Monday, June 05, 2017


Too Much Interference Poisons Persib's Performances

Remember when Persib were within touching distance of the top of Liga 1 yet the fans were unhappy with the way things were going? Recent results suggest the fans were correct to be suspicious. Last night's loss away to Bhayangkara was their fourth game on the spin without a win and from being right up there in the mix Persib are now 11th with 13 points from their nine games. For a club that signalled their intentions before the season started with a number of high profile signings what has caused this disharmony off the field and poor results on it?

Coach Djadjang Nurdjaman has borne the brunt of the supporters' frustrations and following the loss last nigh he has come out and said he is ready to be sacked if the club feel that is the right thing to do. Djanur, as he is known, has struggled to field a best eleven for much of the season as he tries to balances the needs of the team with the egos of people behind the scenes who have been allegedly pushing their own agendas and players. Arsene Wenger says he won't work with a technical director. Djanur doesn't have an official TD above him but he is answerable to a number of strong minded people with their own favourites among the squad. The result is a line up that is more mix and match than settled.

Last night Djanur went with Tantan up front alongside Atep and Gian Zola. Sergio van Dijk was on the bench as was Shohei Matsunaga while Carlton Cole didn't even feature despite claims from manager Umuh Muchtar to have given him a second chance to save his Persib career. Also on the bench were Hariono, Tony Sucipto, Michael Essien and Dedi Kusnandar while inspirational defender Vladimir Vujovic was missing. Nine games in and the top scorers are Atep and Essien with two goals each! Who knows how the team will line up in their next game against Persiba!

The signings of Cole, Essien and to a certain extent Maitimo were intended to throw down a marker. That Persib considered themselves a big club and were ready to spend big to challenge for honours this year but it hasn't happened. Fans are underwhelmed by the so called big names, one banner at yesterday's game said 'We're Persib 'Till We Die. You're Persib 'Till Your Contract Ends'. Supporters aren't cowed by big names or big reputations. They judge players by what they do on the pitch in the Persib blue, not what their wikipedia profiles say and they are not impressed by what they see. 

From the outside Persib seem to be a club divided. One minute Cole is out, the next minute he is been given a second chance after a management meeting. What does appear to be clear is that Djanur does not have the final say on team matters, even recruitment and the club, as well as the fans, are paying for too many cooks spoiling the broth. 

Persib are a big club and they are an ambitious club. They are a club that saw the potential for commercial opportunities long before most other Indonesian clubs. But the biggest driver for commercial success does not come from collecting expensive, mismatched toys, it comes from a successful, settled team giving its all and, hopefully, winning games and challenging for titles. Amid the bling Persib have forgotten they are first and foremost a football club. This is what has angered the fan base. They want their football club back.

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