I have been writing more like a football pundit or football critics for the past few weeks. Sometimes, to think about it, we are not considered as nation of football like Brazil or Argentina. However, football fans in Malaysia do take this sport seriously, be it Malaysian Super League, Barclays Premier League, Serie A, La Liga or Malaysia International games.
We had a terrible AFF campaign after a sweet appearances in Final of Pestabola Merdeka 2008. As many have known, we only managed to win against Laos 3-0 and lose out to Vietnam and Thailand with 3-2 and 3-0 respectively. Totally different than what we have achieved in Pestabola with 18 goals scored and conceded none.
The few past articles I wrote relates football in Malaysia and KJ due to misleading comments and postings made by KJ supporters and KJ himself who had claimed victory over Malaysia’s performance in Pestabola Merdeka 2008. However, due to an article on KJ in Malaysian football scene made by Mr Singh in his blog, another “stupid” comment made by one of KJ supporters (it is obvious unless the “kj” represents something else) which in his comment stated “3. U fikir Malaysia boleh menjadi jaguh Asia?”. What a remark from someone who supports KJ, who eventually a VP of FAM.
Well, enough of bashing KJ from the football field. I guess some may have forwarded opinion on how to improve Malaysian Football and perhaps, the brains we have in FAM have think about it long time ago. As mentioned in my previous articles and comments made, football in Malaysia needs a massive overhaul which, in my opinion, one got to fully concerntrate and carry out his/her duties wholeheartedly. Football nowadays differs from yesteryears, but the important element do stays.
These are the findings and ,well, here goes my two cents worth of suggestions to improve what ever efforts that has been done by FAM:
1 – Educate our players on and off the pitch. FAM experts do realize this one. It is not about the game itself, but also off the pitch. Some says that how you play on the field reflects your personality off the pitch. It is undeniable that our national talents got some skills and moves. However, when it comes to team play and playing under pressure, all the skills and moves gone with the wind. Cracked under pressure. Malaysians are exposed to the quality of football games around the world, but the players seemed learn less. Style – we have, but just the outside. We watch how top European Clubs play, but the players just emulate the styles, not the important elements of the game.
2 – Send our players to courses on building up mental strenghts. Passion and stamina alone won’t carry out our players well. It will be given away throughout the games, especially high profile games. Players will get exhausted. If the players got nervous, all the training will gone out to the drain. KJ mentioned our players had problems in regards with tactical in his own words in rembau.net. His view is accepted, but the element of educating and training our players involves more than that. I may not a football experts, but I do know besides passion, skills, moves, tactical, physical, and stamina, mental strenght and ability to read the game is also required. Our players kept losing possession in awkward situation. Sometimes we gave away possession. At times we can see our players clear the ball as if the opponent is breathing under his neck, which actually the opponent are few meters away. This scene can be seen either in local games or international games. Our players panicked when pressured.
3 – Enforce maximum wages on players. The benjamin that deteriorates our players. I believe that FAM has guidelines and salary caps on players, but I’m afraid it just on papers. Why? One can remember our semi-pro days when players employed to work with organisations, work in the morning and have their training later. It was that time when we were ranked 75 in the world. We could still enjoy good games displayed by our players. However, when we entered into professional era whereby our players take this as full time job, the quality of our players game fall but their wages went up high. Although the players’ salary may not be disclosed, locals can see what kind of car are they driving, what kind of style of their clothes. Again, they emulate the outside of glamourous of world class players, but their play is no where that standard. Due to this fact also, in order the FAs and the FCs trying to attract ‘big names’ with lots of salary, wages and benefits, they suffer financially.
4 – Management should be more passionate about football. At first, there was suggestions that the management should be someone that excel as players, but to think it over, some personalities that we know may not have it, as the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger, and Jose Mourinho to name a few. Jose Mourinho didn’t excel as players, but he showed us how job being done as managers. As for us, please do remember that Malaysian football prosper during the tenants of management who did not have professional footballing experience. As stated in FAM website: It was under the Tunku’s visionary stewardship that football in Malaysia entered its next phase, with the FAM taking a much bigger role than just being the backbone in the organisation of the Malaysia Cup“; “Following the change in name to the Football Association of Malaysia in the early 1960s, Tunku Abdul Rahman continued to play a big role in the development of the game through various youth competitions. Following his departure in 1974, the reins of the FAM was taken over by Malaysia‘s second Prime Minister – Tun Abdul Razak, who served for just one year before his untimely demise. The post was then filled by Tan Sri Datuk Seri Setia Raja Hamzah Haji Abu Samah in 1976, who was the Minister for Trade and Industry at the time“. Who was Tunku Abdul Rahman and Tun Abdul Razak in football scene? Are they professional players by profession? Certainly not. However, they, the management team, coaches and players were too passionate in upholding national pride. No politics in football. Played for nation’s pride.
These are the four measures that FAM, KJ or any of the readers may send this message to FAM to consider. Surely, all this measures will take most of FAM and local FAs personnel’s time in ensuring our football back on the right track.
Hopes on the street – Hoping that we will back on track and be one of the giants in Asian Football map.