The vacant post has seen a flurry of applications coming in the recent weeks.
Former England, Mexico & Ivory Coast head coach Sven-GoranEriksson has expressed his interest in coaching the Indian national Team, according to the Times Of India. His agents have approached the All India Football Federation (AIFF) and intimated the governing body of his availability for the vacant post earlier occupied by Stephen Constantine.
Constantine left the position of the head coach right after India’s elimination from AFC Asian Cup, where they went out in the group stages. Since then, the AIFF has been receiving a large number of applications for the now vacant position of the manager.
Eriksson was recently the manager of Philippines, who were also eliminated early on from the continental tournament without registering a win, after which he parted ways with the Asian nation. The 71-year-old is among a long list of managers who have shown a keen interest in wanting the job, including some renowned ones.
Eriksson was the head coach of the Phillipines in the recently concluded AFC Asian Cup
An AIFF source has said, “While Eriksson has not contacted the AIFF directly, he has let the AIFF know, through his agents, that he’s quite interested in the job, especially as India is an emerging footballing nation.”
Despite receiving a number of resumes from coaches around the world, it seems the AIFF is not desperate to make an appointment just yet. They are taking time to carefully analyze the situation and will only make a decision by mid-April.
The source further went on to add that, ”India’s impressive performances of late have grabbed quite a few eyeballs. Their encouraging performance in the Asian Cup, especially their 1-4 victory over Thailand has shown that they can perform well on the world stage. With quality foreigners coming to the ISL, people now know that India is serious about their football. As soon as Constantine stepped down, the number of CVs have come flooding in.”
Eriksson is a former England manager who has also managed Manchester City and Leicester City in the Premier League. The highlight of his managerial career came while he was the tactician of the Three Lions and took them to the quarterfinals of the 2002 and the 2006 FIFA World Cups.
The Swede had heaped praise on the Indian football team after their performance in the Asian Cup that was recently held in the UAE. He told the press that, “India dominated the game and scored four goals. Wow! The whole world who saw that match (felt) they were physically good, technically good players.”
Eriksson is surely a big name and has loads of experience under his belt. He has also coached Asian clubs like Guangzhou R&F and Shanghai SIPG in China in 2013 and 2014 respectively. Prior to the Philippines job, he was sacked as the manager of Shenzhen from the Chinese second tier after a poor record of five wins from 13 games.
It would serve Indian football well if the AIFF waits and makes an informed decision. Constantine did a good job despite a few ups and downs, but Indian football has been heading in the right direction and a coach that can most efficiently bring out the best from the current crop of players should be given the job.
Whether Eriksson fits the bill remains to be seen. His coaching style has been criticized by experts over the years as ‘too laid-back’ and ‘lazy’; few have also pointed out that his studious approach fails to motivate his players on the pitch and is too reliant on his rigid system.