Head Coach Kibu Vicuna, the mastermind behind Mohun Bagan’s overwhelming success this season has been lauded by every football supporter across the country as Mohun Bagan won the I-League with 4 matches to spare – emulating Dempo SC’s feat of 2009-10 season. In a freewheeling interview, AIFF Technical Director Isac Doru took time off to speak about Vicuna’s ideology, the key to success, the Indian youngsters in the team, and much more.
What has been Kibu’s primary coaching ideology?
I would take this opportunity to congratulate all the club members, staff, managers, medical staff and the players of Mohan Bagan for this impressive success!
Kibu was the key to their success. He has managed to develop a possession-based playing philosophy. They generally start to build-up from the goalkeeper and through rotation and passing, they take it forward to the attacking third. Defensively, they are very disciplined and manage to play compact while pressing high sometimes. Their scouting team deserves credit for roping in on quality foreign players who have played a major role in their success.
How do you see Indian players improving under his coaching?
Indian players like Nongdamba Naorem, Sheikh Sahil, Ashutosh Mehta, Subha Ghosh and others have improved during the course of the I-League. If you follow their performance closely they weren’t impressive at the beginning of the season. But once they started to grasp the model of the team they became more consistent, and eventually improved.
The foreign recruits have also been a major element behind these Indian boys’ success. The skills and intelligence of playing the game, the transition from defence to attack, and vice versa has helped them significantly to hone their skillset.
Which of his coaching qualities has impressed you the most?
Personally I met him once and we have had a long discussion about football. He divulged his playing philosophy and his lookout towards the game development. Kibu is very impressive as a human being. He is humble, very particular about details, and always open to learn new things. He has an impressive team around him who have carried out a crucial job to get them over the line.
Where did he stand out compared to other coaches?
He succeeded in keeping the players motivated and churning out the best from them on the pitch throughout the season. The value of a coach depends on the structure of the respective club. Bagan have been extremely professional in the manner they handled it. Kibu is at the right place at the right time, and there’re like-minded people around him with the right set of knowledge. The result followed.