Thursday, October 13, 2016


Vlad The Persib Saviour

This hasn't been the best of campaigns for Persib. They have struggled for consistency, replaced their coach and their high profile strikers, including the now departed Juan Belencoso, have hit just six goals (Sergio van Dijk 4 in 13 games, Samsul Arif 2 in 16). Their last five games have produced just two wins and both of those came at home via late, late penalties.

While they have been strong at home as you would expect their away form has been poor at best with just two wins to show from their 11 games on the road and one of them was a 3-0 triumph over PS TNI in a game played in their own backyard of West Java.

Tables don't lie and Persib's current position of 9th in the 18 team league is a fair reflection of their consistency. Yet things could be so much worse. Back in 2014, the year Persib won the Indonesia Super League for the first time, it was the goals of defender Vladimir Vujovic that proved so important, especially in the second half of the season, as this piece I did for the Jakarta Globe back then shows.

Fast forward two years and Persib may not be in a position to challenge for the Indonesia Soccer championship but yet again it is the goals of their Montenegro defender that are saving them from ignominy.

With the forwards failing to find the net with any kind of consistency the journeyman defender with five goals this season finds himself the club's leading scorer. Yep, you read that right. The club who can boast the likes of Ajat Sudrajat, Zaenal Arif and Lorenzo Cabanas among their striking alumni are now reliant on the goals of a defender to save their blushes.

And as with the 2014 title winning season, Vujovic's goals are making a real difference to the team's ranking. It was he for example who equalised away to Persiba in the 77th minute to save a point. It was his late penalty at home to the same team that turned a point into three and he repeated the dose yesterday as Persib came from behind to defeat dogged Bhayangkara 2-1 in Cikarang.

Three of Vlad's five goals have changed the outcome of the game, earning his side an extra five vital points. Without those points Persib would be in the bottom half of the table and perhaps there would be some pressure swirling around the coach Djadjang Nurdjaman.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

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