Monday, July 19, 2010

Qiu Li, a Lion whose injury should concern fans

There are now three Lions who are out injury but none concern me as much as Qiu Li.

Even if the person was Noh Alam Shah, the current favourite of the fans, it will not have worried me as much as Qiu Li and it is not because I do not support Noh who is playing in Indonesia now.

As good as Noh is, he cannot play in the 4-5-1 system I hoped Raddy will return to.

Noh cannot be the pivotal man in the system like Qiu Li thanks to his weakness in term of his (lacked of) touches and (lacked of) passing abilities.

He will be a liability in the 4-5-1 system as he need a partner who can fetch and carry the ball for him.

That is why he has flourished in the Lions team as they have been mainly playing the 4-4-2 system.

But the Lions have struggled in the 4-4-2 system as I have noted back in 2009 after the Bangkok victory.

However, I knew the Lions lacked a pivotal man as Qiu Li cannot represent the Lions until after the ACQ and Duric is nearly 40 now thus he lacked the stamina for such a system.

That why, since then, I have waited anxiously for Qiu Li to return to the Lions fold.

I was expecting to see him make his AFF Cup debut in December and with it, the return of the 4-5-1 system.

Now I am not sure if Raddy will be willing to give 4-5-1 it chance as the rest of the Lions main forward line – Agu, Noh, Frazul and Khariul – consists of players who are more comfortable playing with two forwards.

Looking at the positive on this matter, this expose the weakness of the Lions in term of squad strength and now is the time for FAS to start thinking how we can export the 4-5-1 to our clubs as many of them are still playing with a two forwards line. (Gombak and Tampines etc)

For those who do play with one forward, it is either overly negative (like our ‘attacking’ Geylang United) or the sole forward is a foreigner (SAFFC Uruguayan flop)

So in a way, the Young Lions programme can now be credited as Khariul Nizam is exposed to playing as a sole forward with the Jalan Besar team; which may not happen elsewhere.

Another is Khalili D’cruz, who may have to build up more muscles, and I hope he will be given his chance as the sole forward in future.

They may not be ready for the AFF Cup in December but they can give us the squad strength (2013 is my target for them) if their developments work up well.

Still, the long term plan should be ensuring all S-league clubs adopt the nation style of play like Home United; who has given Raddy another choice with Shahril Ishak as the pivotal man at the Protectors and both club and player are excelling in it. 

So the 4-5-1 may still see it day at AFF Cup thanks to the Bishan club.

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