Legendary footballer and former coach of Indian Football team, Amal Dutta passed away at his residence in the city following prolonged age related ailments at the age of 86.
“He was suffering from breathing problems, but was well till the morning. His condition deteriorated in the evening when we rushed him to a hospital. The doctors tried a lot but could not help,” said his son Ashis Dutta.
A West Bengal born footballer, Dutta used to play for East Bengal during 50’s. He also represented the country in the 1954 Asian Games at organised in Manila. He used to play as a midfielder.
After his retirement as a player he started his career as a coach after taking a coaching course in England for one year. During the training in abroad he was taught by the renowned Walter Winterbottom.
After returning to India his first major assignment was to coach Indian Railways team in 1960 for the Santosh trophy. He was the first coach who introduced the method of playing the game in a combination of players 4-3-3 on the ground for which he was heavily criticised by many.
Before the introduction of the new method by Dutta, the players used to play in a combination of 5-3-2. Eventually, Dutta’s method was proved to be the most effective strategy and widely accepted by the people.
In the early 1960s he defied the archetypal Bengali middle class dream of a secure government job, retiring from the Indian Railways to become a full-time coach. In the twilight of his career, he experimented again in 1997 and using a three back system, having Mohun Bagan play in the celebrated ‘Diamond’ 3-4-3 formation.
All these new formations were used to extract the maximum potential from his players, and signalled his determination to ensure India kept up with global changes in tactics, methods and styles of play.
His ‘Diamond System’ with Mohun Bagan in 1997 made him even more famous, and he earned the respect for being a genuine thinker of formations and football ideologies.
He took the standard of club football in different height. In his illustrious career, he was associated with premier football clubs of India, and also became coach of India.
He is renowned for his bold and innovative tactics and formation. He was the first footballer to author a book called “Football Khelte Hole” in which he depicted every important aspects of playing good football and the norms relating to the game.
Through video presentations Dutta had showed the players about the good techniques and used to teach them lessons on the basis of the video presentations.