Sunday, December 05, 2010
Thailand v Malaysia 0-0
We live in a time when we demand success instantly and when we don't get it we demand a blood sacrifice. Marketeers like to say this is because we are getting more sophisticated but to me that's bollocks. We're impatient and when we don't get what we want we need to know why and whose fault it is.
Take Thailand last night against Malaysia. Boasting talent like Sutee, Teerasil and Sarayoot it was surely only a matter of time before they would net. As a football match it resembled the southbound carriageway of the M1...it was all one way.
Following the disappointing 2-2 draw against Lao coach Bryan Robson had a couple of days to inspire his troops and they responding by relentlessly pressuring the Malaysian goal for 90 minutes yet all their efforts brought them was another solitary point and a clean sheet.
There are 0-0s and there are 0-0s. You get the Terry Neill era 0-0 where nothing happens beyond the odd brawl on the terraces. Then you have the 0-0 where chance after chance is created, time after time the opposing defence is carved open only for chances to be spurned. If you have nigh on 30 attempts on goal the odds are that you will eventually net but all Robson's me couldn't put the ball in the old onion bag and it's difficult to say why.
Both teams needed a performance, and a result, after disappointing opening games but while the Thais put in the performance it was Malaysia who got the result after being pummeled for 90 minutes yet still escaping with a point.
So, we need a scapegoat. A sacrificial lamb. Some one must be to blame for all those missed chances. As coach, Bryan Robson will be the one in the firing line. He makes the big decisions, he picks the players and he tells them how to play. What he doesn't do is tell his players to miss every chance they have. They miss because, umm, they miss. It's just the way it is. Shit happens but when it happens in football people lose their jobs as decisions are taken in the heat of the moment in response to sensationalist headlines.
Thailand had a clear penalty denied late in the second half by the Myanmar referee. A disallowed goal against Lao, a pen rejected against Malaysia, it seems someone out there has it against the Thais. On another day they could have seen the decisions go their way and they would be sitting pretty on six points alongside Indonesia.