Monday, April 27, 2009


If - the biggest word in football?

Just been thinking about the PSMS defeat at home to PKT on Saturday. As I mentioned earlier this game was played just hours after the Medan side had returned from a 24 trip back from the Maldives.

I only caught the last 20 minutes, still 1-1, and it was a ding dong affair. PKT took the lead on 80 minutes but PSMS still pressed and indeed Andhika should have equalised instead of sending his header over from close range.

Can we blame tiredness on his wayward header? Surely he had done all the work. He was in the right place at the right time, perhaps all he needed was some more composure?

And then Andhika's last minute effort that Batak did so well to save. To be fair it looked like his first touch had let him down as he forced himself wide but he recovered well and got in a rasping goalbound drive from a difficult angle that the keeper did well to save.

The young Indonesian striker had played six minutes in the Maldives and had come on as a sub for Elie Aiboy against PKT. He had though shared in the nightmare trip round the houses to Male and all that time cooped up.

If he had converted those two chances he would have been a hero and no one would have mentioned jet lag. Such is the fine line in football. But he missed them both. In a struggling PSMS side he has failed to impose himself all season despite plenty of oppotunities.

It seems too easy just to blame the defeat on accumulating air miles. What do we blame his other misses on? Eating two shredded wheat in the morning and not three?

Another team who have spent far too long recently in airports are SAF who returned from a fruitless trip to Japan in the ACL only to pick up some new toothpaste and head straight to Brunei where they got beat 2-1.

Now if anyone could complain about aching bones it's Richard Bok's ageless army some of whom are nearly the same age as me. Nearly, Richard! But SAF did not rollover and die in the final few moments in Brunei. Indeed it was on 89' when veteran Therdsak Chaiman pulled a goal back.

DPMM involve their opponents in a game perhaps like no other SLeague team yet the fact that SAF held out for so long and managed to score so late is testament to their fitness.

Everybody of course should be allowed to rest between games, especially when long flights have been involved. And yes, no doubt there were some tired legs on the pitches in Palembang and Brunei. But perhaps they are not the only factors at play. We can never of course account for lady luck.

(Sits back and waits for some coaches' feedback!)

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