Monday, September 27, 2010


Playing the blame game

You gotta love football. The game is so simple yet excites such animosity and passion both on the field and off it.

The game is played for 90 minutes between two teams who at least start the game with 11 men on each side. At the highest level these players are paid small fortunes, way beyond anything most people who work for a living can earn in a lifetime, and in turn they are coached by people with many qualifications.

But come the end of the game if their team hasn't won then it's never, or rarely, a player's or coach's fault. Oh no, for all the dosh they earn they will rarely hold their hands up and say 'it were down to me.'

They'll point the finger at the referee and linesmen quite happily.

Indonesia of course is a little different. Yes, they will blame the match officials, the fans special chant for the referee is 'Wasit, goblok' (do they have similar in Thailand? Gamma garn pen kwi perchance?), the pitch, the usual suspects.

The Persiwa coach, Suharno, whined that after losing 4-0 to Pelita Jaya on the opening game of the season he only had 13 players to choose from! His foreigners hadn't yet arrived and he didn't know where another player was. Plus he'd had a couple of lads training with the national team and they weren't used to the tactics.

What kind of professional football club is so ill prepared that it can't even fill the sub's bench? And missing all the foreigners? That's just careless.

And then we have the Indonesia Under 16s at the recent AFF Cup which they hosted and they finished bottom of the four team competition with a mighty impressive one goal and three points from their four games. Their solitary win came in injury time against Timor Leste but they couldn't improve on that in their final game when the Timorese (Tim Tim Tim for any Indonesian readers!) beat them 2-0!

Rumours abound of unpaid salaries, while no friendlies were arranged ahead of the event unless you include a game against a junior Persis Solo team. The fans did their bit, 10,000 turning out for the last, forlorn game but they were let down by those whose responsibility it is to make sure they are fully prepared for events like this.

A big hi, and bye, to Steve Bruce!

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