Wednesday, November 26, 2014


An Autopsy For Indonesia

Following the oh so lucky 2-2 draw against Vietnam, Indonesian coach Alfred Riedl bemoaned the lack of preparation and said fans would notice the difference in the next game against the Philippines.

Umm, what difference?

As an Arsenal fan, I have grown used to displays where the players don't seem to know where they are going or what they are doing. Leaderless, powerless and clueless.

Why, as I watched Indonesia try to salvage their AFF Championship against the Azkals was I continuously reminded of the Arsenal?

The defending at times was borderline comical. In fact I did laugh. Firman's challenge that led to the penalty. The indirect free kick that led to a goal. And others besides. Too many others.

Riedl opted for Samsul Arif as a starter up to alongside Sergio van Dijk which meant Boas Solossa dropping to the bench. Firman also started in the midfield but they were the only changes. Surely Indonesia couldn't be so poor as they were in the opening game?

It is easy to hark on about individual performances or who should have gone but didn't but at the end of the day the buck must stop in a place where they are unsed to bucks stopping.

Consider recent events in Indonesian football. One of the worst teams in the Divisi Utama play offs gets promoted to the Indonesia Super League. An international goal keeper is throttled on the pitch by a club official. A team refused to play a game because they felt intimidated. Two other teams played a nonsense game they both tried to lose. Players still left waiting for their salaries.

Against this backdrop of uncertainty and confusion, just how can a coach and a team be expected to prepare properly? And this is before we take into account the ISL which only finished a few weeks before the AFF Championship began leaving Riedl with just a few players to work with.

Within that environment it is very difficult to expect any Indonesian side to excel on the international stage. And don't forget they are very poor travellers; merah putih played many friendlies at home, none away in the run up to Hanoi so little was done to prepare the side for intimidating atmospheres overseas, far from their safe Indonesian home of teh botol and bakso.

Riedl accepts responsibility for the defeat and as coach then so he should.  But anyone who works with the Indonesian national team takes the position with their eyes wide open. They are aware of all the stuff that goes on behind the scenes and unfortunately until that nonsense comes to an end then not even Jose Mourinho could lead the merah putih to the promised land.

Yeah you are right more or less... Indonesia last friendly matches outside the country were in... Spain against Cuba and Andorra (if I remember well), and after that they hosted several teams here but most of them were much weaker than the current AFF opponents (Cambodia, Nepal and Pakistan that were here with their u23 teams in fact, Timor Leste etc). In all of the above matches plus against Malaysia and Yemen (that Timnas was outplayed but managed to get a 0-0 draw) there was a praise for the fact that they kept a clean sheet. However for those that watched the matches it was more than just visible the numerous issues in the back (in all of the matches the opponents missed unbelievable chances...even the much much weaker ones). Also the composition of the team was changing the whole time, more and more players were called every time (even in ideal situations that there were no league matches) so they couldn't "gel" between them that nicely. Historically indeed Timnas is really bad when playing away and only Jacksen managed to change that mentality presenting a team emphasizing in the midfield (like he had been doing in Persipura) with 2 defensive midfielders and a short gap between all the lines. How come Persipura takes so many positive results on the road and no other Papuan team is able to do so? Well no idea why they decided to let him leave (both Persipura and National Team) looking not only at the results but how he did in both matches against China, at Saudi Arabia etc.
This national team is like Indonesia XI that faces the Premier League sides in exhibition matches. No system, no ball possession at all, no discipline, nobody seems to be focused etc.
It would be right for Riedl to spot the team's or the system's weaknesses before the tournament had started, to speak up and demand better condition, more appropriate friendlies, more preparation period... how come U23 traveled to Europe, U19 did the same and there wasn't almost a single trip concerning the men squad apart from the friendly against a depleted Qatar squad? Now it is too late for excuses... ah yes and after "we are ready", and "we will be improved in 2nd match" it is time for "it is difficult to get a big win against Laos". Well Alfred go home to become a butler and get a Batman to coach the team...
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?