If someone told you on the 26th of November last year that Gerard Nus was going to get sacked, you would have laughed on his face. Yet, less than 50 days later, the charismatic young manager is making his way to the airport. A bit hard to digest, isn’t it?
And why wouldn’t it be? After all, this is the person who even impressed opposition club’s fans with his short stay here. This is the person who used the F word out of excitement on live TV after his side came back from being two goals down. This is the person who dissed the FC Goa coach on live TV after they had an altercation during the match. Everyone loves an aggressive and extroverted figure on the field, and he checked all the boxes. Still, the trigger was pulled.
Results were not as good as they were supposed to be. But a look at NorthEast United’s history will tell you it’s not something new. And in a season where sacking your coach mid-season can prove to be a logistical nightmare, the Highlanders’ management has done the unthinkable. It baffled everyone, but sources close to the development have said that it was coming.
IFTWC got in touch with our sources in the know of the whole saga, and we try to bring the inside story to you. Sit back, and maybe at the end of this report you’ll have a clear picture of who was at fault.
It all started on 25th November, 2020. NorthEast United FC put out a statement saying they were going to ‘invest heavily in youth setup and academy’ and Khalid Jamil was sent to Guwahati. A bit fishy, considering the pandemic situation has halted everything going on in the country. This was, in all honesty, a coverup of the trouble boiling between Khalid Jamil and Gerard Nus. The head coach and the assistant coach had difference in opinions, something not unheard of in football worldwide. The management backed Nus, and sent Jamil out of the bubble. This was where it all started collapsing.
It’s not a secret that NorthEast United FC struggled in the preseason due to COVID-19, but probably they had it worse then other clubs. Gerard Nus didn’t have his complete troop till a few days before the season began, and it called for some tweaks in the strategy of the team. It was decided that the club will start the season with simple long balls, and after the team had gelled together, a better style of play would be implied. After the completion of eight to nine games, the management felt that the style of play had not improved. Strike two.
Now there comes the part about the discord in the dressing room, bordering on the edge of groupism. A section of the dressing room was unhappy with the team selection, with some voices have the most impact. The management got wind of the same and another thing went against Nus.
The management’s affinity to Khalid Jamil plays a role in the saga. Once the decision makers started to feel negatively about Nus, the thing about Khalid Jamil being sent back poked them. That explains their decision to call him back and make him the interim head coach. Also to help the team with decisions, a technical director from Israel has been appointed.
Nobody can predict what happens next. If NorthEast United had 100 problems, this one will be the 101th. The club affairs gets messier and messier, and a long term fix should be the immediate target of the club.