Gokulam Kerala head coach Vincenzo Alberto Annese believes Kerala Blasters were wrong to part ways with their manager Kibu Vicuna in his first season in the Indian Super League (ISL).
The Italian coach, who is also spending his first season in Indian football with Gokulam Kerala in the I-League, coaches need to be given more time to work with their squad, especially during a season hit by the Coronavirus pandemic. Under the new head coach, Gokulam Kerala are currently in the seventh place in the standings with 10 points from their first seven games inside the bio-bubble in West Bengal.
Ahead of the Malabarians' league game against Indian Arrows, Vincenzo said, "They (clubs) must have patience with managers. In the first year in India, (managers) need more time. No time to prepare for the game, teams play every few days, no home-away games.
"I noted that in ISL, 11 teams changed (around) six coaches this season. It doesn't make any sense. I don't want to talk about ISL. I want to say that a coach (Kibu Vicuna), who was in I-League last season, got the chance to play in ISL this season, a coach who won I-League last season - it is tough to understand why you need to sack him."
He further added, "Try to understand that this kind of competition in ISL and I-League will never happen again. I hope, next season, maybe there will be more freedom. Spending many months inside the bubble, some coaches need free time.
"I hope that COVID-19 will finish in India. If it doesn't, it will be the same again next season. The coach needs time to show their work. It will be nice to have a coach stay for more than a year. I would like to say sorry to the coach, I think he needed more time. Kerala Blasters supporters want results but if they change coach every time, I don't think they will improve."
The decision to part ways with Vicuna was taken after Blasters crashed out of the race for the playoffs this season following a heavy 0-4 defeat against Hyderabad on Tuesday.
Blasters have had a season to forget and with two games remaining, they remain 10th in the league table. They have won just three matches and have 16 points from 18 games. Poor defending has been the team's major issue throughout the season. They have conceded 33 goals in 18 games, the worst tally in ISL this campaign.
Kibu Vicuna was appointed after a title-winning season at Mohun Bagan, but the recruitment and some of the signings did not succeed as planned.
"Our scouting of the players was bad, the plans and expectations for the season were higher than the reality," the former Bagan coach had said in his post-match press conference after the game against Hyderabad.