Jaap Suyk, the person behind hockey-asia.com and currently given the opportunity as coach of KL Razak Cup squad, seems to feel score margins in a game must be seen based on the rankings of the nations.
Jaap believes the way hockey is played today, margins of 3 or 4 goals between the top teams in the world has become a common feature. He takes this view based on the last 10 years of statistics. I presume when he means the top teams, i take it as the nations ranked in the top 10.
Jaap, takes a position that the game between Australia and Malaysia is literally between a team in the top 4 against a nation ranked 16th. Therefore losing 11-3 ie a 8 goal margin is not unusual in comparison. Initially, i found it difficult to accept that rationale but slowly as i sat and pondered i realise how right Jaap was.
The key point is we have to accept that we are ranked 16th and we have been sliding downwards as the years have gone by. Therefore when we are playing with a team like Australia, there is no doubts in skills and tactics we cannot match them. Thrashing would be the order of the game and if we can minimise the goal margins or even pull off the spectacular by beating them, we must have done well. Probably, i think that is what Jaap must have been attempting to put the message across to me.
It is probably that we are in the state of "denial" ie Malaysian hockey standards have dropped drastically that we are no more a contender for any titles even at Asian level. The last Asian Games where we were placed 6th should have opened our eyes, yet we seem not to realise "the writing on the wall". Somehow, we are always missing the very basic why we are not performing. Part of the reason maybe the dichotomies that exists in the control of hockey in Malaysia from running of MHF, appointment of coaches & team managers, development programmes, players "power", lackadaisical attitude & role of affiliates, to the inefficiencies in the administration and the lack of a vision combining with a carefully crafted master plan.
So, in summary we should not expect anything out of the ordinary when we are ranked 16th in the world. The change must start from MHF before we see results at the field.