Hockey World League (Men's and Women's)

A forum to discuss Indian hockey and the disarray it is in despite the promising new professional PHL series.

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Re: Hockey World League (Men's and Women's)

Post by prasen9 » Sun Dec 10, 2017 12:04 am

ssp wrote:
Sat Dec 09, 2017 3:44 pm
Even with 13 players, Germany will be favourites to beat us for 3rd place :oops:
I thought that you were talking of the umpires.

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Re: Hockey World League (Men's and Women's)

Post by jayakris » Sun Dec 10, 2017 12:35 pm

Looks like we are up 1-0 at the half time thanks to an SV Sunil goal at the start of the second quarter.

EDIT: And Germany equalizes 5 minutes into the third quarter. 1-1

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Re: Hockey World League (Men's and Women's)

Post by ssp » Sun Dec 10, 2017 12:52 pm

As usual, soon as I started following the match, we concede. We are also picking up lots of cards today and conceding PCs at the usual rate.

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Re: Hockey World League (Men's and Women's)

Post by sameerph » Sun Dec 10, 2017 1:02 pm

Germany has only 11 fit players now it seems and their reserve goal keeper is playing as a forward. So, it is incredible how well they are playing here.

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Re: Hockey World League (Men's and Women's)

Post by jayakris » Sun Dec 10, 2017 1:05 pm

sameerph wrote:
Sun Dec 10, 2017 1:02 pm
Germany has only 11 fit players now it seems and their reserve goal keeper is playing as a forward. So, it is incredible how well they are playing here.
That shows they are just a better team and we are still not at the top-5 level. Going by what ssp always says, we are always playing with some three guys who are perennial stomach aches for us, so we are probably even anyway :)

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Re: Hockey World League (Men's and Women's)

Post by sameerph » Sun Dec 10, 2017 1:10 pm

Harmanpreet scores of a PC to make it 2-1 for us.

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Re: Hockey World League (Men's and Women's)

Post by sameerph » Sun Dec 10, 2017 1:22 pm

It ensures 2-1 for us and we get a bronze here. :D

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Re: Hockey World League (Men's and Women's)

Post by ssp » Sun Dec 10, 2017 1:24 pm

We have managed to hang on and get our 3rd medal at a world level event in 2 years. Well done to the team and coaches.

Germany were amazing with 13 fit players v Australia and even better with 11 against us. But as Jay stated:
That shows they are just a better team and we are still not at the top-5 level. Going by what ssp always says, we are always playing with some three guys who are perennial stomach aches for us, so we are probably even anyway :)
We always play with a depleted squad. Couldn't watch the game but the stick2hockey site's live commentary reported Mandeep messing up every time! But expect him to stay on and Gurjant and a few others to be dropped.

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Re: Hockey World League (Men's and Women's)

Post by jayakris » Sun Dec 10, 2017 1:46 pm

All we can say is that we have come up over the last 5-6 years to top-6 quality from the 10-12 spots to which we had fallen before that. Good enough for an occasional top-4 finish but generally not top-5. But I have generally reconciled with the new coach. He has not been a disaster like I thought he could be.

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Re: Hockey World League (Men's and Women's)

Post by sameerph » Sun Dec 10, 2017 4:25 pm

Australia beats Argentina 2-1 in the final to win the hockey world league. Australia will take over the world #1 rankings from Argentina.

It is good that we were competitive against both these top 2 teams here - drawing 1-1 against Australia and losing 0-1 against Argentina and also drew 3-3 with world #3 Belgium. At least now we are not getting thrashed against these level teams which is improvement. Of course, this tournament is at home and we need to repeat these kind of results abroad and consistently to start with.

I think we are as good as our current world ranking of #6. Certainly behind top 5 - Australia, Argentina, Belgium, Netherlands and Germany. I think they are all a lot better than us and we but may be slightly ahead of those below us - England, New Zeland and Spain. Our matches against these 3 teams in recent times have also been close.

Australia, Germany and Netherlands have been at this level for years. Argentina and Belgium have been recent additions to the top level and England, Spain have fallen a bit ( & Pakistan a lot) . We will have to see if Argentina, Belgium can continue to be at this new high level for them for long. Have the systems in these nations improved as much to keep producing high level teams as Aus, Netherlands, Germany do.

As I said earlier, the average age of our team is quite low compared to many of the these teams and there are many in the team who are from junior world cup winning squad of last year. These players should be at their peak in about 2-3 years time. So, if we keep up with majority of this squad for the next 2-3 year, with decent coaching we can be a real force at 2018 Olympics.

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Re: Hockey World League (Men's and Women's)

Post by ssp » Sun Dec 10, 2017 6:42 pm

Sameer: agree with your last post. We are not quite good enough to beat the best 4/5 teams at the moment. Due to our maddening inconsistency we are capable of losing to England, NZ & Spain regularly too. However, we are not outclassed and are getting draws and even wins occasionally against the top 5. This was a dream for many decades. It is rare that we get thrashed these days, apart from Australia.

Looking deeper into the reasons, I have to say a proper domestic structure is the key. Belgium have improved enormously within 7-8 years because their national league is well organised and they will continue to produce quality players like Holland, Germany and Australia. I'm not sure if Argentina will remain so competitive simply because most of this squad is over 30 and their overall pool of players is relatively small, but with their recent successes, it is possible they will remain a top team in the next few years -much like their women's team. England/GB should be among the top 5 because their domestic hockey structure is among the best in the world, but they seem to have methodical, functional players without the same flair as the other top teams.

Our biggest headaches (in no particular order) are the lack of quality forwards, poor selections, defensive lapses (usually ball watching or inexplicable drop in marking/pressure on the opposition), discipline (too many cards), poor PC conversions and of course, the umpires.

HI and the selectors really need to look at some new players for the NZ tour, Azlan Shah Cup and Commonwealth games. We should be aiming for a gold at the Asian games and a silver or bronze at the CWG. A medal at the WC is still a long shot, because we aren't quite good enough yet.

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Re: Hockey World League (Men's and Women's)

Post by jayakris » Sun Dec 10, 2017 8:39 pm

ssp wrote:
Sun Dec 10, 2017 6:42 pm
However, we are not outclassed and are getting draws and even wins occasionally against the top 5. This was a dream for many decades. It is rare that we get thrashed these days, apart from Australia.
My thought exactly. The kind of matches we are having these days would have left us ecstatic ten years ago. Pretty much a dream for the three decades after Charlesworth killed Indian hockey at Montreal in 1976. We did arrest our slide, and Indian hockey is certainly not dead or dying. That we have come up to top-6 in the world, fighting these well-organized top countries, and that we're doing it at a time when all other Asian nations have been falling, is even more notable.

Even "the worm" must be given some credit, because results are what matters. Multiple finishes in the top-3 in recent years.

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Re: Hockey World League (Men's and Women's)

Post by srini » Mon Dec 11, 2017 12:26 am

jayakris wrote:
Sun Dec 10, 2017 8:39 pm
Even "the worm" must be given some credit, because results are what matters. Multiple finishes in the top-3 in recent years.
Every one including "the worm" was given credit but not the chefs who helped india win a medal with their stomach squelching culinary skills and that in a country which boasts of "Nala and Bheema" ? India not a country for chefs anymore...

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Re: Hockey World League (Men's and Women's)

Post by PKBasu » Mon Dec 11, 2017 2:36 pm

Despite the many caveats (playing at home, against only 11 fit Germans for the bronze playoff), this is a very pleasing result indeed. To have beaten Germany and Belgium (who are now consistently better than Holland and Spain) in the same tournament is near sensational in the context of the last 41 years, and especially the last 21 years. The consistency over the past two years - to be playing like a top-5 or 6 almost always - is very satisfying indeed. CWG silver, Asiad gold and a podium finish at the World Cup should be the next goals.

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Re: Hockey World League (Men's and Women's)

Post by ssp » Wed Dec 13, 2017 12:33 pm

Happy that we got 3rd place, but our inability to string together 2 consecutive good performances is a bit worrying. This format is a great help to our team as we are not eliminated as usual in the pool stages because of this inconsistency. I feel the next improvement that the coaching staff will be looking at is sorting the baffling dip in performance from one game to the next. Perhaps if we cut down on the unforced errors (mis traps, sloppy passes etc) and cards and keep our composure, we can avoid losses like the England game.

Looks like Marijne wants to play a counter attacking style which means possession stats will be against us against the top teams. I'm not totally in favour of this, especially when we have a 1 or 2 goal lead. Why can't we just build our attacks more methodically or just keep rotating the ball? It seems we are incapable of changing our plans during the game.

I hope we look at a few new players for the NZ tour. A few variations on PCs would also be very useful.

Still, it's a nice feeling to be talking about what can be improved rather being outclassed and looking silly in a tournament. We are looking competitive against the best teams in the world. In the past 4 decades that looked like hopeful dream!

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