Where's the patience in Indian hockey?
Given the mysterious ways of Indian hockey, it is still unclear whether Michael Nobbs, the chief coach of the men's team was sacked or volunteered to resign after India's poor performance at the FIH World League Round 3 in Rotterdam last month
But what is certain is that the Aussie has become the fourth foreigner to leave Indian shores without the team fulfilling their stated ambition.
Remarkably, Nobbs’s predecessors Gerhard Rach, Ric Charlesworth and Jose Brasa were thoroughly disgruntled men by the time they called it quits.
The other major similarity between the four is that neither of them enjoyed an extended run in India. While Rach was shown the door barely five months into his tenure (he was the coach of the team that went to the 2004 Athens Olympics), Charlesworth left about 10 months after being appointed Technical Director of Indian Hockey in 2008, a few months after the eight-time Olympic champions failed to qualify for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Jose Brasa too did not last very long and was sacked after India failed to qualify directly for the 2012 London Games by winning the gold medal at the Asian Games in Guangzhou in 2010.
Nobbs on his part, helped India qualify for the Olympics last year, thanks to some easy match-ups during the qualifiers in New Delhi, but he too could not do much thereafter as India finished a pathetic 12th in London.
Short stints is probably the only thread that binds all the four coaches and it makes it pretty obvious that there are no short-term solutions to revive Indian hockey.
It is incumbent upon Indian Hockey and the Sports Authority of India to ensure that the next coach they appoint is given sufficient time to rebuild what essentially is a young and struggling side.
Only then would it be possible for Indian Hockey to begin showing positive results.
Else, this merry-go-round will continue to thrive in the Great Indian Hockey Circus, making all the stakeholders of India’s national sport dizzy.