Bob Houghton is currently preparing the Indian national team for their biggest assignment in years, the AFC Asian Cup in Qatar in January 2011. The team is currently in Dubai for their final camp ahead of the Asian Cup in which India face continental power houses like Australia, South Korea and Bahrain. And those knowing Asian football well know that getting a favourable result for India from these three matches will be a difficult to impossible ask.
And an experienced coach like Bob Houghton knows this for sure. He said to the Dubai based 'Gulf News' newspaper, "To be honest, it might be time for someone else," when asked what a bad result could do to his India job. Only this year Bob's contract was extended by two years until 2013, but Bob seems to be getting tired of having to fight against the authorities of the AIFF to get things done.
And knowing how the market system works Bob added, "You have to be realistic, if India goes out of the Asian Cup with no points there's going to be an enormous outcry to sack the coach. Sometimes decisions are taken out of your hands."
There was fear in the summer amongst the India players that Bob could leave the team after it was known publically that then General Secretary Alberto Colaco was looking for a replacement for Bob Houghton after the Asian Cup without letting the coach know. Bob stayed on and is now preparating the boys for the tough assignment on hand, but for someone who has seen it all in football around the world, the things in Indian football might be too much to digest after four and a half years in control.
Bob has had considerable success with India winning the Nehru Cup twice and the AFC Challenge Cup in 2008 with earned his team a place in the 2011 AFC Asian Cup. India have had more exposure in the last four years then ever before, but the Asian Cup is a different cup of tea. Still Bob would take responsibility for a failure of his team and could step down.