Tuesday, November 07, 2017


Persija's Bright Future After Ignoring Fans' Call For Coach Ouster

Remember earlier in the season when Persija were struggling to find a win? When they went on that run which saw them winless in six games, scoring two goals along the way? The fans were calling for coach Teco to be sacked, there were protests at games, banners held up calling for change at the football club?

Teco stuck to his guns and to their credit the football club did as well. Too often clubs pander to the whims of their supporters and sack the coach as soon as they feel it is what the supporters want.

The problem is of course a football fan is a fickle beast. For the fan the last result is everything and when you keep failing to score then you're not going to win, no matter how good your defence is.

And Teco was building a good defence. In fact that's what good coaches do. They build a team on a strong back line. Sadly for coaches building a defence is neither sexy nor quick. Ask the likes of Sam Allardyce or George Graham. But good teams are built on the foundation of a good defence and for all Persija's woes in front of goal they were still a tough nut to crack, conceding just five goals in that run.

In Andritany Ardhiyasa between the sticks they have a serious contender for player of the season. While the defence were getting used to each other there was Andritany on hand to rescue Persija time and time again with saves taken from the top drawer.

The back line ware one of the most imposing sights in Indonesian football with height and physical presence to intimidate the small, slightly built but agile local strikers. At the heart of the defence Brazilian William Pachecho has been a revelation. This guy is massive and has chipped in with a few goals along the way, forming an ever improving partnership with the veteran Maman Abdurahman. 

Its not all about age and experience. Left sided Rezaldi Hehanusa has come in and performed consistently well over the season and the 22 year old , happy birthday today, has been rewarded for his efforts by national team coach Luis Milla who has played him against Puerto Rico and Cambodia. 

Now of course Persija can look forward to a bright future. Despite sitting sixth in Liga 1 with a game remaining, thanks to Bhayangkara, PSM and Persipura not receiving AFC licensing they could well be representing Indonesia in the AFC Cup next year. They can also look forward to returning to a renovated Bung Karno Stadium once the Asian Games have finished and the extra cash flow that entails. And stable management off the field are finally realising the potential in their football club which has, in recent years, been seen as a lesson how not to run a club.

To think, had the club bowed to fan pressure Teco would have been long gone and who knows where the Macan Kemayoran would be now!

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