Sunday, October 4, 2015

A number game to make themselves look good

Have not written for a while due not only to the bad state of local football but also a lame duck president, the worthless one Zainduin Nordin, who is pushing the blame on everybody else; as shown by the SEA GAMES saga.

With no sunlight in sight, just writing how terrible the situation is is depressing.

Now I decided to pen one more article that show why I think FAS is all wrong at the moment.

The recent announcement of a new plan for a better S-league is not even worth debating if it is a good plan because it is bad to start with.

The S-league plan will not be the first to force clubs (and not the last as others will attempt or re-attempt it) to start under-23 or under-21 in their line-up with history showing it always flopped.

Why? Simple as the leagues starting such plans all have similar weakness; that is a youth development not worth it weight in gold so nobody want to play their youngsters thus their Football Associations have to force the issue.

If the players are good to start, do you think clubs are that stupid not to play them no matter their age!

And that is the main point, as the players being churned out are not good enough to play even at ASEAN level.

The revamp of the National football Academy (NFA) and the COEs (centre of Excellences) of the past few years are a failure thus far while the new youth development plan put forth by the new technical Director Michel Sablon are still a concept on the drawing board (Looking at FAS track record on youth development it may died a still-born like so many others such as the infamous FAS Strategic Plan etc)

In that case, is this not putting the cart before the horse as what kind of players can one expect now.

Indeed it will only look good on datasheets and this may be why FAS is pushing for it as they want things to look good on papers; seeing how they always take out datasheets showing their plans are working when nobody else acknowledged it

That is why Singapore football is a failure now for their leaders are more interested to keep their Key Performance indicators (KPIs) looking good even when the situation at the ground are in bad shape.

In 6 months time, the new FAS president can take out a datasheet that show more youngsters are playing the game professionally but the real question of rather they are worth the place is not answered and we know the answer to that.

Then how does it help Singapore football?It does not but that is not the main concern for the main concern is it help the FAS President.

Everything's that wrong in Singapore football in that sentence for if they were really concern they should gone about it this way in my eye

1) Solve NFA and COEs bad track of churning out players nobody want first
2) Expand COEs as now only 3 clubs involved
3) Solve the clubs conflict with FAS on youngsters at the same time as nobody want to develop players for others (ok FAS) just when they demand it
4) Involved more teams outside professional arena in youth development

Then we have a large enough supply to talk about whether enough youngsters are playing the game professionally because now it is just to make people at FAS look good without any solving of the real problem at hand.


Thursday, July 16, 2015

FAS face FIFA ban

According to Yahoo, the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) face a ban by FIFA.
FIFA spokesman said the organisation wants to end third-party influence in the FAS, even if that third party is a government ministry.
FIFA was responding to a Yahoo query regarding the its views on Singapore's Minister for Culture, Community and Youth (formerly Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports) appointing the FAS president and other members of the FAS Council, which governs Singapore's biggest sport. 
Hope it true as let not kid ourselves, PAP will continue to appoint the FAS President as long as they can under the reason of it is 'for our own good'.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Worthless one will still be acclaim as great leader

After the disastrous SEA Games, where Singapore Under-23 was not only knocked out at the group stage but humiliated as many of the opponents had brought their second team yet outplayed us, we are seeing blames being passed on to each other and no faults attached to themselves.

Frankly if you asked me, which nobody does, nobody should escaped the blame but the leader should always bear the most.

Yet we know the worthless one, Zainudin Nordin, is untouchable as we see blame passed onto everybody other than the Bishan-Toa Poyah Member of Parliament (MP).

Afterall he has to approve the decisions make and he cannot tell he has no knowledge of the implications of his decisions.

Remember, almost two years ago when he had given another term as Football Association of Singapore (FAS) President, the government-backed Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) media told us it was because of his 'extraordinary leadership skill' which he wanted to pass down as well as the fact we needed it for the SEA Games preparation.

Unshockingly the following two years, we have not seem any 'extraordinary leadership skill', only a half-naked body.

It was no secret he was a disaster for singapore football during the first two terms as FAS president so why did the ministry of culture, community and Youth (MCCY) give him another term!

The SPH media can publish all these stories now but come September when it time for the FAS annual general meeting (AGM) will they stand in line and tell us, his '7 years of leadership was a success' like they are expected to do.

Indeed if he was really a leader then our Prime Minister (PM) would given him more roles in the government where many of the ministers have to take on multiple roles as their 'talents' are stretched thin for he is a four-term MP and 'have all the experience, knowledge and skills'.

But he is nowhere near any leadership roles in the Singapore government and that tell us, how qualified our PM Lee really judged him.

He is bottom-of-the-barrel MP wilkleak tell us of.

Now Singapore football are suffering thanks to the fact MCCY would rather appoint a bottom-of-the-barrel MP then have an outsider control an organization prized by the government for it propaganda purposes.

Tell me how this is how our own good and do not tell us this 7 years, Singapore football have 'progressed under his extraordinary leadership' when he has shown us none.

That why come September, do not acclaim 'he is a great leader like two years back'.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

S-League in revolt (Even CEO)

According to Straits Times, S-league clubs has revolted as they want Football of Singapore (FAS) to make a decision on Singapore football future.

They accused FAS in a meeting, on Monday, that included the, gutless one, Winstin Lee and, worthless one, Zainudin Nordin of running S-league as a sideshow and focusing all their attentions on the LionsXII.

In their arguments, FAS is damaging our long-term future for short-term gains.

They have given FAS three choices

1) Scrap LionsXII and Courts Young Lions and distribute all their players back to the S-league
2) Scrap S-league and just focused on FAS teams
3) Continue with current arrangement

It is believed the third choice is favoured by nobody as even S-league CEO Lim Chin, has grown a pair of wing, told the Straits Times he will resign if FAS continue with current arrangment.

A club chairman was quoted they are revolting now as other leagues in ASEAN are pulling away and minnows are catching up with us and doing nothing is not a choice thus change is needed.

However the gutless one and worthless one, true to their name, have refused to make a decision.

It is clear with 5 months to go until his departure, the worthless one does not want to do anything while the gutless one do not want to move until his boss open his mouth.

This is the kind of leadership we have now and no wonder Singapore football is in revolt.

All I can say is thanks People Action Party (PAP) for appointing such leaders and forcing them down our throats.

The worthless one is a disgrace to the late Lee Kuan Yew as the founding leader will have make a decision and not leave a mess for the next generation

Monday, March 30, 2015

Job of FAS, not coach

It seem national coach Bernard Stange is being blamed for everything in Singapore football now, including not arranging top-notch opposition for the national team.

For me, this point is totally off-target as one can claimed the German is a big mouth but which Football Associations in the world ask their national coaches to arrange matches for the national team.

It is the job scope of FAS management and that mean the president, the worthless one Zainduin Nordin, and the Secretary-General Winston Lee.

Afterall, the media reminded us Winston Lee is on the verge of being appointed to a big post in AFC thanks to his network in Asia.

Yet, he cannot arrange for us a decent team from Asia so what's the use of that!

But of course, one know the worthless one is untouchable (Stange also know to point finger at somebody else) and since he cannot do without his fall guy Winston Lee (The worthless one may need him for June as things look bad) so TODAY point their finger at Stange.

However I must say, Coaches coach, not arrange matches. That is the job of FA.

Monday, December 22, 2014

You take a peice, he take a piece and leave nothing for Singapore football

Have one ever wondered why the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) like revamp so much?

The answer is simple, it allowed FAS to 'rob' the rest of Singapore football clean legally.

Once again, another revamp, that claimed to put money into clubs hand, is found wandering yet again.

First, the sum do not add up with FAS only passing out $130k (It may even be less as I explain later) to each clubs but that is only $780k altogether.

FAS, when they culled Tanjong Pagar and forced merger of Woodlands Wellington and Hougang, have nearly $2million extra from the revamp.

It is missing nearly $1.2 million of funds so want to tell us where it goes, FAS!

It does not take a genius to see as I had previously questioned if the money will really reached the clubs.

After all, FAS had increased the number of internationals in their LionsXII squad, with widespread knowledge they do that by spending big bucks on their wages, FAS will need a lot of extra funds to cover that as well as losses in the past.

Before going on, let take a look at if it possible for LionsXII to make money.

The best example is the past 2 years, for no matter how much the pro-Malaysia Cup media and FAS put it, the fact is the Jalan Besar ground were sold out only 4 times out of 30 games (counting only Malaysian Super League and Malaysia Cup) and that was near the end of 2013 regular season when LionsXII were on the verge of winning a trophy.

Even the 'popular' Malaysia Cup also only saw attendances go up in knockout stage with no record of a sold out group match game in 3 years.

With ticket sales the main source of income, as sponsorship deals are in the low figures and do not help out much, how is possible to make a profit especially as FAM also take a cut of it.

Yet wages are high and fixed expenses like rental to utilities will only keep going up making the situation worse.

If FAS can claimed they can make a profit (which they have never done speaking volume that LionsXII is bleeding rather than helping Singapore football) under such circumstances then the financial team should be hot commodities and every clubs in the world want them.

Now onto what I mean by the 'fake' figures of $130k as the media report mentioned most of it is in cash; which is always a good indication that clubs will never see all of it.

Prime Minister Lee has always defended the high salaries for his government by telling us it is above board as it is simple and all of it in cash; unlike others with their add-on that tend to boast salaries beyond comprehension.

Just like add-on can boast money terms, it can be used in reverse to deny them thus talks of terms and condition, when allocating the subsidies, it tell us most of the money will always end up back in the hand of FAS.

The now-renamed Sport Singapore (SSG) seeing all the action by FAS have also come in for a piece of the action.

After all, a new name does not mean sports is now their core when it has always been money.

Once again we see SSG coming in to inform us it is time to raise the rent again.

4 years back, SSG gobbled up a big share of the subsidies the clubs did get their hands on and this is mattering once again.

Rent will go up an amazing 20%-25% and no doubt they'll tell us they had 'actually' give out more subsidies but like in the link, it is meaningless then, it is meaningless now.

Maybe Mr Teo Ser Luck will once again defend the actions of SSG but they're hurting the interest of Singapore sports industry with their relentless increments of rent as they're a monopoly and sporting teams cannot turn to anybody else.

So what's the use of this revamp as the money end up going back to FAS and SSG!

Indeed S-league CEO Mr Lim Chin talks of the 'big picture' and for our 'own good' is hollow now as this revamp is really for FAS and SSG, not S-league nor Singapore football.

Singapore football industry can never grow as FAS and SSG is gobbling it cash whenever they have a chance under talks of revamp for 'our own good'. ( It is really their own good)

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Our future's (not) bright

Since the Suzuki Cup group stage exit, the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) has gone on a charm offensive with our local media giant Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) as articles appearing in their papers are telling us of a 'bright future' ahead.

First on the Monday, after Singapore exit, the worthless one, Zainduin Nordin defended the LionsXII claiming it is on the verge of 'producing players' ready to conquer.

Then FAS general manager of Youth Development (JCOE) S. Varapha Rajan tell us the National Football Academy (NFA) is as 'good as any in the world' and the problem is just the outflow is worse than elsewhere so not totally their fault.

After that, former national coach P.N.Sivaji step in telling us of 'the talents Singapore has at hand' thus the future is positive, not negative.

Yet is it so as events does not showcased FAS 'Confidence'.

First on point one with FAS releasing their players list for their LionsXII, which showcased as many as 10 players who are not Under-23 next year, so how is that emerging talents as the likes of Firdaus Kasman and Shahdan Sulaiman, signed from Tampines, are internationals, not rookies.

Here's the real reason why youngsters are not emerging; players who are 24-29 and are internationals are playing in an Under-23 team.

So national coach Bernard Stange should not be 'shocked' with his players lacked of steel in the Suzuki Cup games for nowhere in the world do one see internationals, who are way overage, still fighting for spots with youngsters in so called 'youth development team'.

If the worthless one has 'confidence' in LionsXII abilities to produce players', why sign established internationals.

Then down to the next point and Mr S Varapha Rajan, I can accept your point on the outflow of youngsters but not about not needing more clubs to have Centre of Excellence (COEs).

For those who do not know, the article in SPH Straits Times, unlike Yahoo, mentioned foreign experts telling FAS they need to work harder to encourage clubs to have COEs for Singapore football sake but our FAS man rebut that.

And that's where the problem lie!

FAS clearly believed they do not need others involved.

Before going on, let talked about FAS boast that their NFA is a matched for anyone youth development in the world earlier in the article.

If FAS truly believed so, why is Adam Swandi in France as we can save the $200k but of course, we know the answer is if he is in Singapore, he will never realized his potential.

So stop telling us how good NFA is when the only persons who believed are associated with FAS.

Therefore, without a capable youth development, we must catch every youngsters available.

Especially as even world-class youth development are unable to produce everybody they need.

Looked at Barcelona, considered to have best development for a club side, they still lacked players in several areas and have gone into the transfer market to buy players.

So stop dreaming it must be all your credits as nobody in the world have only one youth development to produce all the players their nation need.

Or maybe FAS is hoping the 3 remaining COEs (Balestier, Home and Warriors) can plug any shortfall.

It's unlikely as I mentioned before, there's no motivation as everything good is FAS credits while everything bad is clubs' faults.

Who want to work under such circumstances.

People need to be motivated and in this era and time, it is money which work the best as asked Prime Minister Lee for he noted in an interview with China media that in the current peaceful time, people need to be paid well or else nobody will come forward.

Clubs are only involved if the rewards are there, not punishment (Like 2004 Geylang experience and for those who do not know, Geylang went from runner-up to become bottom 3 material after FAS took 7 of their players in the name of national interest for the Courts Young Lions)

So Mr S Varapha Rajan, you have much to do especially as your boss, the worthless one, can justified spending $180k on a 30-year-old player for the Lions XII while closing down youth development all over the place at the same time. (This year, not only COEs were closed but also the Lions City Cup due to funding reason and it may be gone for good as FAS need cash for LionsXII)

Thus Mr P N Sivaji, how can one see a 'bright future'!

For people may be even more put off by a football career, not just with FAS closing down clubs as they liked, but also the fact the salary cap can stay stagnant for 7 years. (FAS tell us there's no extra money but when LionsXII need it, they can find it)

Inflation is wiping out all increases in the salary cap in Ho's era but FAS will only repeat the same story of how 'poor' they are.

As for the emerging players, they're going to the graveyard know as LionsXII; many youngsters have gone there only to sit on the bench with the team overstuffed with seniors.

Danny Wellbeck had left Manchester United as he needed games to improve himself and if a club like United cannot offered him that; when most seasons they played 50-60 games, what more LionsXII who play at most 30 plus games.

Is it any surprise a number of emerging players go there only to come out worse as they need the full games, and not the mere minutes, at their age but they will never get it.

So do not be surprised, Mr Sivaji for we are setting ourselves up to fail our next generation.

Especially as FAS men keep coming out to tell they're on the right path but we can't see it yet and only 'more time is needed'. (Like real as our worthless one can walk away in September so how much more time as he has had 7 years already)

Our future's not bright no matter how many positive stories FAS come out with SPH help.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Some may not considered Suzuki cup exit important

At this moment in time all the talk is on the Suzuki Cup exit by Singapore, which is not surprising, but I want to focus on something else.

For even if Singapore reach the semi-finals what direction are we heading - 'elitism' or S-league.

Until we answer that we will never progress much anyway.

Indeed, there may be some who interest will be furthest away from the Suzuki Cup and I am talking about the over-30s group; who were hurt by the FAS age ban - even with it rescinded now.

The problem have not been solved.

And FAS is once again reacting disappointingly as they had caused the problem but all they had done is just send letters to players telling them their options ahead.

This is bureaucracy talking.

Not good especially as they are headed by a former labour union head and even if it is the worthless one Zainudin Nordin.

Is this what Prime Minister Lee meant by  People's Action Party (PAP) taking care of it people.

For the worthless one was imposed on Singapore football for 'our own good' by the Ministry of culture, community and youth (MCCY).

Yet it was his decision that lead to the hazy future the players face now; no matter what Sunday Times reported. (For those who do not know they claimed that it was all the club chairmen faults and Balestier Khalsa S.Thavaneson has accepted all the blame)

The worthless one cannot wash his hands off it and this is not me looking for faults but if theBishan-Toa Poyah GRC man knew nothing of the plans, which was in place since October, what kind of leadership is this.

Worse as I noted earlier his man is a former labour union leader who PAP claimed to represent the average man on the ground. (Before GE 2011, Straits Times ran an article on this man and his 'hard work' at NTUC 'aiding' the average man)

However, he has avoided the average man like the plague now for since the incident, nearly a month ago, he hasn't met with the players for their side of the story.

Of course, it is no surprise as this is a man who always vanished in troubled times and the reaction of S-league CEO should have been reserved for him had he shown up.

So the worthless one is also the gutless one.

Indeed, he has shown he is never as 'busy' as claimed as he had time to spend with President Tony Tan and high-five with Minister at the Myanmar game.

Is spending time with the elites more important than the players!

The Prime Minister can speak of how much PAP Work for the people but man like the worthless one show otherwise and this is why PAP are considered to represent the elites now.

Or else that age ban decision will have never come-to-be as it is the average man who pay the price for the elites decision.

And that is why some may not considered Suzuki cup exit important as they themselves have been abandoned.


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Whose pocket will it end up in

With Tanjong Pagar not participating next year and Hougang merging with Woodlands, FAS has seek to defend the changes by claiming it will strengthen the S-league.

They claim there will be more resources for the remaining clubs but to be honest, I have my suspicion for among the changes announced there was no indication of increases in subsidies or salary cap.

After all, two clubs can potentially fetched around $2 million in subsidies so that money should have been shared by the 6 clubs in the S-league, which is an extra $330k, and allow an increase in the $85k salary cap.

Yet this important detail is missing from announcement by the S-league CEO MR Lim Chin.

So is the money really going back to S-league or has it sucked away elsewhere?

For history have indicated after an FAS revamp, the sums do not add up.

When FAS revamped their COEs which saw 8 reduced to only 3, there was a saving of over 1/2 a million yet the funding to the 3 remaining ones did not increased by that.

So have the money been diverted to LionsXII or even the ASEAN super League (ASL) project?

For LionsXII have clearly lost big with SilkPro contract ended and no other sponsorship bringing in as much cash. (Take note the worthless one FAS President Zainduin Nordin tell us STARHUB contract should not be viewed in monetary figures; which usually mean no cash despite the big figures)

And with poor attendances bleeding their paymasters FAS even more, who will pay for the black hole!

As for the ASL, to get it off the ground FAS need to spend big first as they have volunteered to operate the office for AFF and the so-called backers WSG or AFF have not come forward with cash so how much of the upfront payment have come from FAS!

Do not blamed me for asking such questions especially when one see FAS come out with nearly $180k for the 6 months loan of Baihakki in weeks while always crying poor to the public.

It even worse as FAS Budget on LionsXII is a mystery for they refused to open the book about their funding on this team.

Indeed it was initially claimed only $2million but in an interview a year later, the budget was revealed by the worthless one to be $3 million.

So tell me what the figures is now 2 years down the road!

Thus is the folding of 2 clubs really to strengthen S-league or because FAS is looking for cash for their black hole of LionsXII and ASL.

Whose pocket will the money go to, Mr Lim (the puppet) for you have not tell us what is the new subsidies figures or even the new salary cap.

For without it, we know where the cash is really going to.

Monday, October 13, 2014

I have no faith in MCCY choice anymore (edited)

It is clear now who Ministry of Culture, community and youth (MCCY) want as the new President of Football Association of Singapore  (FAS) after FAS vice-President Bernard Tan headed a PR campaign over the weekend to showcase his vision.

This article was even given front page treatment by the Sunday Times.

This caught me by surprise on three account as (1) FAS had always been helmed by a People Action Party (PAP) Member of Parliament (MPs) and (2) the next FAS President had never been given so much coverage while the current one was still in charge along with the fact (3) he is never even indirectly named as a successor until the last moment.

On closer inspection, it should be no surprise instead as the current reign of the 'HOPELESS ONE' Zainudin Nordin had been a disaster and time will be needed to repair the damages so why have a PAP man at this moment; for Singapore Athletic Association (SAA) have replaced their former strongman Loh for a good part of a decade and is still plagued by problems.

There is also no better time to unveil him to the public as the Suzuki Cup is coming up and if the campaign is a disaster, he will be tainted by it so it is better to do so as ASEAN champions.

Although one can claimed he is already tainted by it as he is elected by the same MCCY that saw fit to give the 'Hopeless One' 3 terms in office.

Due to no faults of the man, I already have negative thoughts on Bernard Tan thanks to what I have seems of MSF choice - Zainudin Nordin.

When that PAP man came into power, he also claimed he will focus on youth development (May I add that plan by Bernard Tan to get more Primary School children to play football was already part of the long forgotten FAS strategic Plans) but what have FAS done up to now!

The fact, at the same time, the Lions City Cup, which is for Under 15 and Under-16, was facing cancellation this year, FAS chose to focus their efforts and money to sign Baikkahi, a 30-year-old player, for their LionsXII team tell us how much efforts and money FAS put into youths.

So having a plan or a vision is no big deal as the 'Hopeless One' have enough plans and visions to fill an entire cupboard but he has achieved nothing.

Why should Bernard Tan be any different as he came into power due to MCCY and not because Singapore football believe he is the white knight.

Indeed, there will be significant section of fans who will not accept any choice from MSF after going through the 6 years of Zainudin Nordin.

So what the next FAS President-in-waiting need is not a plan or vision.

Rather he need to know promises make are not to be treated lightly and have an iron will.

The current FAS President is the perfect example of a man who think nothing of his promises as he had make a promise that LionsXII will be an Under-23 team. Until now, he has never fulfilled it and continue to shift the goalpost on that promise so why should anybody believed such a man for he can break one promise and there is nothing to stop him breaking another.

Secondly, he try to cover it by claiming it was difficult to achieve so he had no choice but to break it but that is a terrible reason for it show he does not have the will to keep a promise and such a man cannot be trusted as a leader.

All the wrong choices was ticked and yet MCCY still choose the 'Hopeless One' time and time again so I have to ask once again why will it be different this time round!

Bernard Tan may prove me wrong but I have no faith in him at this moment in time.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Singapore football is not 'FAS elites' alone

The disaster of the Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy (Also known as ASEAN Under-21 championship) have fans asking about the direction of Singapore football; for this is not the first time the republic has been thrashed in youth competitions by our ASEAN (Note it's not Asia) rivals.

Of course, FAS will tell us results do not matter at this stage and I do not argue with that; noting many times it is worth it if good players are developed in the process.

But that is where the problem lie as we are not doing that for can FAS claimed good players, even compared to the lower standard of ASEAN,
 have come out of their production line from all those thrashings.

Indeed, who is lining up to sign Singapore youngsters if FAS wished to debate that point and I can hear a silence for nobody is the answer.

So what did those thrashing achieved?

Nothing other than adding to the already bad reputation of Singapore football; which can never  produced any players of quality in the eyes of ASEAN if not the world.

And all these thanks to FAS wish to protect their National Football Academy (NFA).

It is incredible that the national setup is totally make up of players from FAS-run-teams with even the national team excluding everybody else not with them.

How does this help Singapore football!

From what we have, it is only hurting us even more as the Under-21 coach Richard Bok admitted he cannot choose his own players - with Home United Prime League players excluded despite the fact they are top of the Prime League.

It is clear FAS is seeking a policy of elites much like where our FAS President, Zainduin Nordin, seem to come from.

Anybody want to bet on the ASIAN GAMES team setup as it is not the first time a player good enough is not chosen for reasons which FAS can never explained.

No wonder, Singapore football is not producing players now since our current FAS President took over 5 years despite the talks of 'improving' (As quoted by our national press who keep telling us what a good job ourFAS President is doing and he just need more time)

Singapore football, a place where you have to have a famous father as former footballers or sportsman before you are chosen.

So no matter how talented you are, prepared to be excluded if you are not 'FAS elites'

That why we are in trouble unless FAS Change for Singapore football is not their elites alone.  (Judging from results, not good elites as well)

IV HASSANAL BOLKIAH TROPHY DISASTER (ASEAN UNDER-21 CHAMPIONSHIP)

Group B
Singapore Under-21 0-4 Vietnam Under-21 (it's Under-19 side)
Singapore Under-21 1-3 Cambodia Under-21
Singapore Under-21 0-3 Malaysia Under-21
Singapore Under-21 1-3 Brunei Under-21
Singapore Under 21 0-6 Indonesia Under-21 (Also a Indonesia Under-19)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Opening the coaching market for our own sake

As the 2014 World Cup end, people are telling us what lessons can be learned and how it can be implemented for Singapore football.

The truth is the standard we are talking are so vast apart that it make no sense at all like this Four Four Two (Singapore) article.

With no disrespect, the art of defending is never a factor in ASEAN as when was the last ever 0-0 scoreline in Suzuki Cup so sweeper keeper, playmaker or speedy counter attack does not matter.

Even the pressing game is way off the mark as it is no secret ASEAN players fitness level are terrible (42-year-old Duric continue to be among the fittest in ASEAN) and without it how to one press the opposition without tiring yourself first.

We can still learn one thing from it and that is from the resumes of the World Cup coaches.

If one looked at the 32 coaches in the World Cup, how many will have been given the chance to coach in Singapore if they were Singaporean, I will make a guess and say no more than 6.

One might asked why and it is simple to answer as many are not famous and successful ex-players and that's their only 'crime'.

So that why the level of Singapore coaching is such a disappointment as we are not seeking coaches but more like successful ex-players.

And why do that happen is no secret for clubs seek names and worse is our FAS is no better but is it for the best.

As I noted in the past, it depends on where one stand and for those with children in youth development I believed they expect the best coaches no matter if they're local let alone being ex-players.

If it's on the other foot then one expect they want the system to remain.

The question is how long such a system can go on for I noted in past the market will become saturated as our locals can only depend on the local market.

The facts are far too many local players are only focusing on coaching job as neither FAS nor the clubs have given them a vision for anything else.

FAS Program for retiring players is far too late and far too focused on coaching jobs for them unlike elsewhere like this article from UK papers - The Guardian.
Freiburg place great emphasis on academic work, so much so that they like a selection of their staff to come from a teaching background, so that they can provide educational help whenever it is needed, including on the way to matches. It is not uncommon for players to do homework on the coach. Streich says that clubs have a moral obligation to think about what happens to those who fail to make the grade.
"When I went to Aston Villa eight years ago I told them our players, under-17, 18 and 19, go to school for 34 hours a week," he says. "They said: 'No, you're a liar, it's not possible, our players go for nine hours.' I said: 'No, I'm not lying.' They said: 'It's not possible, you can't train and do 34 hours of education.' I said: 'Sure. And what do you do with the players who have for three years, from the age of 16 to 19, only had nine hours a week of school?
"They said: 'They have to try to be a professional or not. They have to decide.' I said: 'No, we can't do that in Freiburg. It's wrong. Most players in our academy can't be professionals, they will have to look for a job. The school is the most important thing, then comes football.' We give players the best chance to be a footballer but we give them two educations here. If 80% can't go on to play in the professional team, we have to look out for them. The players that play here, the majority of them go on to higher education. And we need intelligent players on the pitch anyway."
One need to prepare early and players in NFA or COEs should already be counseled on their options like the Germans in the article and the equally famous French youth development.

They all prepare players for a life without it decades early when they weren't even professional so FAS Program which wait until they are near to retirement is not a wise one.

After all if the players are not good coaches it will not matter how FAS shield them, they will still not get a market value and it hurt Singapore football instead as we are seem churning out bad coaches and players.

Indeed this is hurting the English coaches as a number of their own teams now shunned their own after seeing the numbers of flops their FA coaching staffs churned out from Paul Ince, Roy Keane, Tony Adams to Bryan Robson etc at a time in the past when many English teams will automatically hired famous ex-player as manager.

So the name should not matter and it is time to ask why outsiders with no football connections do not even get a chance as FAS refused to conduct coaching course for non footballers.

Especially as outsiders can bring ideas that footballers find alien like ex-AC Milan and Italy national coach Arrigo Sacchi, who was a shoe salesman beforehand, who brought in the pressing game to defend high up in the late 1980s and early 1990s at a time when Italian footballing teams prefer a defensive style.

He build an AC Milan side that is considered as the greatest team of that period and brought Italy to the 1994 World Cup Final losing only on penalties to Brazil.

Arsenal when they brought in Arsene Wenger, who was not a famous name then and never a footballer, to oversee not just a change in football style but also a change in attitude about fitness that was derided then yet it is now accepted as normal.

These now-famous coaches will never get a chance in Singapore and does it help us for if an ex-player can make it he will get his shot like Germany World Cup winning coach Joachim Löw even when starting out as a youth coach with a Lower division club in Switzerland.

Still considering the German never played for a big brand team in his career and is not successful enough as a player, he may still be deny his shot in Singapore.

Crazy isn't it when one think about it.

Singapore have constantly rejected protectionism in trade as it hurts the country that practices it and we have seem it terrible side effects from poor reputation to bad goods that nobody wants to buy.

So in the interest of Singapore football why is there protectionism here especially when it is hurting us.

Open up the coaching market to outsiders for new ideas that may pushed us forwards - ex-players or not.

With that, I end with Arrigo Sacchi famous quote - "I never realized that in order to become a jockey you have to have been a horse first"

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Asian Cup 2019 revamp

AFC have decided to revamp the confederation's national team competitions as they announced they are expanding the Asian Cup Finals.

Under the new format, Asia’s showpiece event – Asian Cup – will have 24 teams in the tournament proper instead of 16. The 2014 AFC Challenge Cup, to be held in Maldives in May this year, will be the last edition of this competition.

The qualification rounds for the FIFA World Cup qualifiers and Asian Cup qualifiers will also be merged for the preliminary round.

The preliminary round will likely see the numbers of teams reduce from 46 to 32 first as the teams will be divided up into eight groups after that for AFC always put 4 teams in a group.

It may then spell bad news for Singapore as it may mean we may only play 2 official games in 4 years.

From the preliminary round, the eight group winners and four second best teams will qualify for the FIFA World Cup final round of qualifiers and also the AFC Asian Cup finals.

It is unlikely Singapore will do that well to get a spot in the first stage but that is where the good news is for we only need to finish third in any group to get into Asian Cup Finals with it expanded to 24 teams.

The final round of FIFA World Cup qualifiers and AFC Asian Cup qualifiers will be separated.

Of course my hope to avoid a disaster is that AFC will ensure the number of teams in each group for the preliminary round is 5 teams like CAF whom they have copied the idea to merge the FIFA World Cup and regional qualifiers.

It will mean 40 teams and a minimum 8 games for most teams with only 6 teams losing out.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Home and Tanjong re-sign their marquee players

Both Home United and Tanjong Pagar United have confirmed their respective star signings Lee Kwan Woo and Monsef Zerka have renewed their contracts for the upcoming season.
Both came with big reputation and they delivered in the 2013 season as each notched 12 goals in the S-league and Lee led Home to second as well as winning the RHB Singapore Cup while Zerka saw his club reach the Final.

For his effort, South Korean Lee was named as Player of the Year and he told SPH Straits Times: "I have really enjoyed myself in the S-league and I like the lifestyle in Singapore.

"I have stayed because I want to pursue more glory with the club.

"We are in the AFC Cup this year and I hope the team can go far in the tournament."

Similarity, Tanjong Pagar are delighted to see Monsef Zerka, a former Moroccan international, back with them.

Jaguars coach Patrick Vallee said: "I am very happy to have Monsef back. He did what was expected of him last season and he helped the team win many matches. He is a player who adds a lot of value to the team."

Tampines marquee target Miljan Mrdaković take a gaint step towards Singapore

According to Greek sources, Tampines Rovers marquee target Miljan Mrdaković may well be set to come to Singapore as he has negotiate a release from his Greek club Verina.
Earlier, TODAY claimed Tampines was willing to sign the former Serbian youth international if he could seek an exit from his Greek club and now that is the case, the striker may well be heading to the S-league.

The 31-year-old made appearances for Serbia's Under-13, Under-16, Under-18 and Under-21 national teams.

In 2008, he was selected as one of the overage players for the 2008 Summer Olympics, which the national side exited in the group stages.