Saturday, June 11, 2016
Dejan Antonic Steps Down As Persib Boss
A year ago and everyone wanted Dejan Antonic to coach Indonesia. After decent spells with the likes of Arema (the LPI version), Pro Duta and Pelita Bandung Raya Antonic was appointed to the hottest of hot seats in Indonesian football but almost immediately the knives were out.
He was accused of favouring certain players and after the team left it late to earn a point in the ISC opener against Sriwijaya, Tantan equalising in injury time, there were calls for his dismissal with some fans trying to place an advert in a local paper criticising the team.
Results didn't improve and matters came to a head in their last home game against Madura United when Persib could only draw 0-0. The team were unbeaten after five games but fans were unhappy with the style of play and the the players left the field with boos echoing around Si Jalak Harapat Stadium.
Leaving the stadium Antonic got into a discussion with some Persib fans which was filmed for the world to see.
This evening they were beaten 4-1 by Bhayangkara Surabaya United, a team with just one win all season. And despite the positive stats, ball possession, shots on goal, passes, tackles, the history books will show Persib were beaten by a team who have failed to impress anyone this season.
Maung Bandung missed two penalties along the way with Juan Belencoso, without a goal in the ISC following his high profile move from Kitchee in Hong Kong hitting the crossbar and being immediately replaced by Antonic, throwing Syamsul Arif on in his stead. The Indonesian international missed a penalty moments later but did at least get on the score sheet with a consolation.
Going into the game Persib were without Vladimir Vujovic and Sergio van Dijk but surely they had enough in reserve to overcome BS United? A win could have seen them climb the ladder to fourth, within two points of leaders Mitra Kukar and despite the fan criticism they were unbeaten, albeit with one win in five games.
In the wake of the humiliation in Sidoarjo, Antonic stepped down as Persib coach saying 'this defeat is hard for me and the players. Surabaya United have not been good so far and we have a better squad compared to them. Perhaps the time is right for me to take a rest from this team. Persib need a new person, a person who can give the supporters the success they demand. Probably the players as well because this decision is for the good of the players and the club'.
The speculation regarding his successor will be intense over the next few days with Jacksen F Tiago a possible candidate following his departure from Penang. That can wait. For now Persib fans are left licking their words after the thrashing in Sidoarjo and digesting Antonic's decision to quit.
Seriously, who needs the Euros...Indonesian football has everything you need!