Former national hockey coach Joaquim Carvalho on Tuesday hit out at the performance of his successor Michael Nobbs, saying the Australian has not done anything worthwhile to galvanise the sagging fortunes of the team in his two-year-old tenure.
"He has shown no improvement in the Indian team. A good coach needs to come up with good strategies against specific opponents, should have good management and communication skills as well as ability to read the game. He is no coach," Carvalho said.
However, Carvalho's former India and Mumbai teammate Mervyn Fernandis has questioned frequent changes of coaches.
"I do not believe in talking about coaching. That's my personality. We have made so many changes, brought in foreign coaches after using Indians, but where have all these changes got us to? And before making any change we should see what are the other options," Fernandis said.
Nobbs, under whom India finished 12th with the wooden spoon in the London Olympic Games last year, is under serious pressure to help team qualify for the next men's World Cup in The Hague, Netherlands scheduled for May-June, 2014.
The Indian team, led by Sardar Singh, failed to achieve its primary aim to qualify for the showpiece event at the World League semi-final at Rotterdam last month.
Nobbs's could be in the line of fire if the Indian team fails to earn a direct entry into the world cup by winning the eight-nation Asia Cup, which is slated to be held from August 24 to September 1 at Ipoh, Malaysia.
India are to compete with Bangladesh, Japan, Korea, Pakistan, Oman, Chinese Taipei and hosts Malaysia.
Carvalho, a top half back who represented the country in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, wondered why Dutchman Roelant Oltmans, whose credentials were much higher as coach, was functioning as the High Performance Director and not as the chief coach of the national team.
"Nobbs has been paid handsomely and if India does not qualify for the World Cup it will be money going down the drain," said Carvalho.
Fernandis, on the other hand, said a coach can take the players only to a certain limit, beyond which it was for them to take their own game forward.
"The coach has his limitations and it's for the players to make extra efforts to improve. From what I have been seeing, some of them lack basics. I see them passing the ball and then standing stationary, instead of running into open spaces," he remarked.
"For example, a guy like Birender Lakra was showing good signs of improving but in the last tournament he was disappointing. The players are stagnating. They have to show the urge to improve," Fernandis said.