IFTWC recently got an opportunity to interview former NorthEast United FC coach, Mr. Gerard Nus. He shared his thoughts on ISL, the Indian youngsters, NorthEast United FC, and much more.
Starting with the interview, we asked Nus about his expected next coaching destination. We also asked whether a return to India is a possibility.
Nus told, “After such a successful time in the Hero ISL, we received opportunities from different leagues around the world. However, my coaching staff and I decided that we want to take the right challenge and go to a project that fits our goals. Coming back to India will always be a serious option for me because we were able to make history with NEUFC. We took the challenge and created a very strong squad with a limited amount of time, playing serious and disciplined football, bringing top-level players from different parts of the world, like Machado, Camara, Fox, and so on. In addition, I loved the fans. Football’s culture keeps growing and it gets better every day in India.”
Speaking on his ISL experience, here is what Gerard Nus had to say:
“My ISL experience was great. At the beginning of the season, one of my goals was to
promote the talent of Indian players and provide them with the right opportunities to
improve. Everyone observed how players such as Apuia or Ninthoi performed at a very high level. We did not only provide results to our club, but we also developed the future generations of Indian football. The ISL league is growing very fast, and the level is quickly improving.”
Speaking on which Indian player he feels has the potential to play in Europe, Nus told that:
“There is no doubt that there are Indian players that can play in Europe. ISL is becoming a great platform for players to challenge themselves and get better. Playing abroad can be challenging but I am sure that in the future, we will see many Indian players performing in other countries.”
Gerard has been in different positions throughout his career. He has also been under coaches of different origins and has witnessed an immense lot of varieties of footballing.
Continuing with the interview, we asked him Which style suits his play more? Does he mix different philosophies to bring about the philosophy of his own? How does it work out for him?
He told, “I would not be the coach that I am today without having worked with some of the best managers in the world, such as R. Benitez, G. Poyet, or A. Grant. I am extremely grateful for what they taught me on and off the field. Thanks to them I’ve been able to create my own identity as a manager. All my teams have similar principles of play that are easy to recognize. We work hard, well organized, and really competing against anyone. At NEUFC we were able to build a very serious team that was able to score goals in many different ways. At the same time, one of the most important things to succeed in football is to get the best out of the players you have in the roster, and this philosophy was definitely present everyday on and off the field.”
Speaking on the Indian player that impressed him the most during his time in ISL he told us that there are some incredible Indian players in the league.
“It is hard to just mention one, there are a lot of potentials. Chhangte, Thapa, Rahul KP, Samad, Manvir, Apuia, there is definitely more than one.”
Gerard Nus was next asked about his views on the Indian Super league. We asked him whether he thinks that the league still needs some sort of improvement?
He told that every league in the world has some room for improvement.
“I think that organizing a league in the middle of a pandemic is clear proof of the commitment and passion that this country has for football. A bright future is coming for Indian football fans.”
We saw many refereeing errors in ISL which possibly could have been avoided. Speaking on his take on the same, Nus told that in football we see refereeing errors happening every day in the highest competitions of the world. With or without VAR, there is always controversy. Being a referee might be one of the most challenging jobs in the world. I always tell my players “focus on what they can control. If we need the referee’s help, we are doing something wrong.”
Gerard has been a part of leagues in various countries. He was asked about the leagues there compared to ISL. We also asked him whether ISL has the potential to compete with those leagues?
Gerard told that the league is growing and developing year after year.
“It will only get better with time. We must be patient and keep supporting the clubs and the players. I was runner up in the Premier League with Liverpool FC, it would not be fair to compare a league that has many years of history, with a new competition such as the Hero ISL. India is a very powerful country, I am excited to see how the league develops and to be part of its improvement.”
Concluding with the interview, we asked him whether he followed ISL and Northeast United after he left? If yes, what difference did he find in the way Northeast played under him and then under Khalid?
“Yes, of course, I followed the ISL and NEUFC, it was great to see them continuing with the amazing dynamic that we had implemented. We must not forget that Khalid was my assistant until the club decided to move him to another position. The team played the same formation and defended/attacked in the same way. Even the lineups were exactly the same. However, there were two differences: the addition of D. Brown, who might be one of the most clinical strikers of the league, and having F. Gallego fully recovered and fit, a crucial player of the league and one of the best captains that I have been lucky to work with.”
– Gerard concluded