Indian football icon Bhaichung Bhutia said the national team should be given enough time in order to make an impact on the international arena.
With India [ Images ] lying low in 165th place in FIFA [ Images ] rankings, the former India captain said: "The national team has too many young players now so they need time to gel and get used to the international level."
Once dominant in Indian football, Kolkata [ Images ] is yet to win the national league (now I-League) in eight years -- East Bengal had last won the title in 2003-04. Bhutia said the Big Two city teams -- Mohun Bagan and East Bengal -- need to settle down instead of changing and chopping.
"The Kolkata clubs need to retain the same team for two-three seasons to have a settled look. I think East Bengal have done well in that regard last two seasons but unfortunately it looks like they have fallen a little short again," he said.
Bhutia further said the I-League title is once again Goa-bound, with Dempo firmly in lead.
"Dempo deserve to be champions because of their consistency," the Sikkimese Sniper said.
Talking to reporters on the sidelines of T20 Pepsi Challenge, Bhutia said: "It is a good platform for amateurs. When I was young, all I wanted was to play whether it was a five-a-side or eleven-a-side it didn't matter. It is a good initiative and it helps increase popularity."
The meet is a five-a-side football tournament for amateurs inside a cage covered from all ends.