Saturday, August 12, 2017


Persib Look To N'Douassel For Goals And Salvation

After a tempestuous first half to the season which has seen fan protests help convince coach Djadjang Nurdjaman to step down, a one time English international struggle to earn game time and enough cash paid in fines to support a couple of Liga 3 teams, Persib will be hoping for a quieter run in to the end of the season where the news is focused on the eleven players on the pitch and their results.

To say they have underperformed is an understatement. The 2014 Indonesia Super League champions are currently 14th in the rebranded Liga 1 standings, a precarious looking position safeguarded for now by a nine point cushion. A 3-1 home win over PS TNI last time out, ending a run of five games without a win, has bought some breathing space to West Java but such has the inconsistency been this season Maung Bandung now they are just another draw away from yet more dramatic, apocalyptic headlines.

Persib have struggled for goals all season, just 19 in 19 games and their leading scorer is Raphael Maitimo whose brace against PS TNI gives him four for the season. Carlton Cole, a victim of circumstances beyond his control and behind the scenes power plays that would make a Game of Thrones series seem tame, has finally gone while Sergio van Dijk has suffered from injury which has minimised his chances leaving Persib short of options up front.

The club are looking to plug that gap with  the recruitment of Chadian international Ezechiel N'Douassel from Hapoel Tel Aviv. The 29 year old striker has certainly been around the block having played in Chad, Algeria, Tunisia, Russia, Turkey before moving to Israel in 2014. A well thumbed passport indeed and as is the way with journeyman strikers a career where he never stays in one place for any length of time but this will be his first time in Asia and the club, as well as the supporters, will be hoping, nay expecting, he can settle down as quickly as possible.

Whether that means he will line up for Persib against Arema later today remains to be seen. But the fact is Persib are expecting someone to come along, take their place in the team and score the goals that will see the team climb the table without any kind of bedding in period. Big  things are expected of N'Douassel, maybe bigger than even he imagines. Only time will tell whether the tall striker is the answer to the prayers of the Persib faithful.

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