Thursday, April 4, 2013

Choose a path first before anything else (Edited)

The recent Home United performances have fans admiring it technical style of play even if results have not been as forthcoming. Of course, with that admiration will come the question why such a style cannot be adopted by the national side as it done by a Singapore team that is filled with half who are Singaporean .

For me, it is a good question to ask as it will answer a number of other questions as well like the recent poor results in AFC Cup and the quarrel between Terry Pathmanathan and FAS.

First of all, one will ask how is it linked together and the example of German football will be a good explanation for until recent season German clubs had a torrid time in European competition; especially the elite UEFA Champions League (UCL) where, barred Bayern Munich, they struggled to get into the knockout stages for nearly a decade.

Yet one can see the Germans were still producing good players wanted by Europe. And now they are reaping the reward as the Bundesliga has four slot in the UCL and not just Bayern but all their teams are now consider decent challengers.

What does this show?

Results are important but if your system is capable of producing good players then you will reap the benefit in time.

After all, Greece may have won the European championship back in 2004 but yet it was German players who were scoured during the off-season transfers for clubs will only look for talented players, not limited ones.

In a way, it is much the same for Singapore who may have won the Suzuki Cup for a record fourth time but in term of players movement - even if I count the failed one of Shahril Ishak and Baihakki as successful - it can only be counted as limited.

But who can one blamed as Singapore is too affixed on the kick and rush as well as long ball philosophy of the English system.

Just as Europe see no point getting such players, the rest of ASEAN if not the world see no point hiring that type of players.

After that come the part why local coaches had anything to link with this.

This one is simple to answer for if local coaches are seem to be capable of only producing such players, what is the market value for such coaches. Clubs management and fans valued coaches who are not only capable of producing winning teams but also good players.

Is it any wonder why Richard Bok, who was one of the most successful coach, had no offers from aboard.

I do not want to be brutal but the current situation where local coaches only depend on the local market is unsustainable as every decade we have players retiring and if Terry Pathmanathan think local football coaches do not need Raddy as mentor then what can he offer.

Just depending on the name is not enough for it is no secret your type of football is the problem and we have seem famous name doing too much damages to local football reputation.

Indeed Fandi Ahmad may have caused more harm to whatever reputation local coaches had in the first place for his record is simply not good enough.

In Singapore, despite winning two S-league crown, it paled when one see Richard Bok who, at the start of his reign, was not given the same financial support as Fandi but won more titles and he did something the famous one never did; which was win in Asia.

Fandi when faced against other Asian teams had ended with only two draw and five defeats.

After that in Indonesia, he nearly brought his team to div 1 before he was moved upstairs and now in Malaysia, Johor, despite being the biggest spender in the league, has disappointed and he show his inability to control his marquee players.

For Sundram, he may as well be Singapore Sam Allardyce for his defend of his style of football just enhance the reputation that Singaporean can only play the kick and rush as well as long ball of the English game.

That is not what local coaches need as advertisement.

Thus at this point, for their own sake if not Singapore football how can one say they have nothing to learn for why should the world bother about us when we cannot offer them anything.

Indeed that is why the Home United project of following Korean football is of importance but just as Arsenal did not change the English game despite their passing style of football, it is asking too much of Home to think others will fall in line.

For that we need the upcoming FAS President (I have no hope for the current one as it is too late) for Japanese football is an example.

When JFA decided to start J-league in the 1990s they also changed the way their football developed as they reformed their philosophy and adopted the South American approach. They brought in all the locks and barrels from that region and stick to it even as there was opposition to the change.

Now 20 years later, we can see the results as the like of Keisuke Honda and Shinji Kagawa etc who are chase by European teams showcase the type of players they had developed is similar to South American.

Look at Singapore now, FAS claim to want to change the philosophy of local football but it is a mess for whose philosophy is adopted.

At the youth level, there are Japanese, Serbian and Singaporean coaches and each one has a different approach for Japanese like to play possession and control the tempo while Serbian play a passing game with a physical side. (No need to talk about Singapore one as talk about it already)

The approach by each side is different so how can players develop and that is why like Home it is time to ask what path they want to take as we need all the youngsters to take that route and not half here and half there.

Home has chosen the Korean path and frankly I do not want to say we must adopt it for this is not about whose path we should take.

German, Korean, Japanese, South American, French, Spanish and lot more systems etc all encourage technical game but have different approaches and mixing them together will only make a difficult job of changing the local game more complex without any results.

That is why I hope the upcoming President, whoever he or she may be, should choose a path first before anything else

Successful and attractive football attract offers and at this point Singapore has neither.

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