Whatever's cool with me...

Whatever's cool with me...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The sorry, pathethic and abysmal state of the Malaysian National Football Team.



Would I be labeled as unpatriotic when it comes to bashing the performance of my national football team? Truthfully, I've never really followed the performance of the team since the mid 90s, back when the 'then' team was still something to be proud of. I remembered vividly the 90s team which consist the likes of Zainal Abidin, Dollah Salled, Mubin Mokhtar, Khairul Azman etc. During the Asian group qualifiers for the '94 World Cup, they did us proud by 'almost' winning a match against the Saudis (who eventually qualified for USA '94) in KL, ending controversially at 1-1. Let us not even talk about the glory days of the 70s/80s......Mokhtar Dahari/Soh Chin Aun/Santokh Singh would cringe to the vast decline in performances between the different incarnations of the national team over the different eras. This is NOT to say that the team has improved over the years.
Now, let us concentrate on the essence of this article. Last night I've read a copy of a local newspaper (well, it was a couple of days old). The sports section talked about how the Malaysian FA was giving the current head coach, B. Satianathan a 'second' chance in spearheading the team. His contract extension, it seems, comes with several 'caveats' (conditions) in order to allow the FA to remove him from the job in the future; should he fail to 'effectively' carry out his duties as head coach. Well, his contract extension runs out in Dec '09 anyway, so not much time there for him to make a massive impact i.e. to get the national team from out of the slums (the recent one being dumped out of the AFC Suzuki Cup in Bangkok)! How many times have we heard the 'top' people in FAM talked about on how the team wasn't up to par, the players weren't ready enough, the coach utilised the wrong strategies, this-and-that....but it never was the fault of the management of the national team? This is really mind-boggling...they should shoulder some of the blame too.
Let me quote some real-life examples from the English Premier League (EPL). We have seen how team performances dip beyond 'worse' when top management people tried to take control of the tactical aspect of the team. Let the managers/coaches do their job. We don't need non-tactical people to give tactical advices. Liverpool, Man City and several other teams in the EPL had to endure bad experiences of interferences from their top management. The worst of it all was when Mike Ashley (owner of Newcastle United) interfered with team affairs and went as far as sacking fan-favourite Kevin Keegan, which enraged the supporters so much. As a result, players' morale were at a low; the team wasn't performing like an EPL-standard team and disastrous match results ensued. Eventually the supporters called for Ashley to give up the club!
Back to the Malaysian national team front, I think that the national head coach has not been given a reasonable time to at least get the players to gel together and perform as one tight unit. This may take years to achieve, but at least it will provide some hope of improvements. At this rate, thousands of Malaysian fans will agree that even in the unlikely event of us getting the services of Alex Ferguson, Fabio Capello, Guus Hiddink or Marcello Lippi; as long as there are interferences from non-tactical people, the team will never realise its full potential...ever! B. Satianathan's caveated contract extension will hinder any real progress to the team because if at any one point they're unable to produce the desired results, their head coach will be replaced. Hence, the cycle of adapting to yet another style of tactical play from yet another head coach repeats itself. Time wasted again and again. We start from zero yet again.
How about a massive overhaul at the top management level? Time for a change....time to get new and fresh ideas/perspectives. Is there even such a thing as a life-long president of an FA? Unchallenged! Have we seen the likes of Prince Charles or Prince Harry/William in the England FA Board Members? They should be, as England is a world-class team....but they aren't! Bring back the glory days where we can actually beat south Korea and Japan, as a start. Now these 2 teams are miles ahead, having played in recent World Cup tournaments.
Save our Malaysian National Football team. This football fan has spoken.

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1 Comments:

the wagonman said...

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