Thursday, March 22, 2007


The national team

The Indonesian National team is in transition. Despite remaining unbeaten at the recent ASEAN Football Championship, lack of goals cost the merah-putih the chance of qualifying and ultimately cost former European Cup Winner Peter Withe his job.

Bulgarian Ivan Kolev has taken over the helm but it remains to see how much better he can do with the resources available to him. The big problem at the ASEAN was scoring goals. Singapore thumped minnows Laos 11-0. Indonesia went a goal down before eventually winning 3-1.

Domestically the Indonesian League allows a maximum of 5 foreigners per team and this translates into the scoring charts. Just one out of the top 10 scorers as of last weekend is local. Aliyudin, with 6 goals, has looked impressive at new club Persija Jakarta alongside possibly the biggest name in Indonesian football Bambang Pangkumas. But while Aliyudin has been scoring the goals Bambang has netted just twice after a successful spell in Malaysia with Selangor.

BP, as he is fondly known, looks good. He moves well off the ball, has good control and is effective in the air but is still finding his scoring touch.

Indonesia’s problems in front of goal extend down to the Under 23’s who spent many months in The Netherlands last year preparing for the Asian Games in Qatar. They needn’t bothered, ignominiously returning home early.

They are now preparing for the Olympic Games and still they can’t score. In the Pre Qualifiers they scored just once, in the last minute at home, against The Maldives over the 2 legs despite pummeling them in Jakarta. And in the Qualifiers proper 2 defeats in 2 games have been matched by 2 blank sheets, at Oman and at home to Vietnam.

Ivan Kolev has a simple job if Indonesia are to get through the group stage of the upcoming Asian Cup. They must score goals against Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Bahrain. Failure to do so and he may not last until the SEA Games later this year.

They do try to play football on the ground which is in their favour but in front of goal, be it 6 yards or 36 yards they seem to get a rush of blood to the head and go for glory, wellying it as hard as possible and sacrificing placement in the process.

Last season most of the LEAGUE WENT 3-5-2 because that was how the national team was expected to play but I understand Peter Withe changed tactics mid ASEAN (you might want to confirm that elsewhere!).

They are in a tough group and despite all the preparations, they’re having a mid season break starting the end of April, I can’t see them getting past the big boys in the group.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

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