Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Where Do We Go From Here, Malaysia?

The euphoria and the excitement of the national football team's success at the recent AFF Cup continues unabated. Accolades and bouquets seems to be never ending from fans, media and glory hunters...yes, glory hunters.

Let me admit it, I never was a fan of the national team because of the sub-par performance they always dish out when it matters most. Of course, credit must be always given when it's due and to this, I would like to wish syabas and great perfomance guys (meaning the coaching staff and the players, of course!)

However, is this bunch of glory hunters that sickens my gut and body. Suddenly, you see the local media, other desk sections (the sports desk guys has been through thick and thin with the national team, so they are excluded from this) running stories of the national team. I mean, where were all of you when the chips were down? Many of them were the first to condemn when the team was not doing well but here they are suddenly national team cheerleaders and the number 1 fan.

Of course it is obvious everyone wants to be close to a winner but it just shows how fickle we Malaysians are. When there is a success, everybody wants their photo taken and also be associated. When there is failure, no one wants to own up. Hence when the national team returned from Jakarta, they were many hanger-ons who wanted to be near them, my humble advice to the team's management is to tell them to stay away. Remember, if you fail the next three tournaments at least, people would again condemn you and will stay away from you like a plague.

After the win,what now? It's high time for the players to leave their comfort zone and ply their trade overseas. Despite what Tengku Mahkota of Pahang, our FAM Vice President said recently on our players to only move to leagues such as Korea and Japan, I feel moving to even Indonesia will change their outlook and make them more mature in their game. Even Indonesian teams play in the AFC Champions League while our local team are still playing in the lower ranked AFC Cup and are struggling against teams from the like of Maldives.

We can forget about Korea and Japan as food, language and culture shock would be too much for our players. Maybe they should be looking at Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates as possible transfer destinations as the food and religion are similar to here, only they need to learn the Arabic language.