Saturday, June 04, 2016


Persela's Coaching Soap Opera

Stefan Hansson was dead man walking for a while. Lose your your first two games and in Indonesia you can hear the club getting the axe out of the cupboard. Lose a third and if they have not already swung it they are practising a few sweeps, preferably in a place where a few media types are lurking. The headlines make managers look strong you see and add to the pressure on the beleagured coach.

It doesn't matter Persela were given a tough start to the Indonesia Soccer Championship, that won't weigh on the club owners too much. The fact they lost every time they walked on the pitch they lost matters and that doesn't look good to people schooled in short term thinking.

Perhaps Persela should have got a result at home to Gresik United in their opening game of the season. Certainly when the fixtures were released Hansson would have looked at that game and thought a win wasn't impossible given Persela's traditionally strong home record.

Unfortunately Persela aren't the power they once were at their Surajaya Stadium. If we go back to their last eight home games in the 2014 Indonesia Super League they won just one, drawing four and losing three. The aborted 2015 season saw one win and one loss so perhaps we shouldn't be so surprised they lost not just to their East Java rivals at home but also to Persipura. 

In short their last 12 home games have produced two wins, four draws and six losses!

Ok so Hansson inherited a team not quite the force they once were and he was unable to reverse the downward trend so paid the price. Who next? Well, no one just yet. As is so often the case around the world clubs are quick to fire but slow to hire. It's almost like they have no plan for succession in place.

Oh yes, some names have been linked with the Surajaya hot seat. Jacksen F Tiago (ex Persebaya, Persipura, Penang +++) for one. So has ex Persib midfielder Miljan Radovic who is now coaching in his native Montengero but has never hidden his desire to return to Indonesia at some stage. 

The latest name to be linked in Iwan Setiawan with a Persela official saying he is one alternative but for now it seems the favourite is Benny Dollo who includes Indonesia, Persija and Sriwijaya on his extensive resume.

Bendol, as he is known, has been involved in negotiations for the vacant national team job and Persela are perhaps hoping once that particluar task has been finished the way is clear for him to take over in East Java. Certainly the club hope to have someone in place before the Bali United game next weekend.

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