thoughts. “I have coached the Tamil Nadu team and taken them to the semi-finals and finals of the Santosh Trophy. I have been part of the Indian team's backroom staff at U-16 and U-19 level. I have so much experience in the field of coaching.”
Soundararajan was disappointed at the lack of maturity on the part of the anonymous player. Complaining through media platforms after the end of the season has no benefits said Soundararajan. “Blaming the coach through the media is not the right kind of attitude. If he felt I was weak, he should have told it to me during the season. It would have benefitted the team.”
I was correct all along— Zohib Islam Amiri (@ZohibIslamAmiri) April 13, 2018
Glad that other people also felt the same way I did
Now we know who truly was at fault.
Truth always comes out.#HeroILeague
Amiri unequivocally endorsed Khel Now's report
Moments after the report about the coach was published, former Chennai player Zohib Islam Amiri had a shot at Soundararajan through his Twitter handle. Soundararajan didn't hesitate from talking about the tweet from his former player. “Amiri is using this anonymous player's comments to gain media attention. Everyone knows who was at fault for his departure from the team."
Soundararajan helped Chennai City become the first Tamil Nadu club to defeat Mohun Bagan. The historical match saw the southern side play with 10 men for more than sixty minutes. “If my coaching was poor, then how did we win against Mohun Bagan with 10 men?"
Having named two coaches in two seasons, Chennai failed to improve their on-field performances. Everyone involved in the team can only hope for a turnaround in the upcoming campaign and with a new manager at the helm.
Published: Mon Apr 16, 2018 01:27 PM IST