Stephen Constantine giving Instructions to players.
Pic via AIFF

Stephen Constantine has been at the center of criticism after India’s loss against 2-1 Kyrgyzstan yesterday ending their 2 year undefeated streak, his team selection and tactics were questioned as India were completely outplayed by the opposition. A tag #ConstantineOut by the fans was trending on twitter yesterday night.

Stephen was earlier in the spotlight when the NT probable’s were earlier announced, selection Sumeet Passi a regular feature in Constatine’s squad was met with a lot of criticism the striker hasn’t scored a goal since June 2016 and appeared only in 2 matches this season. The likes of Adil Khan, Mandar Rao Desai, Brandon Fernandez, Sosairaj Micheal, Samuela, Bikramjit Singh etc who had a very good season were overlooked for the likes of Bikash Jairu, Mohamed Rafique, Seityasen Singh and Cavin Lobo who were relatively poor for their clubs.


Further Stephen Constantine dropped Pritam Kotal and the team didn’t have a single natural right back, Lalruanthara who featured mostly as a left back for Kerala started as a right back and struggled.

His selection of the starting 11 met with even more criticism he dropped the likes of Dhanpal Ganesh and Anirudh Thapa who played a great part in Chennaiyin FC’s ISL triumph for Rowlin Borges and Rafique who were relatively poor throught the season. More players from North East United who finished last featured for India last night than Chennaiyin FC, Bengaluru FC or Minerva Punjab rising doubts over his selection.

He started with a 4-4-2 with Balwant and JEJE as strikers trying to play long balls towards them on the counters and his tactics failed as India were outnumbered in the midfield and were unsettled by Kyrgyzstan’s pressing. His tactics were even compared with infamous #ChipTheBallToTheStrikersChestAndWeWillTakeItFromThere of David James.

Stephan Constantine has had a fruitful last 2 years with Indian Football Team, he went undefeated for the last 2 years and helped India qualify for the AFC Asian Cup, but there have been questions raised over the quality of teams India has played, The friendlies against relatively stronger sides like Lebanon and Palestine were cancelled by AIFF for various reasons and India’s performance in the World Cup qualifiers was very poor were they finished last in the group under Constantine.