Thursday, June 30, 2016


Djajang's The Man For Persib. Again

For a club the size of Persib this has not been the best of campaigns. They needed an injury time equaliser in their opening game if the Indonesian Soccer Championship and ever since the only constant has been the barrage of criticism from the terraces heaped on coach Dejan Antonic. He finally paid the ultimate price following a humiliating 4-1 loss away to Bhayangkara Surabaya United and for a while Persib, ISL champions in 2014, appeared rudderless.

Finally the club have turned to the guy who won the ISL, Djajang Nurjaman and asked him to help them out of their predicament. I am not totally sure why he was let go in the first place. Clubs tend not to release successful coaches unless they are called Chelsea and local boy Djajang had done a good job winning their first ever ISL. There was talk of not having the full set of badges needed, during last year's aborted AFC Cup campaign Persib were forced to install a puppet coach who was fully accredited. 

It is not clear whether Djajang now has all the badges. He has spent much of the last year in Italy watching and observing Inter Milan, who were owned by the same guy who owns Persib. There was talk of a second stint in Italy but there were issues with visas so it looked like Djajang was on his way to DC United in the US...yeap same owners.

Instead he will continue his coaching education trying to turn around the fortunes of his beloved Persib. Just two wins from their eight games, eight goals scored, these numbers are a poor return for a club with Persib's ambitions and their standing has fallen so low it was reported just two coach loads of supporters made the long trek east to Gresik for their last away game. A far cry from the 60,000 that followed them to Jakarta when the aroma of glory was thick in the air.

He inherits a squad low on confidence. Strikers Juan Belencoso and Sergio van Dijk have yet to gel, the former hasn't scored all season while van Dijk has missed games since being brought in by the club. Indeed reading between the lines you sensed SvD was a club signing and not an Antonic one as Persib sought to appease their large support frustrated at the lack of penetration up front.

Someone needs to start scoring soon as these numbers show;

Tantan 2
Vladimir Vujovic 2
David Laly 1
Samsul Arif 1
Atep 1
Robertinho 1

On paper the squad isn't bad. I Made Wirawan at the back is one of the best in the country whhile Vujovic's goals and cavalier style of play have made him a cult hero on the terraces. It is further forward where the team have struggled as they have failed to come to terms with high profile departures such as Makan Konate and Ilija Spasojevic, both thriving in Malaysia, while the likes of Firman Utina and M Ridwan are at the heart of a fine Sriwijaya side.

This weekend Persib host PSM, another side with a new coach struggling to make an impact. The Djajang effect will mean he gets more of a honeymoon than another coach who may have taken over but the fans will want to see signs of improvement and soon. 

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