Kolkata's Mohammedan Sporting Club yesterday fired their coach Syed Nayeemuddin after a string of bad results and unrest amongst the players. The club took the decision after a board meeting which was also attended by Union Minister of State for Tourism Sultan Ahmed, who also happens to be the clubs president. The final nail in the coffin was Sporting's loss in the Federation Cup qualifiers against Northeastern minnows Oil India Limited.
An official said after the decision was taken, "It's best to part way with the coach, following our pathetic shows. Players were getting frustrated with his methods. He still lives in the past and swears by it. He has no idea about modern coaching methods. Worse, he is not ready to upgrade himself."
Somehow the same reasoning as was given in the past when Nayeemuddin was fired or released by clubs. And Indian clubs in recent years have become reluctant to bring in Nayeemuddin as their coach and this firing will not strengthen his case. And a question once more sadly comes up. Is one of Indian football's most decorated coaches in Syed Nayeemuddin, the only Dronacharya awardee in football, not willing to change his coaching and way of handling teams?
It isn't the first time that it has ended for Nayeemuddin in such a way. I remember being in Delhi in March 2006 when Nayeemuddin was the chief coach of the Indian national team. India faced Yemen in an 2007 Asian Cup qualifier at the Ambedkar Stadium. But the players were more then just unhappy in the way the coach was handling affairs, his army line drills and the long durations of his training. When I met the players before the game, they looked tired, even jaded and some just didn't seem match fit. The result was a 0-3 defeat and a few days later Nayeemuddin was fired by the AIFF.
Nayeemuddin should now go into himself and ask himself if he could change certain things before he takes up the next coaching assignment. Before the job at Mohammedan Sporting Nayeem had moaned publicly that no club was willing to take him. Maybe there is a reason for this. And I hope for him that he realises this and changes for good...