BLESSING IN DISGUISE
I have a sneaking suspicion that Sabah’s 1st Round defeat to Kuala Lumpur in the FA Cup may in fact be a blessing in disguise. In earlier articles, I have commented on the importance of Sabah gaining promotion into next year’s Super League as a major priority. While a cup run may have been nice, would it have taken away from the major objective which is this year’s Super League.
The performance of the team last Tuesday night was actually an improvement on the 1st League game against Kepala Batas Penang. Yes we lost the game, however there plenty of encouraging signs. Rezuan Khan was much more involved which was nice to see. Overall he played well however he did have a spell off 20 minutes in the 2nd half where he gave the ball away too easily. Its important for our striker’s to make movement into space once Rezuan has the ball because 7 times out of 10 he will find you.
Zanizam Marjan’s performance was also pleasing on the eye. He had the defender’s guessing by playing in between the striker’s and midfielder’s area (the hole). This allowed him to receive the ball to feet, turn and play dangerous little passes in behind the defender’s. Add to this the energetic and tireless running off Billyton Vun and we have a decent nucleus to form the team. Possibly Billyton could at times look for the early cross in behind defender’s. At the moment he is using incredible amount’s off energy for no end product. We wont score goal’s unless we get quality service into the box.
From here, we need the young kid’s in the team such as Alto Jinus and Zulamri Mohammad to continue developing and improving. This is where the coaching staff and experienced player’s must earn there quid’s. We have some good quality young kid’s in our squad and with good nurturing we just may have a winning team in the near future.
Our next game is against Johor MBJB on 09th February. An important match whereby 3 points is important to keep us in touch with the leading team’s. Good luck lads!
STATE FUTSAL TEAM
Firstly, a big congratulations to Coach Asyraaf and the State Futsal player’s who performed so admirably in the recently concluded National Futsal League. For those of you not aware, Sabah finished a credible 5th out of 24 team’s which was a big improvement from previous tournament’s.
The 14th and 15th February sees the return of the Jagah Futsal RTM1 TV Reality tournament in Penang. I will be coaching the team once again and we head to Penang quietly confident of performing better than last year where we won 1,drew 1,lost 1 and did not progress to the next round. The rules for this year are that all players must be under the age of 25 and you can only pick maximum 3 players who were in previous Jagah Futsal tournament. I will update you all on our results and performance in my next article.
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE
I don’t want to say I told you so,(ha,ha) but in my first ever article I did predict a resurgent Manchester United to come storming home and win the Premier League in a canter. Yes there is a long way to go but it really is difficult to see anyone but the Red Devils lifting the trophy in May.
Liverpool’s manager Rafa Benitez really does seem to be struggling to cope with the pressure of being in a title battle. Firstly, he lashed out at Sir Alex Ferguson in a unprovoked attack and then the artful dodger Harry Redknapp was the next to feel the brunt of the angry Rafa. His body language on TV is poor and trust me, this is something his players will pick up on. Liverpool’s recent form is at best average and one think’s the Liverpool manager is not going to provide the leadership required to give the scouser’s there first title in many year’s.
Chelsea are another who appear ready to press the self destruct battle. Consistency is not there friend at present and last week’s loss to Liverpool was probably the final nail in the coffin for there 2009 Premier League aspirations. Big Phil is no doubt now realizing the enormity of his job and unless he deliver’s a trophy by year’s end he may be looking for a new job come May 2009.
Aston Villa continue to over achieve and is testament to arguably the 2nd best manager in England- Martin O, Neil. There looks to be a togetherness in there squad and players are fighting for each other. Make no mistake, the Villa have quality and in players such as Ashley Young, Gareth Barry, Gabriel Agbonlahor and now Emile Heskey they may just hang on and finish in the Top 4.
As for Arsenal, well the so called expert pundits all announce that a team cant win the League with kids. As usual I don’t agree –Man Utd won the League many years ago with kids like Beckham,Neville brothers, Scholes, Butt and Sharpe to name a few. The difference was they had a great leader in Roy Keane to show the way. Give Arsenal a leader in the mould of Keane, Viera or Brian Robson and they become my tip for next year. However, for this year they will have to be content with more mediocrity.
Cheers Everyone- See you Next Month.