Indian coach Stephen Constantine suggested that he will continue the trend of handing the captain's armband to the players he consideres to be part of the leadership at the Asian Cup 2019. It must be noted that the Englishman had mentioned of his preference to change captains in his very first press confeence when he took charge of the Blue Tigers for a second stint.
Ahead of India’s Asian Cup Group A opener against Thailand, the British coach said, “I have been rotating the captaincy for four years. It is not something that I just started or we qualified and I change it. We have had four, five captains or maybe six or seven. We are looking to try and win the game.”
Since 2015, India has had a total of six players. In the first match of his second stint as Indian coach, Constantine had chosen Subrata Paul to lead the side against Nepal in World Cup 2018 qualifier first round match.
Thereafter Arnab Mondal, Sunil Chhetri, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Jeje Lalpekhlua and Sandesh Jhingan have got armband.
Arnab led the Indian side in World Cup 2018 qualifiers opening match against Oman on June 2015. Jeje was the skipper against Iran in March 2016, Sandhu against Puerto Rico in an international friendly in September 2016 and most recently Sandesh Jhingan was appointed as the captain of the side in a FIFA international friendly against China.
Several of the Indian players part of the Asian Cup squad are not in the best of forms and Constantine gave an explanation as to why he still picks those players.
"There are a lot of things I would like them to do when they are not with me but unfortunately that is not under my jurisdiction. The club coaches play the players in the positions that they feel is going to help them. There is nothing I can do about that. I just have to continue to work with the players I feel are going to help us.”