Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Superior Balls than Malaysian

Football actually.

For your information, Malaysia is the co-host of Asian Cup 2007, alongside Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam. Here's the situation: in a group against China, Uzbekistan and Iran, we lost 1-5 against the first opponent, and 0-5 against the second one. We are the only team without a single point, not just in Group C, but the ENTIRE tournament. We are also the team which conceded most goals (10) and the confirmed host nation among the four to be eliminated. Plus, we haven't face Iran yet.

Even the football bookies in Hong Kong had given up on us: 1 - 1.06 for a win by Iran; 1 - 7.50 for a draw and 1 - 22 for a win by Malaysia. Walau~

Here's the conclusion: we are in deep, deep shit now.

Especially for Iran who wants to bypass China to become the group leader. Currently, the two teams are tied at four points each but China has the upper hand with a three goal margin against Iran. So, here's the math: if China wins 1-0 against Uzbekistan tonight, or at least in the mind of the Iranians, Iran will need to present five goals against none to Malaysia in order to top China, i.e. we will suffer another goal fiesta tonight and end our miserable little Asian Cup daydream.

Of course that's the most optimistic(!) guess, since we can't be sure how the Chinese will fair against Uzbekistan. Surely the Iranians feel the same way as well. So they will definitely opt for more goals to make sure that they will definitely meet their mark, i.e. we might be seeing seven or eight goals behind Malaysian net tonight.

Even our own coach "has no illusions about beating Iran". As a matter of fact, his formation tonight will be focusing on defense to try to minimize conceding more humility. Iran on the other hand, has vow to "start attacking right from the start to score" (same report), with "all their powerful players" (same report) some more.

Yeah man, we are in deep deep shit now.

Although I'm not particularly fond of Malaysian football, I didn't hope of such bad result from the our team either. I think the bad performance is one huge nightmare for all Malaysian, not because we are one of the co-hosts, but because we should be able to do much better as compared to other teams. We have massive funding for player trainings, including trainings on foreign soils, and world class facilities for the players. For other participating nations like Iraq, with facilities ravaged by war and continues to face terrorists' insurgence almost everyday, they manage to top their group featuring Australia, Thailand and Oman, plus they travel hundreds of miles away from home fans to participate in this tournament while we are playing right here in our own country.

Yeah, that's right. Image from NST Online

So, what's wrong anyway? Just before the opening match against China, "we are ready!" After the match, "Malaysia Got The Tactics All Wrong". After the 0-5 lost to Uzberkistan, "We tried but we failed". Oh shit~

The deputy president of our football association (FAM), Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad has quited after the match against Uzbekistan. His departure started a snowball effect and many top people in Malaysian football start seeing the green exit signs as well. But will that be enough? I don't think so. After the glorious 80s, which saw Malaysia as the strongest football nation in South East Asia, and among the top three teams in all of Asia, our football standard started to slip into oblivion. We have political figureheads who know nothing of their balls managing our balls not only on national level, but in each of our states as well. We have different standards and regulations for our national league every year. These political influences had poisoned the game so much I reckon quitting of the entire FAM board of directors will not make any difference in improving our football standard.

I'm sure many of you will still remember the incident of Malaysian government and AFC (that's the tai-kor-tai in Asian football) in the planned friendly match against Manchester United. The match was supposedly two days before the Asian Cup. For a bloody hell friendly match only to make our National Day celebration more colorful, the whole Malaysian government is willing to put the membership of our country in AFC at stake. Even our Tourism Minister minded the ball, even though clearly, he can't handle the ball. Then, our whole Youth and Sport Ministry tried to handle the ball as well, but clearly, they should really learn how to play with their own balls first.

For one freaking damn friendly match, so much political influences was being mingled in the already troubled Malaysian football. Where's the attention to the training scheme of our players? Players who are in the squad were still playing matches in the league when they are supposedly training for the bigger tournament. Where's the attention to the Asian Cup preparation? Is seeing Ryan Giggs, Ronaldo and Rooney more important than the whole Asian Cup? Is the money earned from this proposed MU extravaganza enough to cover for our humility in the Asian Cup? Priority, man, priority!

If the Asian Cup is not as important as the MU match, then please don't hope for anything out of it. The comment of "we don't have the quality to compete in Asian Cup Finals" (same report) should have being uttered way before we join in the parade of organizing this year's Asian Cup, just to bring out all our shit and show it to the whole Asia.

Regardless of how the match tonight is going to be, I'm sure of one thing: the problem with our ball is way out of control and can hardly be solved by a mere "full report" or even an "overhaul" (same report) of FAM. The problem is our mentality, or rather the top management's mentality. The day when they stop girl, wine and dance party when it comes to improving football in Malaysia is the day when the tiger will start growing claws and fangs again. Can't do that? follow the example of Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad then.

If you can't keep up, don't step up then.