- Robbie Fowler embroiled in a controversy after just 2 matches in the Indian Super League (ISL)
- Robbie Fowler is a Liverpool legend who is still the 7th highest all-time goals scorer of the English Premier League
- Robbie Fowler said, “Football in India needs to change at the grassroots level”
Robbie Fowler, the Liverpool and English Premier League legend was recently embroiled in a controversy after just two matches in the Indian Super League (ISL) when he inadvertently remarked that it seemed some of the Indian players playing in the East Bengal squad, coached by him, seemed to have never had any coaching.
However, the English coach later clarified that his comments were taken out of context.
What Fowler, who the still the 7th highest all-time goal scorer in the English Premier League, wanted to convey was that a lot many of the Indian football players irrespective of them being in East Bengal or in other clubs are not always very technically sound and this is predominantly because of the training they have received or in some cases did not receive at a younger age.
While speaking with Goal, the 44 year old Englishman, again spoke about his observation of the Indian football and that of the Indian football players and what he felt is needed to be done for it to improve the overall standard of the game in the country.
Fowler said, “With Indian players and with the players we have and the kind of understanding they have, at times it can be better. It is not me being disrespectful, it is me being realistic.
“It is not easy to change people’s perceptions, something they have been brought up doing. Football in India needs to change at the grassroots level.”
“It needs to educate and develop the younger generation so that when they become professional players and play in the I-League or ISL, they understand the game a lot more and a lot better,” he added.
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Fowler, however, did not fail to stress on the fact that India has no scarcity of talent, though he did mention that the problem lies with the composure and decisions and that is something that is down to the football education which they receive (or in some cases do not receive) from a very young age.
Fowler said, “There are good talented players here but the game intelligence is something which needs to grow and get better for the benefit of the game here. We want the Indian national team to be successful.
“We want to help the younger generation understand the game better, know when to pass and how to pass.
“At times when people are in better positions pass the ball and make sure you pass it properly. You don’t have to beat them all the time, let the ball do the work.”
Fowler had some valuable suggestions for budding Indian footballers.
He said, “It is not just for a striker, it is anywhere on the pitch,” while adding, “What we need to remember is players get anxious. When players haven’t scored for a while they become anxious and feel they need to score at every opportunity they get or need to give an unbelievable pass whenever they get the ball.”
Fowler said, “Football is simple and more simple things you do, the better you will become. We are trying to do the same things with our players.”