Lions fan Sherman Lim’s heart-felt letter on the decline of Singapore football on Thursday prompted an overwhelming response from The New Paper’s readers. We highlight some of these letters in The New Paper on Sunday (Nov 20).
Let our heroes take over
RADDY Avramovic and Slobodan Pavkovic have got to go. Zainudin Nordin has to ask himself if he seriously wants Singapore football to progress.
Raddy has been at the helm for too long.
Yes, he has made progress and has had achievements, but when were those made?
His preparations have not been good. Having two or three friendly games – against minnows in the region – before each major tournament won’t help him gauge the team’s strength.
The Lions need more sparring games with top sides or must venture overseas. This would give players exposure before a tournament starts.
Giving players this exposure also means that we won’t be left with one or two uncapped strikers when Aleksandar Duric or Qiu Li are injured.
I think it’s about time to let our own heroes – Fandi Ahmad, Kadir Yahaya or Nazri Nasir – take over.
These three have contributed a lot to Singapore football as players and coaches. To Raddy and Slobodan, I say thank you for your services and contributions to Singapore football.
Thank you Raddy, but we need a new perspective
TO RADDY: Thank you very much for your service. You have done a great job for Singapore, and you will always be remembered for getting us out of the doldrums after the 4-0 drubbing by Malaysia in 2002.
But it’s time for both of us to part ways before you become remembered as the coach who brought us back to those dark days.
It’s like what they always say in super hero movies: “You either die or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.”
It’s time for Singapore football to make wholesale changes to the coaching set-up. A breath of fresh air is needed.
I am not suggesting a big name coach like Bryan Robson or Jose Antonio Camacho. But we need someone who can bring a fresh perspective to Singapore football.
Without this change, no matter how many times we disband the national team, we will still see the same insipid and lacklustre performances.
Coaches live by results; Raddy should go
COACHES live by results, and they should be the first to go if the team do not produce them.
This is especially when constant changes are made to the squad but the results do not improve.
I feel what the Lions need are two things. Firstly, they need a local coach who is a household name, specifically a former national player who the players are familiar with and will want to play for.
Secondly, we also need a natural leader on the field who can provide the inspiration and spark for the team on the field. A player who has character.
Raddy has experience in terms of tactics and game-plans. But what he lacks is man-management, because I feel the Lions lack the hunger to fight for every ball for the entire 90 minutes.
I think it is time to let our local former players – either Fandi Ahmad or V Sundramoorthy – take the reins of the Lions. – Alan Song Boon Hwa
The buck stops with coach and top man in FAS
THE COACH should go for the selection of the team and the dismal results.
The highest ranking official in FAS should also go for the selection of the head coach and the failures of the national team over the years.
Give the locals a chance. They may not be as good as the foreign talent but if we do not give them a chance to prove themselves, how do we know?
We just need someone who can instill self-belief in the young local players and transform them into established internationals.
Scrap FTS, build the future team around our youths
PERHAPS, it would be advisable for all of us – FAS, the media, grassroots, players, coaches and fans – to crack our heads in trying to rectify the problem together.
One of Singapore football’s problems is the highly-derided Foreign Talent Scheme. While the scheme has produced brilliant athletes in sports such as table tennis, the effect it has on our team has been rather limited.
For every Shi Jiayi and Aleksandar Duric, there are the likes of Itimi Dickson and Precious Emuejeraye.
And the FTS scheme does not only apply to the players per se.
For example, our Young Lions are coached by Slobodan Pavkovic; who co-incidentally is the Technical Director of youth development at FAS. Why is he performing dual roles? Is FAS saying that the local coaches are not cut out for the job?
It really saddens me to see Robin Chitrakar – a former Singapore international and now Slobodan’s assistant in the Under-23s – not given a chance to prove his worth.
Perhaps, it is now time for FAS to scrap the FTS once and for all.
I believe we must build the future Singapore team around four of our youngsters: Izwan Mahbud, Safuwan Baharudin, Hariss Harun and Khairul Nizam.
I also hope that even younger players like Hanafi Akbar, Jeffrey Lightfoot and Adam Swandi will get a chance to break into the senior national team in the coming years.
Ultimately, I am writing this not to single out any individual for causing the state of Singaporean football to be at an all-time low. I am just like the next Singaporean out there who loves the team and want to see it succeed. – Muhammad Nizam Bin Amlan
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