Monday, July 23, 2012

Split not that bad

There have been much discussion on the plan by FAS to have a split system for the S-league next season.

To be honest, I have no problem with the split system as it bring the number of games in the league to 34-36 (depending on system) for the teams.

Of course, why I like the league to have a minimum of 30 games have been written before so I will say it briefly, it is for the good of the local league as it is next to impossible for a professional league to run for a season with too few games and what we see this season, with so many break, is a problem we should avoid.    

Indeed Duric must be wondering why we are taking a break yet again (As he spoke about it to the media a while ago) when the league just resume 2 weeks ago and this is the fourth time it is happening so how can the league build any momentum under such a situation.

Also a number of league have a form of split and it is not just Scottish Premier League but also the likes of Belgium Pro League and Greece Super League etc so they have their supporters.

As for those who given up on their split like Swiss Super League and Austrian Football Bundesliga etc they have still ensure they have 3-4 rounds system of games so as to have a reasonable of games.

So no matter what system one can think of, it is clear a need for a minimum of 30 games is unavoidable. 

Yet I do not believe in bringing teams into the league just for the sake of making up the number to 16-18.

A number of European (especially Eastern Europe) league do just that yet the problem they are encountering is directly linked to that; There are just too many weak teams plagued by weak management that will not survived in the dog eat dog environment.

Weak management is worse than any type of split system or even the previous three-rounds system and it can be seem in our current FAS president. (He is a weak president who I think have done nothing but is always around to claim credit and never around when there are problem to solve )

Just looking at some of the defunct S-league sides like Sembawang Rangers and Jurong FC - Sembawang management time saw them more busy fighting among themselves while Jurong management was noted as being unwilling to change or listen - showed us the problems ahead.

Where are we going to get the manpower to fill up the number we need if we want to bring the National Football League into the equation like some are suggesting.

Example: National Football League (NFL) Division Two club Admiralty FCis showing ambition by seeking S-league membership and they have the aid of one-time Woodlands Wellington mentor R Vengadasalam.

This is good and nothing against R Vengadasalam but my Viewpoint article - They will be remembered in time - will explain everything.

Father clock is not on their side and the problems Geylang United faced this season with new management (whom their fans are accusing of lacked of ambitions) showed the problems of getting the right persons (It can no longer be a one-man team anymore) at the right age as well. (It is a long process so they need decades on their clock) 

Like any plans there will be pros and cons and I have read many cons so here are the pros 

Pro of a split
  • Top teams get more creditable games as they will be playing against stronger side (It is not just number of games like I say in the POV article - You scratch my back and I scratch yours - but also the quality)
  • Bottom sides will also come out to play football more as unlike strong vs weak they will be more willing to come out against teams of their own strength so they will be learning more
  • It does not affect the bottom half as much as talked about for even without a split the likes of Geylang and Woodlands will have little to play by the halfway stage for they cannot challenge consistently
  • A Plate trophy can be created like some are suggesting although some will ask if it is fair a middle table team get a trophy when second do not have it
In the end, the Scottish Premier League also show us  that the split is not as bad as suggested for the Scots had the chance to ditch the system last year but in the end, they did not as they admitted there was no better plan for a 16-team league just have more weaker teams and will it help.

So the Split System has it own advantages for a country that cannot support too many teams at this point.

S-League sticks to 13 teams

The local media have reported next season S-league will remain as 13-teams so FAS are not admitting any new members.

This is despite interest from National Football League (NFL) Division Two club Admiralty FC.

The club, who have secured promotion to the NFL Division One next season after a dominant season, had expressed interest in joining the S-League.

It is understood that Admiralty's team manager R Vengadasalam had been in discussions with S-League CEO Lim Chin on the matter, since March but the chances they will be admitted look low.

AFF Suzuki Cup 2012 Draw

Group A (Rajamangala Stadium, Bangkok)
1. Thailand [host]
2. Vietnam
3. Philippines
4. Winners of the Qualifying Round

Group B (National Stadium, Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur)
1. Malaysia [host]
2. Indonesia
3. Singapore
4. Runners up of the Qualifying Round

StarHub League Cup 2012 Draw

Group A

Group B
Albirex Niigata (S), Balestier Khalsa, Geylang United

Group C
Home United, Courts Young Lions, Hougang United

Group D
Tampines Rovers, Woodlands Wellington, Gombak United

Home and Tampines go down in final round of AFC Cup games

Both Home United and Tampines Rovers lost their final group game.

For Tampines, it did not matter much other than the fact it was their fourth game without a goal and it cost them yet another defeat as they went down 3-0 to Song Lam in Vietnam.

For Home United, it cost them a shot at first spot with Chonburi walking away with all 3 points as the Thai side won 1-0 at Bishan.

The Protectors will now have to face a tough away tie in West Asia against Syrian side Al Shorta.

Tampines Rovers
Sasa Dreven (GK); Anaz Hadee, Benoit Croissant, Jufri Taha; Ismadi Mukhtar, Fahrudin Mustafic (Aleksandar Duric 46’), Sazali Salleh, Ali Hudzaifi (Imran Sahib 46’); Davor Piskor, Ahmad Latiff Khamarudin, Ahmed Fahmie (Syaiful Iskandar 68’)


Home United
Lionel Lewis (GK); Masrezwan Masturi (Indra Sahdan Daud 69’), Rosman Sulaiman, Franklin Anzite, Jeremy Chiang; Shi Jiayi, Sofiyan Abdul Hamid, John Wilkinson, Firdaus Idros (Frederic Mendy 31’); Shotaro Ihata (Hafiz Nor 55’), Qiu Li.

Third comeback secured Home their spot in last 16

Once again, Home United went into the break behind but once again they showed their prowess in the second period to secure a precious win.

All 3 of their win in Asia this season was thanks to their second period comeback and this one secured their spot in the last 16 with 1 game to spare in the group.

The goals came from regular scorer Frederic Mendy and defender Franklin Anzite,

Their next game in Bishan will still be of importance as it will decide the group winner which come with home advantage in the 1-tie game in the last 16 knockout stage.

In the other game in the group, Chonburi defeated Yangon 2-0.

Home United
Lionel Lewis (GK); Nor Azli Yusoff, Franklin Anzite, Kenji Arai, Jeremy Chiang; Firdaus Idros (Indra Sahdan), Sofiyan Abdul Hamid, Shi Jiayi (Masrezwan Masturi), Qiu Li; Frederic Mendy, Shotaro Ihata (Rosman Sulaiman)

Stags AFC Cup dream over

If Tampines Rovers management were to conduct a review of their failure in the AFC Cup, it will not be any surprise to know the answer is their attack.

It was the third time in 5 games that they failed to find the net and without goals you cannot win.

They can claim they created chances but in the end the only stats that matter is whether those chances were converted into goals for if they are not then it is worthless in the end.

Like in this game which they had to win but could only play out to a 0-0 draw.

In the other game in the group, Song Lam chances were also ended as they fell to Terengganu 6-2.

Tampines Rovers
Sasa Dreven (GK); Anaz Hadee, Benoit Croissant, Jufri Taha; Imran Sahib, Ahmad Latiff Khamarudin, Sazali Salleh (Ali Hudzaifi), Ismadi Mukhtar (Hairulnazri Hanafi); Jamil Ali (Davor Piskor), Aleksandar Duric, Ahmed Fahmie.

Home get their win with second comeback

It seem Home United have to go into half-time losing to win games in Asia.

For the second time in 4 games, they went into the break behind but no problem as they Protectors came back in the second period to win it all.

Qiu Li and Frederic (2) got the goals for the Protectors.

In the other game in the group, Chonburi played to a 3-3 draw with Citizen in Hong Kong. 

Home United
Lionel Lewis (GK), Nor Azli Yusoff, Franklin Anzite, Kenji Arai, Jeremy Chiang (Indra Sahdan), Firdaus Idros, Sofiyan Abdul Hamid, Shi Jiayi, Qiu Li; Shotaro Ihata, Frederic Mendy.

Duric score to give Stags their first win

Aleksandar Duric found his scoring touch to give Tampines Rovers their first win the group.

His brace gave Tampines Rovers a 2-0 win in Malaysia.

It gave Tampines Rovers 4 points in the group and renew their chance of winning second spot.

Another win in their next game against leader Kitchee will be of utmost importance.

In the other game in the group, Song Lam also got their first win with a 1-0 win against leader Kitchee. 

Tampines Rovers
Sasa Dreven (GK); Anaz Hadee, Benoit Croissant, Jufri Taha; Imran Sahib (Ali Hudzaifi), Fahrudin Mustafic, Sazali Salleh (Fazil Zailani), Ismadi Mukhtar; Ahmad Latiff Khamarudin, Aleksandar Duric, Davor Piskor (Ahmed Fahmie)

Home win point at Yangon

Home United won a precious point at Yangon to continue to hold second spot.

The Protectors have 4 points from their 3 games thus far

In the other game in the group, Chionburi defeated Citizen 2-0 to cement their place at the top. 

Home United
Lionel Lewis (GK); Nor Azli Yusoff ((Hafiz Nor) Kairuldin Ishak), Franklin Anzite, Kenji Arai, Jeremy Chiang; Indra Sahdan Daud, Shi Jiayi, John Wilkinson (Firdaus Idros), Qiu Li; Shotaro Ihata, Frederic Mendy

Same old story for Stags

Once again, Tampines Rovers had the chances to win the game but once again they failed.

The reason was their failure to find the net yet again as Duric and his fellow teammates misses a few glint-edged chances while Terengganu took their to win 1-0.

Duric has always been the Stags best route to goal but now as he aged, he need help and the sooner the Stags give it to him the better for the team.

In the other game in the group, Hong Kong champions Kitchee defeated Song Lam 2-0. 

Tampines Rovers
Sasa Dreven (GK), Anaz Hadee, Benoit Croissant, Jufri Taha; Imran Sahib (Ali Hudzaifi), Fahrudin Mustafic, Sazali Salleh (Fazil Zailani), Ismadi Mukhtar; Ahmad Latiff Khamarudin, Aleksandar Duric, Davor Piskor (Ahmed Fahmie)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

S-league could get ACL spot for 2013 after amendments

According to goal website, S-league is set to get a spot for the 2013 AFC Champions League (ACL) after amendments to it rules on entry to the competition.

Instead of having their slots taken away completely, Member Associations (MAs) who do not meet the criteria of participating in the ACL, will be handed points deduction instead.
A minimum number of 600 points out of a possible 1000 is, however, required for the MAs to qualify for participation.

And further news from Chinese based sites show S-league will be placed 8th thus occupying the last slot for the ACL playof.

Still it will be a tough job to get into the ACL group phrase as it may well be seeded so the S-league champion will be handed a tie against either a Chinese Super League, A-league or, best situation of difficult games, a Thai Premier League side.

Here is the table according to the Chinese media where the AFC Conference decided, before any checks, the East Asian slots.

Group Stage

Aussies set to join EAFF

The Football Federation of Australia (FFA) is set to join the East Asian Football Federation (EAFF) family according to news from Hong Kong.

They will be playing in the EAFF Cup although they have to start from the qualifiers.

Australia will be grouped alongside North Korea, Hong Kong, Chinese Taipei and the preliminary round winner (Guam, Macau or Northern Mariana Islands).

This is disappointing news for me as I had hoped FFA will join the AFF family instead as the benefits will not just be good for ASEAN football on the field but also off it as let be honest ASEAN FAs have much to learn commercially (Suzuki Cup is a success as the rights are held by WSG and not because ASEAN FAs run it well) 

ASEAN had it chance but it is just too scared to lose their only chance of a trophy.

Looked like ASEAN will be struck as Asia weakest region, alongside South Asia, for a lon.......g time to come whether we want to argue about it or not.