'Chhetri spectacular, Pal a cut above the rest' | sports | Hindustan Times
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'Chhetri spectacular, Pal a cut above the rest'

sports Updated: Sep 07, 2010 08:01 IST
Anupma Tripathi
Anupma Tripathi
Hindustan Times
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Meeting Bryan Robson or 'Captain Marvel', as he is fondly called, is like a dream come true. Best known for playing in the midfield for Manchester United, the Englishman has also been the longest serving captain in club history. Currently in the Capital as national coach of Thailand, Robson takes time out to share his thoughts about Indian football, his likes, dislikes and more. Following are the excerpts.

How do you find India?
It's a beautiful place. This is my first visit to India. I know very little about the country, its culture and people. The game has also given me an opportunity to explore the place.

Have you ever seen India play?
No. The first time I saw them play was during our Bangkok leg match recently. I find them pretty good. Their fitness level is very good. The most important thing is that they play as a unit and do not get unsettled easily. For example, when we scored the first goal of the match against them, we thought India would get a little disorganised and nervous. On the contrary, they did not lose rhythm. It's really creditable.

Any particular Indian player you like?
As I said, I have not seen much of Indian football or the Asian football for that matter. But during our match, I noticed these players. The main goalie (Subrata Pal) and jersey No. 11 (Sunil Chhetri) were spectacular. Chhetri particularly was really sharp and agile. I liked the way he made the moves.

How do you intend to gain knowledge about Indian football?
I am planning to watch a couple of videos. I will try and watch clips of them on 'Youtube'.

How is your stint with Thailand coming along?
It's been an eventful journey. I can say, so far so good. I took up the role of a coach with them 10 months back.

Are you still involved with English football?
Yes, I am global ambassador for Manchester United.

Talking about your club, Owen Hargreaves (midfielder) is battling a knee injury. During your playing days, you suffered extensive injury problems also.

I think Hargreaves must do everything within his power to prolong his career. I broke my leg three times between the age of 19 and 21 and it crossed my mind that I wouldn't make it, especially when I broke my ankle. The one thing Owen can't do is give up. If you give up, then you're not going to come back.

So, when are you taking over as England's coach?
(Smiles). Let Capello (Fabio) enjoy all the glory. I want to live a long life.