Thursday, January 07, 2010


Time to go, Bambang

Bambang Pamungkas is a model professional. The way he conducts himself on a field that at times does seem to resemble street brawling does him and Indonesian football a great deal of credit.

But something nags at me. In the four years I have been covering the game here I have always felt there is more to come from him. My interest in Indonesian football coincided with Bambang's return from Malaysia where he had a spectacular couple of seasons playing for Selangor. Indeed that first season he netted at something like a goal a game.

Watching him you soon realise his quality. His finishing is exemplary, his heading ability defies gravity for a player of such short stature. But...

For Persija Bambang is both joker and get out of jail free card. It doesn't matter what the question is, the answer is always Bambang. Pump it long for Bambang, pump it high for Bambang. As long as Bambang gets the ball all is right with the world and we can sleep easy in our beds

Except of course that is bollocks.

His goal return is healthy for both club and country. Look at the cold hard stats and his return is good. But.

Is Bambang Pamungkas a natural target man? Obviously he does a good job and does win the ball in the air against much bigger defenders but I've lost count of the number of times he's leapt and managed to flick the ball on only for there to be no team mate anywhere near him. Where's the support?

In an ideal world you would have Bambang winning the areial challenge and then have Bambang pick up the second ball and fashion an opportunity.

Last night he was part of a 4 3 3 which saw him at the centre of the attack, Boaz wide left and Budi/Mushafry/Worarby wide right. And those positions were rigid like a foosball table.

Could Bambang drop deep? Perhaps use Boaz down the middle with his strength and pace and Bambang adopt more of a Dennis Bergkamp role? Give him the freedom to roam the field and look for weaknesses he can exploit?

I fear though to really get the best out of Bambang Pamungkas he needs to move abroad. Not to Malaysia or Singapore or Thailand. Some place where the League is of a much higher standard than this region.

Somewhere like Australia or Japan. A place where a coach can recognise his talents and set about getting the best out of him.

Firman Utina, Budi Sudarsono and a disciplined Boaz Solossa are other players who would benefit from exposure at a higher league. They are stifled in Indonesia by ineptness all around. If they want to be as good as they should be they should prove it by leaving their comfort zone and taking their talent to the region.

Now, before it's too late.

yes you are absolutety right..all of you've mentioned need to experience higher level of football to increase their ability and offcourse to make a name for them self, but when it comes to the indonesians it is difficult to leave ones beloved country and settled abroad for example boaz, after 2004 there are lots of interests shown in him by clubs abroad and as a fellow countryman i am looking forward for that to happen but it didnt..
continued..indonesians are afraid to go abroad they didnt have the mentality to challenge themselves to proof that they actually have the ability..for the likes of budi, ponaryo, who happens to ever played abroad they never achieved the performance that they always did back home and finally they returned home..maybe indo have the better of rochy putiray back when he played for hongkong's side, he manage to settle there as notable foreigner..
Bambang reminds me so much of Taylor Twellman, a US international who used to play for 1860 Munich. They're both classic tweeners — not big enough to serve as classic target forwards, but not quick enough to play off the last defender and use their pace.

I'm not sure how well Bambang would do in Australia with a league so based around physical, direct play. It'd be fun to watch, though. He could certainly do a job in the J-League.
thats why im thinking something deeper.

not seen any a league stuff but there sure plenty of physical stuff going on in indonesiaand to be fair i think players love it!

paeedee makes some good points, and they apply also to singaporeans. ask fandi what his biggest regret is and chances are he ll tell you quitting holland cos of family pressure
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