Saturday, May 21, 2011

Selecting national team - Working relationship and team before self

Writing this point of view here as I believe it is not right to start a debate in other people blog.

To be honest, I wanted to write this POV article long ago but have, previously, decided to wait until the National team was announced.

The reason was I expected unhappiness regardless of whom Raddy choose as frankly everybody have a different set of players they want.

But why wait as frankly it will be drowned out by with everybody telling us what is wrong with that selected squad.

I do not want to talk about the squad I want but rather simple things called working relationship and team before self.

If people click the link above, they will noted I do not agreed with the talks that it was Raddy ego that lead to players ban as I remember on Kallangroar, there was once a debate on players expellation and I can tell you it is far more complex.

The turth is barring, Goh Tat Chuan, Raddy has recalled all players who had gotten into trouble at least once and if it was ego stopping him, then more names than the one commonly mentioned will have been used as an example.

Here are a brief summary of players banned (and if there are more, you can tell me and I can check records I keep and take note, I am not talking who is wrong in those situation as both sides have their own stories)
  • Tan Kim Leng - Banned after Malaysia-Singapore friendly after he refused to leave the field due to red card and causing incident on the field. Recalled before the Tiger Cup 04/05.
  • Agu Casmir - Banned for the Persija Jakarta incident. Out for a year.
  • Masrezwan Masturi - Banned due to breaking of curfew before curial ACQ. Had been recalled to the National Team  
  • Goh Tat Chuan - Banned due to breaking of curfew before curial ACQ. Had never been recalled to the National Team  
  • Noh Alam Shah - Banned after the Singapore Cup Final attack on National teammate Bennet. Banned until Raddy talk to Bennet.
  • Ahmad Latiff - Banned for refusing to train. Recalled before the Tiger Cup 04/05 but chose to snub call-up and claimed that was a trial in Europe. Found to be false and ban continue. Recalled to National Team for ACQ but make trouble on his first game back as he refused orders and caused damages to hotel room. Banned ever since.
Ahmad Latiff will be long gone even under any coach as he was not banned just once but three times and I am not counting the rest of the time under previous coaches.

Of course some will say he is reformed and frankly that come to the part of working relationship I was going to talk about.

I had wrote (in the comment section in that link) that Ahmad Latiff had attacked Raddy in the public domain and if people remembered those press reports, just a few months ago, they will understand what I say.

And he cannot be misquoted as he was on it for almost a week.

I  believed some who are reading this are working people, let imaged that in the working environment in your company, a person openly whacked the superior by claiming he hoped he will be sacked over a sustained period, what kind of working relationship can be form between the subordinate and the superior.

Especially as that person is already known to have a difficult with other superiors before him.

For if Raddy want to hit back, for those critics who claimed those 'banned' players have stories about his 'mistreatment' of them, we can be sure our national coach will have stories, as juicy as their, about them as well.

But what will it served to Singapore and that is where I come to the other part about team before self.

As mentioned, only Goh Tat Chuan has never been recalled after being expelled and who is right or wrong in that incident is not important as how do one judged but what is important - for me - is the reaction afterwards.

By willing to comment to the media on the eve of an important ACQ, he was putting self before team as Raddy was trying to focus his team on the task ahead and to have somebody fanning another situation in the public eye was a hit below the belt.

It will not have killed Goh to have waited for we have seem how important it is in football to put team before self, not just because it is a team sport, but rather the sum of a collective team is better than individuals at team with Manchester United a prime example this season.

Alex Ferguson claimed this was his best team and he was right in a way as it was a team, that has less talent in the eyes of it critics but more team spirit than one can claimed about other teams, that claimed victory.

It did not come easily as over five years, the Scotman have thrown out players like Jaap Stam, Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Roy Keane etc to preserve the team and for those remaining he make sure they understood it was team before self.

For his actions, I can tell you the comments I have seem about Raddy matches that was spoken about Alex Ferguson then with many telling him he lost it and it was time to go. (This was the the nicest words then)

Indeed, we can see why Ferguson was so successful as he always chose players who put team before self and rid those who do not posses it with example from Scholes, Giggs, Schmeichel and Andy Cole; with them having clashed with the Scotman.

But those stories are leaked out by the players only years after it happened and when they have no consequences on the team.

This helped to maintain the team spirit and more importantly allowed the players to maintain working relationship with their manager behind closed door.

So when compared to Goh situation one can see why Raddy never selected him again.

A working relationship is not easy to maintain for if a player like Scholes, who is known to be mild-tempered and easy going, can have a clash with his manager we do not need it to come out into the open.

That is why players also have a responsibility to know when they can speak as they are public figures and are no longer children anymore for Ahmad Latiff is only 1 year younger than me.

Once spoken, it is difficult to salvage any situation thus they should bear those consequences as one has to ask those players - Do have spoken out then, what did they hoped to achieve?

That is why action to show your coach you are indeed 'reformed' are important and going to the press to denounce your coach is not one of them .

Masrezwan Masturi can give a talk on that as he was as responsible as the Manchester United players for the press have try to contact him after the incident for quotes but he was in their words uncontactable and remain up to this day tight-lipped.

In summary, Raddy do not need my help to name this squad as he should know who he can work with and who are those who put team before self.

And if he believed he can or cannot work with the player people want to return then one should accept it as he is the coach and will bear any consequences.

That is good enough for me for building a team with at least over 20 individuals is complex and he has to choose players who are willing to work with him and the team.

It is not just talent in the end but also about a team.

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