- Australia brought a young team and 9 of their senior players are absent and are still playing in Europe.
- The Malaysian team seem to be "headless" and "speechless" as no one seem to be directing the operations in the field.
- The Malaysian players basic skills of trapping the ball, goal shooting, creating passing opportunities, supporting the player with the ball, and so forth seem weak.
- Malaysian players do not seem to have the passion nor the hunger to perform.
- Although there were glimpses of individual dribbling and taking on the opposing player but the finishing was poor.
- Save for 1 or 2 players most of the Malaysian players could not "match" the "body contact" approach the Australians had adopted.
- The Malaysian players lack the imaginative sense to create opportunities to score including through "set pieces".
The Malaysian coaches Beng Hai and Saiful must take these points aboard. After all it is "test" matches and it is important the team's weakness are spotted and worked upon before the qualifiers. Although there is not much time yet the key aspects can be addressed. I am sure Beng Hai must be doing all that is possible to get the best out of the team.
An area that seem disturbing is that there is something missing in the national team. There seem to be no "whomp" factor i e a sense of "cohesive urgency" in the Malaysian game play. I wonder whether the prolonged politicking in the national team over the months have taken the toll that the players are just carrying the "stick" in the field to earn the "caps" and the monthly salary.
I raise this as there are some stories going around about the national team and its management. Firstly, the 1st choice national goalkeeper wanted an extended Deepavali leave to celebrate his 1st year of Deepavali as a married person ( a cultural aspect ), thereby missing the "Test" matches. The 2nd choice goalkeeper overslept before a match and therefore he is yet to be utilised.
Secondly, there is the aspect of announcing the list of players. The names were released last week and yet the team manager remained silent about it. There are strong indications that the relationship is estrange between the team manager and the coaches. This can be of concern as a significant number of national players are in the team manager's club payroll. Finally, early this week the coach had to make it known to the media. It would seem strange why the team manager went on "silent" mode.
Thirdly and interestingly, a former foreign coach with the national team has become privy to what is happening in the national team as some of the current players who were under him are talking. Apparently he is well versed with the situation and that may not be helpful.
All these combined and with the previous discipline issues it seem to have created an aura that nothing is going to go right. Whether this aspect is a figment of ones imagination could also be a question? However the way matters have progressed it seem to indicate otherwise.
If all these are factual events then i can understand why the national team is under performing and the "whomp" factor is missing. Too much of distraction for the players and at the sametime they are being pulled in different directions, thereby making them lose their sense of focus. It is imperative that the individual disgruntling must give way to national interest i e the big picture of the country needing to qualify for the 2010 New Delhi World Cup. The differences have to be shed and everyone must work together as a unit, if we are to make that fundamental difference. The right motivation with the right attitude combined with the right spirit, anything is possible. Lets get the battle jointly going so as we can win the war jointly to qualify for the World Cup.