Monday, May 29, 2017


Old School Facundo Needs To Let His Football Do The Talking

I love a good old fashioned bruiser of a centre half as much as the next English man. That is why, even now, I am still purring after seeing Per Mertesacker put in the kind of shift Arsenal fans have been missing since the Adams/Bould/Keown/Campbell era came to an end. The tall German, playing his first full game since god knows when swallowed his 'thou shalt not pass' pills before the game and he was enormous.

It also explains why I have taken to PS TNI's Argentine defender Facundo Talin (pictured right 's Short Fusewith the ball). He is not afraid to get stuck in from the first minute and, pardon the pun, is proving to be a guy you most definitely do want in the trenches with you. But only when he is playing football and intimidating opponents with his no nonsense approach. 

The 31 year old defender came to PS TNI when Ivan Kolev replaced Laurent Hatton after three games. Apart from a short stint in Romania and Bolivia he hasn't played outside of his homeland before and as we see all too often playing football in Indonesia, let alone living here, has its own challenges that need to be adapted to.

Facundo is lucky in one respect. Team mate Leonel Nunez is familiar with the region and the pressures that can come from unlikely sources having played for Johor Darul Ta'zim in Malaysia. He will know all about what happens on the field and off it and will be able to pass that experience on to his compatriot.

Facundo being pushed away by a team mate
I've only see PS TNI a few times this season but in the last couple of games I've seen Facundo practising his Indonesian language skills on the match officials far too often. These refs, say what you like about them, they have officiated some of the best and worst. They know how to handle some fresh off the boat blow hard and when refs react it is the whole team that suffers.

Ivan Kolev replaced Facundo on the hour mark against Persela with his team leading 3-0. They eventually held on for a narrow 3-2 win after the defender went off. Now, I'm not sure why Facundo was replaced but at half time he had to be guided away from the ref by a team mate. What the hell? His team was leading 3-0, why talk yourself into trouble?

I have enjoyed watching PS TNI this season but their aggression and in your face actions could prove costly. They lost 4-1 away to Madura United with a number of notable absences thanks to fines and suspensions. Kolev knows he doesn't want any title bid derailed by ill discipline and he has made noises to that effect saying his wants his players to calm down.

And that is, supposedly, one of the jobs for the foreign players. Be the cool head while others are seething, be the hand on the shoulder when fists are clenched. That is Facundo's role but he won't be able to fulfil it properly until he realises making an enemy of the ref won't win him or his team mates any prizes.

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