Rohan Ricketts: It doesn’t take a smart man to know that me being on the bench has got nothing to do with football

The Englishman who made a high profile transfer to the I-League champions over the summer often finds himself relegated on the bench lately...

Following his high profile move to Dempo SC this summer, Rohan Ricketts has garnered a lot of attention. However the former Arsenal youth product hasn’t had a rosy start to his stint with the reigning I-League champions as he has had to contend with a place on the bench as opposed to be the star of the side.

Last month, he made his thoughts known through a popular social networking site stating: “My game and style of play is too advanced for my team mates and I have to bring my level down so I can adapt??? This is what I’ve been told!” the 29-year-old wrote. “I’m absolutely speechless! Had a headache just trying to comprehend such a bizarre statement!”

“You sign someone because they are different an(d) of a higher level and then you tell them to lower the football intellect so they can adapt! The funny thing is the so-called higher level of thinking in their eyes is actually basic football knowledge. So I do not know how to dumb myself down on the pitch! Absolutely head loss,” he added.

Ricketts responded saying that he has left out of the starting XI for reasons other than football and wasn’t too pleased with the state of affairs.

“There are some political reasons. But I can’t say much more than that at this time,” the 29-year old told

The Goan side, along with East Bengal, are the only two teams who are unbeaten in the league so far but the former Tottenham player believes that his team has a lot to improve upon.

“As we are getting the results, it has been a positive start in that respect. But in terms of performance, we’ve not been consistent at a high level,” he opined.

“The scores are not a reflection of the performances. We’ve been fortunate and shown great character to win games where we’ve not played particularly well. But it is important for the fans to know that we, as players, know we can do much better,” he added.

Coming back to him being not part of the starting XI despite the injury to Koko Sakibo who is out of action for the next three months or so due to an injury, Ricketts believes he has a key role to play for Dempo.

“If you saw in the game against East Bengal, when I came on, I played very well. I had an impact on the game in such a short while.”

“Also in the Goa Professional League game, I started on the bench. It doesn’t take a smart man to see that it (me not starting) has got nothing to do with football,” he stated.

It’s been rumuored that the former Premier League player doesn’t get along well with coach Armando Colaco and that became far too apparent as he said, “I’m just wishing my team-mates the best. The chairman, Shrinivas Dempo, Mr. Rebello (former Vice-President) and my team-mates, these are the people for whom I work hard and stay positive.”

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