I believed today there are at least 3 groups of Malaysians when talking about our football:
- A group who still supports our Harimau Malaya team, no matter what;
- A group who consistently criticizing Harimau Malaya team, no matter how much ‘achievement’ they get;
- A group of who supports Harimau Malaya team when they are winning, but fast to lambast when they lose
in which I believe each of us have our own reasoning and point of views. Well, here is mine:
Looking back at the past 5 years and what I saw for the past few matches played by Harimau Malaya, I have to give some credit and applause for what they have become since the beating we got few years back from UAE (at that time, YB Khairy was the FAM’s DPM and his KPI was to bring up Malaysia’s FIFA ranking). The team is much better these days, BUT mental weakness is still strongly affecting Harimau Malaya’s performance.
What was shown last night prior to the goal scored by Qatar, we had a really good match. On that basis, if manager K. Rajagopal said we are catching up with the Middle East teams, I can somewhat agree with that statement. However, few minutes before the goal scored and after the goal scored, I would stand oppose to the statement. We have a long way to go.
Honestly, I enjoy watching Harimau Malaya’s performance for the past few years. Although we are weakened our FIFA rankings, but at times, on the pitch, I think we don’t deserve such low rankings. I do really think we have good players. So, it is a no surprise foreign clubs interested to get our players playing abroad with them.
However, since rankings do play some part in determining our route to regain back our glory days, our football rankings need to be pushed further up. Plus, as much as we love to hear our players playing abroad, they came back after spending some time away because they were not able to adapt well. Besides lifestyle, what I can think of is the language and communication barriers that our players have. Well, as much as I want to believe that our players try to master their language (in which mostly not English), I think the most that our players have is Malay language and English language (I am thinking positively here, ok? 🙂 ).
Therefore, IF we want to see our players stay longer and play abroad, the best possible destination are english speaking countries. Even if our players may not that fluent, at least, I supposed ganu or kelate‘s english slang won’t change the meaning.. I think…
However, it is difficult to send our players to play even at lower league in England because our players can’t get work permit due to Malaysia’s FIFA ranking does not meet minimum requirement (one of it lah).
Apart from the slacking FAM’s management, I think, comparing what we have achieved for the past 5 years is commendable.
Please do remember, the last SEA games gold medal was won back in 1989 where we were the host. Since that, we hardly compete well with our neighboring countries… until in recent years, where we won 2 SEA Games gold medal and AFF Suzuki Cup. Think! 3 championship (even though it is only ASEAN level, but still..) within 5 years.
I supposed this kind of ‘success’ either made us forget how bad we were, how complacent FAM and Harimau Malaya can be and how demanding Malaysians can be.
Just another point to ponder… for the past 5 years, our stands are getting more supporters, whether we realize it or not. Some how, the excitement has come back little bit.. at least better than 10 years back (where only big fan based teams such as Selangor or Kelantan playing).
So, where are we?
Harimau Malaya do improve technically and little bit tactically … but mental strength wise?
Question on the street: Malaysian Football.. are we English in disguise? Thinking we are good, but not that good? ( I am referring to Barclay’s Premier League, in which claimed to be best in the world, so that when England team goes marching in, they seems not living the hype)