Monday, January 31, 2011

Prediction of 2011 championship race

Yes, up to this point in time, there are still teams that have not finalised their team but let be honest, the four team that mattered have finished it so let not delay it any longer. 

Here are my prediction of the 2011 championship race (so that I can be slaughter at the end when it goes wrong)

Home United (40%)
SAFFC (30%)
Etoile FC (20%)
Tampines Rovers (10%)
Rest (0%)

Here are the reasons starting from the lowest

Rest (0%)
Virtually all of them have been weaken having lost their best locals and for some their best foreigners. Gombak United, the most consistent of the lot of the past two seasons, have suffered as their forward line is gone while their midfield and defence have been decimated. While Geylang United, Hougang United and Balestier Khalsa have kept a number of their players, they can be described as decent but they are no championship winners. As for the reminder - Courts Young Lions, Albirex Niggata (S), Woodlands Wellington and TPUFC aka Young Lions B, they can be described as youth teams.

Tampines Rovers (10%)
It may seem ridiculous to give last year best performing local side the lowest percentage but they are one year older. Yes, their average age have come down over the years but it has resulted in a lost of quality. Now other than Duric, who can get the goals? And the veteran biggest problem is, over the couple of seasons, his goals have been restricted to teams in the bottom to middle half. Last season, not a single goal came against the championship challengers and the Stags suffer; dropping 16 points out of 18 points against Home United and Etoile FC. Against top quality sides, the margin are that close and without goals, they cannot hoped to gain anything.

Etoile FC (20%)
Again it is ridiculous to give a side who have released no information about their side such a high rating but thanks to one of their most loyal fan, there have been bit and part of news and it seem the players that have been retained are something the champions can build on. But they are no championship winners so the new players are important and that is why I ranked the champions lower than the uniformed teams for they are an unknown quality. Also, the new team will need time to adjust and last season, the Big 3 never got going as SAFFC crumbled while Home United took too long to get going with Tampines Rovers always stalling when they looked to have got going. One cannot always expect this to happen every season. So this time around, they may have less time to adjust before they are pushed to the limit. 

SAFFC (30%)
Wanted to put the Warriors level on percentage with Home United but believed their season depend much on how their new recruit Mislav Karogla adjust to the team and the S-league. Yes, there are other forwards like Indra, Fazrul, Taisuke and Erwan but the most important one is surely the Croatian. And he does look great on youtube but so was Federico Martinez. The Uruguayan inability to replace Duric's goals meant the Warriors season was over before it began. However this time round, the Warriors have taken less risks as their defence and midfield have been set up with players - Hammond, Savic, Jerkovi and Taisuke - who are already familiarise with the S-league so it is not the total overhaul of last season. Therefore they should have no problem challenging for honours but whether they win it is another matter as I say before - the margin are that close and without goals, they cannot hoped to gain anything. 

Home United (40%)
Goals should not be a problem for this championship challenger. They have a combined 36 goals upfront from their two main forwards - Qiu Li and Mendy - last season for their respective clubs then. And Sufian Anuar may pop in with a goal or two like last season and if they get Khariul Amri, as they hope to, then the stage is set for them. The rest of the team is not that far off in quality either with their midfield boasting the likes of internationals like Shi and Isa alongside 2002 Korean MVP Kim Dae-Eui while their defence have Hiek, Kenji, Jumaat and Shahril with Lionel keeping goal. It does not look too bad, right? That why they got the biggest share of the pie but whether they get to enjoy it, we will know at the end of the season.

Transfer - January

Transfer - December
Transfer - November

Hougang hoped for a better season with overhaul and South American flair

Former Sengkang Punggol and now Hougang United hoped 2011 will be a better year after their overhaul of the club image.

Gone is the familiar dolphin that has graced the club jersey inthe past. In its place comes the speedy cheetah, the fastest animal on land and a common sight in Africa and the Middle East.
The Hougang club also welcomed the club’s new kit sponsor Mitre. The British sportswear company replaces Italian competitors Diadora.

But nothing is important than the quality of the players and the club believed they have achieved that with two new key foreign signings - Argentine midfielder Carlos Alberto Delgado and Brazilian forward Diego Gama de Oliveira.

The duo were spoken well of by newly appointed assistant coach Hasrin Jailani.

“They have given us a good assessment of themselves, the S.League needs more of players like these,” said the 35-year-old.

“Having them here will give us a good boost and an extra cutting edge this season.” Along with that, the Cheetah have also strengthen their locals having signed veteran Noor Ali, utility man Fathi Yunus, former Gombak United winger Fazli Jaffar, centreback Shariff Abdul Samat and prospect Azhar Sairudin.

They have retained newly-appointed captain Fadhil Salim, defenders Duncan David Elias, Ratna Suffian and Lau Meng Meng, midfielder Sobrie Mazelan and foreigners Mamadou Diallo and Jordan Webb.

Tigers seek further improvement

After a substantial improvement in 2010 on their past seasons’ overall results, Toa Payoh-based Balestier Khalsa are set to go even further in the new season, according to new senior coach Salim Moin.

The 49-year-old, speaking at the club’s pre-season press conference, received solid backing from key centreback Paul Cunningham at the event.

While Balestier’s Kiwi skipper was bold enough to forecast that the team could make it into the top five in 2011, the coach was a little less effusive in merely predicting a continuing improvement in the club’s status, without being too specific.

Still, they were united in their optimism, the key to which is held mostly in the changes to the playing roster and some tinkering with the coaching setup.

Salim takes over the first-team duties from Nasaruddin Jalil, who returns to the Prime League job he had managed so successfully for some years before taking over the senior side in more recent times.

The Tigers have brought in 23-year-old Korean centreback Lim Young Woo, who played in his university team before joining K-League outfit Suwon Samsung Bluewings a year ago as well as another Korean, Kim Young Kwang, who has also been signed to play up front.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Young Lions get 1 million Courts deal

Picture Credit: Vanda Sports Group

Courts, Singapore‟s largest electrical, IT and furniture retailer, will commit S$1 million in cash and activation over a period of two years to the Young Lions.

Under the deal, Courts will acquire naming rights to the team. In addition, its logo will be emblazoned across the front of the team jerseys and throughout Jalan Besar Stadium on match days for the next two years.

With immediate effect, the team will be known as the Courts Young Lions. 

Describing the deal as one that is aligned with Courts‟ history of supporting football, Terry O‟Connor, Chief Executive Officer, Courts, said, “Our partnership with the Courts Young Lions is truly unprecedented in local football. The deal represents forward thinking on the part of the S.League, and that is aligned with our own philosophy of innovation at Courts. Being highly passionate about football ourselves, we are committed towards using our resources, networks and expertise to add value to the team and the S.League. This partnership shows that brands and the league can work hand-in-hand to create a win-win situation. We hope that this will give other potential sponsors the impetus to show their support for the local sports scene as well.”

Eagles aim for 'champions of the rest'

Geylang United have aim for being the champions of the rest aka as fifth place in the S-league for the upcoming season.

It can be described neither too ambitious nor aiming too low but is just right for the Bedok club.

The fact they only hired 3 foreigners - Joo Ki Hwan, Vasile Ghindaru and Kim Jae Hong - while being uncommitted to a fourth one, just two weeks to the season, show a lacked of prepartion compared to the Big 3 and even champions Etoile FC.

And even now they are not very 'confident' about their fourth foreigner seeing how they can claimed they are willing to make changes in attack in mid-season if thing go awry.

Singapore Olympic 0-2 Malaysia Olympic

Singapore Olympic team
Izwan Mahbud (GK); Abdil Qaiyyim (Faritz Hameed 46) Safuwan Baharudin (Eddie Chang 67) Afiq Yunos, Shakir Hamzah (Shahir Hamzah 46); Izzdin Shafiq (Raihan Rahman 46) Zulfahmi Arifin (Safirul Sulaiman 64); Eugene Luo (Yasir Hanapi 46, Nazrul Ahmad Nazari 70) Shahfiq Ghani (Fazil Zailani 60) Faris Ramli (Ignatius Ang 46); Haniff Sadique (Syafiq Zainal 30, Hariss Harun 83)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

TNP Blopper II (Is it really Haniff)

While TNP claimed to have Singapore football sewn into their heart and memory, I just hoped they can put in a 'bit more' effort when they are writing the real football article.

Or else, as I say before it is the blind leading the blind and no wonder they are now virtually no sport writer/reporter in the eye of many.

Such mistakes are getting common as TNP write more of their own articles (It not like the juicy article where they whack people and no need to write anything on sport) and it exposed what many say; which is local papers, ST included, is copy, edit and paste.

That is why when it is time to write their own articles, they do not know who the players are as they seldom do their own work, like what I am doing now, and relying on others work.

Here is what a Kallang roar forummer civotarum found out.

TNP fail again..

they mentioned Haniff pounced on the loose ball but shot wide with an almost empty net in the 73 minute..

Firstly, Haniff was already replaced around the 30th min, so for sure it wasnt him..

Secondly, i think that chance fell to ignatius. Haniff is probably the tallest player in the team, while ignatius is the shortest, how they manage to mix that up beats me.. i mean if you mix up syafiq with fazil or safirul, its understandable, but ignatius and haniff??

Home aim for Amri

Home United is reportedly aiming to bring back Khariul Amri from ISL.

The 25-year-old is injured since the Suzuki Cup and it seem his club is finding out the Singapore international can be a little injury-prone.

At Tampines Rovers, Khariul only started started 23 league games with another 22 as substitutes in 2 1/2 season.

As a local, he will not face the pressure of quotas limit but as a foreigner, Khariul has to be on the pitch more often.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Savic can challenge for starting place

SAFFC coach Richard Bok has spoken out that he believed his new signing Luka Savic can emulate Taisuke Akiyoshi this season.

The Japanese winger had been registered in the Prime League last season and was down in the pecking order but soon proved himself indispensable as the season progress.

As a result, the Japanese player only missed 1 game last season in the S-league.
And Savic believed he will achieved that as he seek to link up with Croatian Ivan Jerkovic in midfield in the upcoming season even as he faced a tough challenge dislodging one of the four senior foreigners.

Kappa extends sponsorship deal with Home United

Italian lifestyle & sports apparel brand Kappa and Home United FC signed a new contract continuing their partnership at the latter’s new clubhouse at 131 East Coast Road.

Kappa will be the official apparel and equipment sponsor for The Protectors for the next three years till 2013.

With an annual sponsorship value worth some S$250,000.00, Kappa will outfit all Home teams which include the S.League, Prime League, Centre of Excellence Under-18 & Under-16 teams as well as all their community & youth outreach football programmes.

In addition, Mr Ng Teck Koon, Director, Augment International Pte Ltd, revealed that Kappa will sponsor an outstanding young player with Home for a short training stint in Europe at one of the European clubs sponsored by Kappa.

Said Mr Ng, “Home United is one of the most successful S.League clubs in Singapore and we are happy to continue to support Home Unitedand Singapore football through our sponsorship. Our little effort to sponsor an outstanding young player will hopefully play a part in helping Singapore football.”

Big 3 Foreigners

S-league is now only 3 weeks away, here are the foreigners of the local Big 3 contenders

Akihiro Nakamura / Japanese / Midfielder
Benoit Croissant / French / Defender
Seiji Kaneko / Japanese / Defender
Park Yo Seb / Korean / Defender cum midfielder (Former Korean international)

Valery Hiek / Cameroonian / Defender (Won caps for Cameroon & S-league 2009 Player of the Year)
Frederic Mendy / French / Forward (S-league Top scorer 2010)
Kenji Arai / Japanese / Defender (Won 4 S-league title & 2 Singapore Cup)
Kim Dae-Eui / Korean / Midfielder cum Forward (Former Korean international & K-league 2002 MVP)

Prime League
Sherif El-Masri / Canadian / Midfielder cum forward (Current Canada Olympic team international)

Daniel Hammond / UK / Defender
Ivan Jerkovic / Croatian / Midfielder (League Cup 2009 winner)
Mislav Karoglan / Croatian / Forward (Former Bosnian U21 international)
Taisuke Akiyoshi / Japanese / Midfielder cum forward

Prime League
Luka Savic / Serbian / Midfielder (Former Barcelona youth product)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

39 matches slotted for weekend but .....

This season, there will be over 50% increase in matches on weekend according to the fixture list.

Last year, only 24 matches from the S-league took place on weekend but this is only if one believed the fixture list.

And, I do not so do not bet your house that this will be the number of matches that will be played.

Unfortunately, the Competition Division have a history of fixing the calender again and again when the season start and last year there were numerous changes to the calender and one cannot blamed the Beijing vs Young Lions game as it started before then.

The Balestier Khalsa 2010 season calender will show us it started in March, just one month after season started, and incredible by the second half of the season, the original fixture list mean nothing as every games will have being change to another date.

Of course, one hoped this time the new Football Director of Competition will stick to the fixture list for like the League Cup, constant changes show a lacked of respect to the competition.

League Cup could be slotted in July

A sharp eye person posted that there is space in July, during World Cup Qualifiers, for the League Cup and the Competition Division had noted there LC.

So it is likely the League Cup will be slotted in there once they fixed a format for it. (After discussion with Singapore Pools, no doubt)

League Cup has changed format and even the date when it will be held every year since it inception.

I would like to thanks that person and at the same apologise for being cock-eye.

Next time, I will have to look at every month instead of just June period.

Friday, January 21, 2011

League Cup scrapped

Saw the fixture list this year and it does not include the league Cup in the calendar.

With the season set to kick off in 3 weeks time, it is unlikely there will be any changes to the fixture list as FAS had already reportedly done changes to it.

So it is likely the League Cup have taken the first step to the history book.

The League Cup was started in 2007 and it status as the league most unglamorous Cup was seem by how the Big 3 constantly fielded reserves teams in the competition.

It soon spread to even the middle-tier field as Geylang United and Gombak United etc also started to field players they rarely exposed in the S-league in the League Cup.

The fact was winning the competition just cost more than losing it for the prize money is less than a mid-table finish in the S-league.

The winner of the League Cup
2007 - Woodlands Wellington
2008 - Gombak United
2009 - Brunei DPMM (Brunei)
2010 - Etoile FC (France)

Home games restored partially

After appeals from clubs chairman and fans, home games have only been restored partially.

Wednesday Live games now no longer need to be played at Jalan Besar like Friday Live games.

However, another appeal to restrict games to the weekend have been rejected as revenues (from SingaporePools) will be hit.  

The first LIVE telecast of the new season is Albirex Niigata (S) and the returning Tanjong Pagar United at Jurong East.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

S-league season push back

S-league opener have been push a week to February 12.

Here is the opening game, 12/02 - Young Lions v SAFFC

What can I say!

Other than it is a hallmark of that man administration.

Oh Yeah, the S-league Charity Shield is on February 9 between Etoile FC vs Tampines Rovers at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

It has not taken 'too long'

It has only been 15 days into the new year so that was 'fast'.

TPUFC have finally been officially announced as S-league 12th team.

But as Duric commented, can you do your job a little faster for S-league start in February 2011, not 2012.

A hallmark of that man administration.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

That man 'declared' Malaysia Cup plan over

Before proceeding, readers should know who that man is but I should explain why I cannot bear to write his name at this moment in time.

It will simply lead to negative thoughts as there is how much harm he has done in the last few weeks; if not last few months or even the last two years plus of his administration.

And that will lead to bashing and the news will be drown out.

Onto the topic, for readers who read the full article by TNP about that man without first vomiting at his photo (you see who much negative thoughts) will notice a statement.

The statement read - Z also ruled out the possibility of Singapore returning to the Malaysia Cup.

So should be I be happy now?

Not really as I do not trust him at all now especially regarding Malaysia Cup issues and here are the reasons.
  1. It has taken far too long as the Malaysia Cup story have been around for a while and he has always refused to kill it off showing his true intention.
  2. He spoke too many times in support of such a plan with I having written even two POV article on it and one of them was just last month so why the '180 degree change in heart'.
  3. He cannot keep promises as once again he flip flop on his plans and who know if he flip flop again.
  4. Lastly, who know if he will be quoted as telling us he was 'mis-translated' (Remember the Lions issues) for it seem he is speaking a language only he understand.
A man worth his words. Not that man so I viewed his 'new' declaration with caution if not disbelief.

Press conference next week to reveal new plan

The media has quoted from the FAS top man that there will be a press conference next week to reveal plans for the S-league.

The press conference will reportedly address matters concerning funding to the S-league clubs, youth development and national team.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

SSC only give $300k to Singapore football

Called me a skeptic or whatever.

It did not came out from the mouth of FAS but from S-league clubs chairman and there is not good enough as it mean there is no endorsement from FAS and even more importantly SSC and Singapore Pools.

So I rather see the amount first.

Also the statement from Balestier Khalsa chairman S Thavaneson about SSC show me SSC want money, not sport business development.

Clubs are now looking to get more out of their clubhouses, and will write in to the SSC to explore ideas.

Said Thava: "The SSC approach has been to make available to the clubs more facility-areas for them to expand their clubhouse operations which will generate income, but the SSC says we have to pay commercial rates.

"That's not workable and we're not letting that lie."

Considering SSC owned every sport facilities in Singapore, I doubt there is going to be real reductions in rental fees and that mean the financial situation will be difficult to improve as it is like I say before, one hand in one hand out. 

And that is big amount out with SSC collecting S$1.2 million rental (after minus their so called rental subsidies) so I wonder what money they are giving Singapore football as they only give S$1.5 million in their annual subsidies from the government.

It is only S$300k.

Jalan Besar home game to be scrapped?

It looked like it is happening as CNA report the 2011 S-league fixture is being re-worked now.

For me, it mean up to the appointment of the new Football of Competition Director, S-league was going to proceed with the Jalan Besar home games plan but at least, they acknowledged it is not working unlike the previous Football of Competition Director, who keep telling us it can work.

If there is a problem with the pitch, it should be worked out with SSC and moving games to Jalan Besar solved nothing.

After all, we should ask why Choa Chu Kang and Yishun, acknowledged as the stadiums with the worst pitches, have that problem as Hougang is older than both, yet have the best pitch and Choa Chu Kang is still the most expensive Neighbourhood Stadium ever build so it a waste of money as you got everything but a good pitch.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Hong Kong Friendly off due to Jaguars?

It appear the  double-header friendly against Hong Kong is off as Bigsoccer forumer Angsa report Hong Kong has announced there will be a game against Malaysia on February 9 and again in May or June.

With the schedule so tight as the World Cup qualifiers is returning, it is unlikely now Singapore will play against Hong Kong.

I have a feeling it is no doubt due to the Jaguars inclusion in the S-league.

It may seem harsh to pinpoint the, yet to confirm, S-league club but let be honest, FAS is funding it and no matter how cheaply it is done (even without foreigners as there is no indication the club is signing them) it will cost a bundle of at least over half a million dollars.

And the Hong Kong double-header can cost easily just under $100k and that is money FAS need to fund two teams this year.

After all, one cannot see how the Jaguars will get any major sponsor, like what their chairman claimed, for in the foreseeable future there is little prospect they will be challenging for any major trophies.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Forcing clubs will do nobody any good

I have been writing many POV this past week and it is taking up too much time so this will be last one, even if something do corp up, until after Chinese New Year.

The reason I wrote this one is because I found I never wrote any POV on COEs so when this one crop up, I thought I might as well write one.

With youth progamme talks now the rage, the Straits Times has reported FAS has a solution to the youth development problem and that is by forcing every clubs to develop one. 

It is reported that all nine local S-League clubs - including expected returnees Tanjong Pagar United - will be required to form their own centres of excellence (COEs) by next year.

My view is it will do nobody any good as the problem is money and without it, clubs will never do a good job of it.

Anybody who has a good memory will remember Jurong FC COEs which was ridicules as a waste of time and money.

Jurong FC management admitted they had a COEs programme because of the rules at that time thus they had to develop one.

In all those years, Jurong FC were in the S-league - 1997 until 2003 - not a single players were promoted to the S-league from their youth programme and their youth team can be easily ranked the worst ever.

It helped nobody as Jurong FC was not interested in the COEs progamme because of the lacked of funding.

Also, that feeling soon spread to more and more clubs and that is why the moment the rule changes, clubs saw no point running COEs.

And, even if they - meaning the clubs who dropped the COEs - were running COEs now, let be honest, how many players will make it out from those clubs to be even a S-league player let alone be a Lions player.

My solution has always been FAS should take over COEs and expand it instead of the one COEs - NFA - they run.

This would be like the French who centralized their youth programme - with 6 centre and 1 main centre (which train the best of the best).

And the clubs only take over when the players are ready to take the step up.

So FAS can still focus on the best of the best at NFA but with COEs also under their wing.

Yet at the same time, if FAS is going to force clubs to form youth programme, it should only be the U18 COEs.

It has advantages as 1) we bring down the cost without actually having to increase funding. 2) Running just one youth team mean the club will focus all their effort on it instead of the two which mean split resources 3) the clubs will have less problem finding capable coaches as they only need to find one. 

That way it is like the French whose clubs only take over when the players are older and at U18 level, the players should be moved to the clubs.

After all, the French know money is the root of the problem if they asked clubs to develop players on their own and that is why they centralized thus all costs, including the parents and their child who are required to attend an academy, are borne by the federation and the Ligue Nationale de Football.

But FAS is not done yet even then as the reason FFF youth programme is so admired is they were honest with themselves and that is their job is not done until the players reach adulthood as presented by Aime Jacquet, former French national team coach, at the USYSA Workshop, nearly 10 years ago, he summary it well.

The French Football Federation very much operates under the principle that “This work is very important for the game of tomorrow”. The better job they do in the development of quality players at the youth level, the more accomplished professional players will burst onto the scene. The FFF keeps a close eye on the professional clubs because they might not always be concerned with the best interests of the young players. They feel that out of all the elements, the development of the technical ability is the most important. 

So just changing the rules to force clubs to have COEs programme change nothing and let be honest, with Singapore land mass and in term of resources, FAS is the best candidate to take over all of the COEs under this land and run it.

Also, FAS can also easily keep an eye on players even as they progress to the U18 under the clubs COEs proagmme and like the French, they can barred players going to certain COEs progamme if they believed the clubs are not fully developing the players.
So do the right job and centralized youth development and just asked the clubs to keep the U18 COEs.

It will cost a hand and a leg but somehow it is cheaper than some of the projects we see FAS are looking to implement. 

Young Lions new design

Monday, January 10, 2011

COEs need more funding

Today has run a series of report - More than just half empty Talent pool running dry that tell us the COEs need more funding before more clubs are willing to take it up.

Is it a shock?

Not really as such reports over the years have appear several time especially when clubs pulled out of the COEs with Gombak United and then-still-called Sengkang Punggol two years ago at the start of the current FAS president era.

Maybe that person should have been talking about this issue as it fall under his organisation but of course, it will not make headlines like Malaysia Cup, ASEAN Super League and now disbanding the Lions.
S$100k was insufficient back in 2009 and it is insufficient now in 2011 and that is why local clubs give it up as in the end, it is about the money for there is no transfer market in ASEAN football.

So instead of spending money and effort on so called Malaysia Cup and ASEAN Super League projects going, that person may tell us how he intend to get that money when he failed to get the needed money on so many other projects.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Lions who will recieved a good goodbye from me and those who I think whose time are not yet up

Thanks to the top man in FAS, this batch of Lions will see some leaving with a bad mark, through no fault of their, and that is why I decided to write this article.

Not all of the Lions deserved this as some have served to the best of their abilities and they should leave with goodwill from the fans.

I will take the Suzuki Cup squad as the base.

At the same time, I will  list the players I still want to stay with the Lions and that include Qiu Li and Shi Jia Yi as both have the qualities the Lions need.

Of course that list do not need to include players like Safuwan Baharudin, Shahdan Sulaiman, Hariss Harun, Izwan Mahbud and Shafiul Esah as that man (You know who I am talking) say it was the main first team and not the squad that was being let go.

So on forward to those who should leave with goodwill.

1) Aleksandar Duric
Number one on the list as he has the most to feel letdown. This year when he scored his 300th S-league goal, that man already mess it up and now with his retirement, that man, once again, come out to mess it up. He does not deserved it as he could have easily focus on his club career at his age but his desire to win something with the Lions see him going on. The fact he was the top scorer put to shame his fellow forwards. He always give his best and was fit even when he was 40 and some Lions, who are not even 30, cannot match him. He was also the one to put the Lions on the way to the World Cup Group Stage back in 2007 with a double on his debut. 

2) Noh Rahman
For him, I feel he has much to feel letdown as he is the type of Lions a lot of fans claimed they want their Lions to be. But yet he was never given that credit because he was an average Lion. Yes, he make mistakes on the pitch but if the fans asked for a commitment then he is that type of player. He always give his best and play in whatever position the coach want him to play without complain. He just do his job and that is a credit as other will have wanted the glory. He deserved a better going away then to be tainted with those other Lions who do not deserved it. 

3) Mustafic Fahrudin
A Lion, whose time is up because of the Vietnam game. It is not due to any commitment issue as he always give his best on the pitch. But by the 80 minutes mark of that game, he was gone physically for, despite still fighting for every ball, it was clear he was a step behind. But is he not the type of player some are calling - fighting for every ball even when it is losing cause. He is and that is why he deserved to leave with goodwill from the fans. 

4) Masrezwan Masturi
It should have been his crowing glory as he return to the national setup. Now he may be tainted once again as he had previously lost his place due to indiscipline. But he got back on track by focusing on his football at his club and he was rewarded. That is why he does not deserved to be tainted again for he showed the commitment and desire to win back his Lion place when he could easily forget it like other who chose to retire once they did not get their way.

5) Precious Emuejeraye
A Lion whom some will not appreciate to be on the list but let be fair, he has never given trouble on the field (By that, I mean throw a temper when he does not get his way and it is not about his performance) or off it. He may not be a great footballer but fans are willing to claim they appreciate their Lions if they give it their all. Then Precious have done that for he has never been late (Like a partner of his) or been caught drunk-driving before a major game and that should be good enough to see him leave with goodwill.

Now onto players who I think still deserved their call up

1) the keepers - Lionel Lewis and  Hassan Sunny 
I do not see why they do not deserved to call up as each have served with credit with Hassan Sunny doing well for the Lions in the Suzuki Cup. As for Lionel, we know if he was given the chance, he will perform creditably as well.

2) Daniel Bennett
When he did not play, the Lions showed how much they missed him and he can still contribute especially as it looked like the defence will need a leader now for the back four could be make up of mostly new birds. He has also given it his all when called upon and is only in his early 30s.

3) Shahril Ishak
A player reaching his peak and it is crazy to offload him as he has much to contribute to the Lions. There is also no reason to drop him because he could easily missed the Asian Games if his club wanted him to.

4) Agu Casmir
Frankly, some will find fault with him and the most common one is he is greedy. But is that a crime as I am greedy as well. Like Precious Emuejeraye, who some will group Agu with, Agu has never been late or been caught drunk-driving before a major game and that should be good enough. He has never created major problem or friction so why drop a player who can still contribute. For he is even a better role model than some whom fans are willing to forgive.

Zainudin backtracking already

A few days after his idiot comments on the Lions, Zainudin is backtracking already and claimed the message was not translated well (Yes, it is the Malay paper 'fault')

Nothing to say about that person as the mainstream media will never say anything bad about him.

Here are the link on the many reports, you can read it yourself.





Friday, January 7, 2011

'Players expressed shock and disappointment' Article to be graded as POV

I have decided to add the article 'Players expressed shock and disappointment' to POV.

The title of the article will also be change to 'Players deserved a better going away handshake'.

Other than that, I hope Zainudin will reflect on his action and decided if he should send private letters to players explaining what he has done.

As FAS president, his actions was a disappointment and as the labour leader, as dubbed by the mainstream media, his actions do not matched his words for he has tainted the retirement of the likes of Duric, Noh Rahman and Fahrudin etc.

Players deserved a better going away handshake

It was not unexpected and by that I mean the players reactions as news filter through that Zainudin has ordered the national team to be disband.

Quite frankly, that is why I expressed my views that it should have been Raddy who should have decided when and how to tell the Lions who are being dropped as team spirit would have been totally torn to shreds now.

Indeed, two of the favourites - Hassan Sunny and Daniel Bennett - to be retained, have expressed their disappointment over the way the news was broke to them; which was through the media.

They must be thinking FAS stand for Forget after Service; for the way they are now treated after they have served so much for years.

In the TNP interview, Zainudin remarked it was no different from 2004 again and that young batch, which is being disband now, have done well to make history with two ASEAN championship and reaching the World Cup group stage.

The DIFFERENCE was then President Associate Professor Ho Peng Kee did not use the term disbanding to score political points like you are doing when referring to the older Lions and any changes to that team was conducted by Raddy without engaging the media.

So that batch of players like Rezal Hassan, Rafi Ali and Zulkarnaen Zainal etc were allowed to fade away with honour but not for this batch; after you have gone publicly to tell the players they are being disband.

Is that the way to conduct yourself, Zainudin? 

For NTUC, which you are a director, encouraged employers to tell employees, who are being let go, to observe certain rules - one of which is to allow the employees to leave with honour.

After what you done, can you expect the likes of Duirc, Noh Rahman and Fahrudin etc who have served well to leave happily for Duric has already expressed his shock and disappointment over the way he and his mates are treated after giving so much.

Now Hassan Sunny and Daniel Bennett, if they are retained, will asked if this is the way they will be treated after they have reach the end of the road as well.

And Zainudin will not be the person to clean up the mess for it will be left to Raddy, who have smartly refused to comment, as he has a job nobody will want at the moment with team spirit surely destroyed by the action of the FAS president.

P.S. Zainudin, practice what you, as NTUC director, preach and that is to conduct an entrenchment exercise with dignity for the employees. Going public is a NO, NO.

Zainduin should look after his organisation and not be head coach as well

It is the biggest news of the year regarding the Lions and yet the person delivering it was the wrong one.

It should not have been Zainduin to announce this decision as he is charge of FAS and is not the person managing the Lions.

For, if Zainduin is trying to emulate the French, who dropped all their players after the South Africa World Cup, then may I remind you the person delivering the message was the coach and not the President of FFF (France Football Federation).

After all, in your message, you stated only 4 players will be retained but even Laurent Blanc did not do that as he remarked that players who proved themselves worthy will be allowed back.

Let not forget, you will not be the person suffering the consequences of that quote for if Raddy called up anybody other than the 4 players who are retained, will he be branded with the tag of favoritism again.

Worse is if those 4 retained players failed to perform while those left out did perform, does it mean Raddy can never called those players up!

Is that not favoritism already as only the 4 retained players can be called up.

That type of decision should have been left to Raddy to speak on and not you.

You are in charge of FAS and this week, if there was to be a press conference, it should have been to announce the 12th S-league team.

Looked at the timer I set up, there is only 30 days left already and yet FAS have not even done so.

This is not an improvement that you claimed, just weeks ago, you will implement but maybe it is because you are too busy trying to be head coach now in addition to the many titles you hold.

Let look at what title you hold
  • FAS President
  • Central District Mayor
  • NTUC director
  • NTUC share director 
  • Malay/Muslim leader
  • Bishan-Toa Poyah GRC MP
It is any wonder you do not seem to have time to do anything for local football despite being FAS president as look at who open the 2010 S-league season.

It is not you but Associate Professor Ho Peng Kee and why is it that!

Let me be fair, you have also say you hope fans will turn up at S-league games but strangely enough, it is well known you do not attend matches yourself.

No doubt it is due to the many duties you have to perform but if I was the person hearing that message, it will sound hallow to me as it is the pot calling the kettle back.

I do not, and maybe Singapore football do not as well, need somebody who can 'multitask' and it just need a person who can purely focus on being FAS president only.

After all, J-league, which run in the same months as S-league, has long announced Gainare Tottori as the 18th J2 side but yet in Singapore, we may have to wait another 2 weeks for Jaguars can only get back to FAS next week and FAS will then need time to make the arrangement.

And J-league do not have a President who hold as many title with Kazumi Ohigashi just content to be J-league boss and his only aim, as quoted, is to bring the J.League closer to the world level and helped strengthen the national team.

Maybe if Zainduin did not have as many aims, he may find time to focus on one of his job as this week, he did called a press conference but it is to announce Josephine Teo and him have jointly tabled a motion to discuss "inclusive growth".

A week when Singapore football needed our President, he is elsewhere (yet again).

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Steven Tan appointed as Stags coach

Steven Tan have been appointed as Tampines Rovers head coach.

The 40-year-old is taking over Vorawan Chitavanich who have moved upstairs to become the Director of Football.

Vorawan will now oversee the club youth development progammes and make improvement to it. 

Zulkarnaen Zainal will also be taking over from Syed Faruk as the team manager

Jaguars is U21 in disguise?

TNP have claimed the main reason why Tanjong Pagar United looked set to be in the S-league is because the Jaguars have 'agreed' to be an U21 side.

It is also for that reason FAS is willing to 'loan' Terry Pathmanathan to Tanjong Pagar United as the former Cubs coach was surprised to know he was appointed as the Jaguars coach.

One wonder if the Jaguars fans will be willing to accept such a position for the long-term as there is no doubt to get back to the S-league, they will accept it now.

For let not fool ourselves, the supporters of a club that is destined to be rooted in the bottom half is tough already and if one is set to stay there for a while thanks to a policy to hire mainly U21 players, they should have a lot to anguish over.

It will also, sooner or later, lead to question on the ambition of the club management and why they are willing to accept such a lousy proposal especially as they could be seem as a subordinate to the Young Lions team.

Robin is insurance policy?

The header may sound harsh but after reading the news that Robin Chitrakar is set to be head coach of the Young Lions, that is the feeling I get.

After all, in the same report Technical Director Slobodan Pavkovic was mention as being given a post of sort by working on the players' technique and playing styles.

If it was anywhere else, one would wonder if that person was the true coach of the team.

But Robin should not be dishearten as it is his break in the senior rank after his more prominent colleagues have been given their chance and he can prove he is better than them as quite frankly at this moment in time, no local coaches have shown why they should be head of the National Team.

Jaguars set to take 12th spot

CNA have revealed the 12th team which is Tanjong Pagar United

Channel NewsAsia understands that former Singapore international Terry Pathmanathan is in line to take the reins as coach, with Clementi Stadium as the club's new home ground.

Chairman Edward Liu revealed that the club are already in talks with potential sponsors, and are in the final process of evaluating if its resources are sufficient to return to professional football.

Hougang United released their logo

Monday, January 3, 2011

New year and already we see a broken promise from Zainduin

It is January 3, 2011 already and the promise was the 12th team will be announced before December 31, 2010.

So before you open your mouth again, Mr Zainduin.

I would like to remind you that this is the third straight time, we see a broken promise from  you within the past year.

How can anybody trust you when you are clearly opening your mouth to make promises you have no intention or no ability of keeping.

Two years? One month is already too long when you show you cannot keep to a timeline to reveal the 12th team as this should be the easiest assignment of the next two years.

Home get their Korean

Home United have their Korean as Kim Dae-Eui signed on the dotted line with the Bishan club.

The Protectors website had an interview with him after the signing'

Q: What can the fans expect to see from you this season ?
A; I am a fast player, despite turning 36, i still have considerable pace. Creativity is one of my strengths and of course i hope to give the fans, goals.

Q: What are your targets for the coming season ?
A: Home United FC has not won any titles for several years, and my main aim is to play a big part to win silverwares for this Club.

Q: In your short time here, how do you find Singapore ?
A: Before i came, i heard from people saying Singapore is very hot and humid but so far the weather has been really nice. The people here are nice and friendly. People at this Club are very kind and helpful. i'm very happy to be here in Singapore.

Q: Last question, having won the K-League's MVP in 2002, will we see you winning the S-League Player of the Year in 2011 ?
A: Firstly, i need to adapt to the new surroundings. It's not easy coming from Korea, which is quite different from Singapore. I hope to settle down quickly and look to start the season in fine fashion.

SAFFC revealed their Croatian forward

SAFFC have announced they have signed Mislav Karoglan from the Croatian league.

He was hired by the Warriors based on the recommendation of Mirko Grabovac, one of the top SAFFC marksmen of all time.

The 28-year-old had been on loan from top-tier Croatian side HNK Rijeka to second division team NK Imotski, where Grabovac is now head coach.

"Mirko told me everything about SAFFC," said Karoglan.

"I know he had a great career here. He said this is the best club in Singapore, and I won't regret if I come here, so I decided to try for six months.

"I have to score enough goals to make good results. I don't know about the league, so I can't say too much, but I will try my best."

Karoglan had played in Bosnia for several years in his youth, enough for him to qualify for a Bosnian passport and represent Bosnia and Herzegovina U-21 from 2002 to 2003.