With Nehru Cup 2012 knocking on the doors, Goal.com asks it readers whether India could win the trophy for the third time in succession...The Nehru Cup was set up in the year 1982 by the All India Football Federation (AIFF). Since then it has been a tournament of importance in Indian football given their rank in the international footballing circuit of the world.
Nehru Cup 2012 will witness India delve against Maldives, Syria, Nepal and Cameroon and will prowl for a third Nehru Cup trophy in succession. Goal.com asked its readers whether the feat could be achieved.
|One man can never win a tournament|
Ishaan Upadhyay - The Nehru Cup is back and the one thing that will be on everyone’s mind will be whether India can win it again. I think they can! With a new coach raring to go with fresh ideas, Sunil Chhetri enjoying Portuguese football and the I-League improving (even though marginally) every year, Indian Football does look like its
heading in the right direction. The team mentality should also be good since we have
won this tournament before and the players should be confident of winning it again.
More than relying on Chhetri, the team should help him out since one man can never
win you a tournament. I am really looking forward to seeing India lift the trophy
again and in the longer run participate in the Asian games in football.
|Younger players can win the tournament|
Anubhav Chatterjee - As an Indian I would want India to win the Nehru Cup. Even though we have defeated Syria in the past, the presence of Cameroon even without
their big players is a huge obstacle. We must remember that we have a fairly young side and like last time lack the experience of the Bhaichungs and Lawrences. Having said that Chettri our captain has been in good form for India and I have high hopes
that Sunil, Robin and Nabi can pull it through. Yes, we can do the hat-trick.
|Cameroon's presence is a threat|
it will be tough for all the other teams. Moreover, our new coach Wim Koevermans
hasn't had enough time to prepare. Having said that, I am excited to watch how India play under his leadership, hoping to see some Dutch flavour. The big miss for us is Jeje but the good thing is Sushil Singh's exclusion. Realistically we are looking like a second place finish but this is football so can India win it? Yes, India can win the Nehru Cup.
|Wim Koevermans will give a new look to the team|
Srayan Goswami - India is entering this edition of the Nehru Cup as the lowest ranked nation at 168th in the FIFA rankings. But I still have the belief that we can once again turn on the cards in our favour. Wim Koevermans is new to the team and the Dutch's experience might well as come out to be handy for the young team. The coach wants to instill possession football in the team. He believes that, the way Barcelona plays is not easy to adapt so easily but this might be a brighter step ahead of a new journey. Yes, the likes of Bhaichung Bhutia, Climax Lawrence, Mahesh Gawli and Renedy Singh, all of whose experienced will be missed in this edition of Nehru Cup, but their previous performances will be an inspiration to the young squad. Sunil Chhetri - the leader himself will lead from the front, and is expected to be the talisman of the team, accompanied by Gouramangi Singh, Syed Rahim Nabi, Clifford Miranda and Mehtab
With the likes of Cameroon, who might not field in a strong side for the tournament, will still be a tough opponent along with Syria. Starting off against Syria on a winning note will set the boys brimming with confidence. It will be really a major boost to INDIAN football team if the lads defend their title in the end. I have a feeling that the Dutch with his new strategy is about to win millions of tri-coloured hearts in the weeks ahead.
|Better quality teams will give competiton|
As a matter of fact with increasing football craze in India we expect some young talent to come through and increase the level of players, but ironically we hit a rock bottom
by being pushed down to one of our worst Fifa rank ever, the sole reason is the lack of match practice with stronger teams. I would rather be happy if we play against a team which is ranked much higher and the performance against them will be a reality check for us. With Cameroon being a part of this tournament, I would be rather interested in watching how we play against them. This tournament is a small initiative by AIFF to bring some better quality teams to India over the years which will give a huge boost to our players and will make them realize how much we need to improve our game.
Winning or not winning is an altogether a different issue but surely it is a step in the right direction for Indian football.
|India will not win the tournament|
Suhel Singh - The national football team of India is the lowest ranked team to participate in the Nehru Cup of 2012. Even though the team boasts of a Dutch manager in Wim Koevermans and a young squad, it will be difficult for the Indians to win a third consecutive title. The main reason behind this theory is the teams of Syria and Cameroon. Cameroon is the highest ranked team in the tournament and even though some of their star players might not take part, it will be foolish to write them off. Syria on the other hand has been topping the round robin format with maximum points in the last two Nehru Cup competitions and in both the finals has lost to India.
The finals will be played between the top two teams. And even though India is playing in its home turf, it will be difficult to compete against Syria and Cameroon for the above reasons.
|Nehru Cup win can be historical
Saurav Goswami - With the Nehru Cup to kick off in a few hours, hosts and defending champions India have a lot to prove. Having slipped to their lowest ever FIFA ranking in the modern era there seems to be quite a burden on their shoulders, and to make that burden a little heavier it is Wim Koevermans’ first real assignment as head coach of the Indian Football Team. Having beaten Syria in finals of 2009 one must remember that we failed to do so in regulation time and as most footballers, managers and fans know that penalty shootouts can always go either way. We have seen the likes of David Beckham, John Terry, Sergio Ramos, Arjen Robben, Cristiano Ronaldo and even Lionel Messi miss from 12 yards. However apart from Syria it seems that new comers Cameroon with a FIFA ranking of 59 will pose a threat even though it is assumed that they are sending a second string team. It will be interesting to see the likes of Sunil Chhetri and young Alwyn George take on some seasoned players. For an Indian to predict this outcome of the tournament is a matter of the heart versus the brain, because to say that India would successfully defend the Nehru cup for the second time in succession would require more than just optimism, but if they do it will be historical.
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