July 29, 2007

If Ah Bengs took over ESPN...

Remember THIS? Well, here I have a sample of some actual 'running commentary' given by the two Ah Bengs sitting behind me during the Liverpool-Portsmouth game in Hong Kong (Cantonese has been translated as roughly as possible into English....)

Ah Beng 1
: Tiu, Lei Wa Pou sure win wan lar! Po Si Mou Fu very char mar TIU!!!

Ah Beng 2: OI! Don't say like that lar TIU! I bet one hundred on this you know! TIU NIA SENG! Faster lar Lei Na! Kick the ball also so long! Ha.. ha... HAIYOR TIU! Pan Nan why do that! Fast fast ZHAM (cross) the ball lar! TIU! ZHAM ZHAM!!! TIU! What he waiting forrr!!!!

Ah Beng 1: Haiyor, it's Sou Kam Pou marrr. Tiu nia seng how to go pass?

Ah Beng 2: TIU! Gu Zi tiu so char! Don't Know how to shoot meh? Go Home Lar TIU!!!!

Ah Beng 1: Keeper Chim See very good today lar TIU.

Ah Beng 2: PUT ON Je La Tat lar TIU! Wait wait for what lar!!! HAAA! HAAA! Mou Mou! hahahaha! Why they call him Mou Mou! A lot of hair is it!!! TIU! What lar how you want to go in! Sou Kam Pou lar how to pass!!!!

Ah Beng 1: Ha they put in To Le Si now. sure goal wan.

Ah Beng 2: Tiu!!! To Le Si so char wan, kenot even control ball. USELESS LAR TIUNIA SENG!!!! Eight more minutes only put on Je La Tat! What he can do!!!


Ah Beng 2: TIU HAI To Le Si go and miss! Buy him so Expensive for what? GO HOME LAR! TIU!!!!

So now we know what would happen if ESPN were taken over by Ah Bengs...

July 20, 2007

Just Curious...

Would you guys rather have...

1) A National Team that consists of ONLY Malaysian players (regardless what race lar), but sucks balls and gets thrashed 12-1 on home ground?


2) A National Team that consists of half Malaysians and half impo... sorry, NATURALISED foreigners who are only playing for your country because they are paid to and because they couldn't make it in their home country; but are at least WINNING matches?

It's a rhetorical question. I'm just curious to know what everyone thinks. No, really.

MAri kita berdebat!

Friday Fun Puke

Apparently, caring husband, David is trying to protect his wife's snatch from being photographed. Err..how about getting her to wear a longer skirts?

July 18, 2007

parking the bus

Not a proper post.
Stadium emptier than usual.
Looks like got more Iranians in Malaysia than Malaysians themselves.
But at least the Malaysians there like singing.

I am confused.
I can't decide if it is better to play 4-4-2 and get spanked 5-1,
But at least the whole game we create half chances and get into exciting positions.
Or whether it is better to park the bus in front of the goal,
Lose ONLY 2-0 against the highest ranked Asian team,
But then spend the whole game with the knowledge that we will never score a goal.
Except for that Shukor Adnan chance.
And good to frustrate them and see Ali Karimi nearly cry because he is useless.

Fucking stupid referee kayu.
Fucking AFC.
How come got Middle Eastern referee in a game involving a Middle Eastern team?

But btw, Iran are actually bloody rubbish.
Seriously RUBBISH.
Ali Karimi is an overrated crap player.
Akmal Rizal could have done a better job playing up front.

Okay rant over.
Now go watch Super League.
Merah Kuning Lambang Kebangaan.

July 16, 2007

Malaysian Football in a (Coco)Nutshell

Alas, it is that time of the year in the Malaysian Sports Calender where everybody inevitably points fingers, assigning the blame to someone, each one more adamant than the other that somebody else is to blame for the latest fiasco. I am of course, talking about Malaysia's latest outing in the international footballing arena. In our first game against China, we got smacked 5-1, while in the second game, we got whipped 5-0. Even the most optimistic of us can't pray for anything else other than a 2-0 defeat to Iran.

Yes, it has been that bad.

And so, true to the wise words of Homer Simpson (Why blame yourself when it is easier to blame others?) everybody has started pointing fingers even before the tournament had ended. Heck, the blame game started even before the players finished their post-game shower after the first game.

The coach has blamed some players for under-performing. The FAM have blamed the coach for wrong team selection, and the Malaysian football fans (this is a term I shall use very loosely for reasons which I shall elaborate further) have been blaming everybody. The only party involved who hasn't blamed anybody are the players, but that is because they are at the bottom of the food chain, and hence do not have anybody to pass the buck to.

But the sad fact is that EVERYBODY involved has to take some amount of blame. And by 'everybody' I mean the Malaysian football fans as well. Contrary to what we would like to believe, we are the ones sitting on top of the food chain - not FAM, not Sultan Ahmad Shah.

And so let us start from the very bottom.

It is very easy to blame the players. After all, they are the ones who actually determine whether we get a result or not. They are the ones performing, they are the ones who are the professional athletes. But is it fair? If we were Italians or Brazilians, we have the right to blame the players. But we aren't. Our world ranking of 149 is testament enough that we simply are not good enough. Iran is ranked 47, Uzbekistan 58, and China 76. Anybody who expected any other result would either be an eternal optimist, or an extremely deluded soul.

What can they do if they simply aren't good enough? What can they do if they simply aren't big enough or fast enough? When we look at other national sports, we can easily point fingers at the badminton players for lacking the fighting spirit (Hafiz) or being too cocky (Koo Kien Kiet). But for our footballers, or most of them at least, their problem is their lack of skill.

Certainly, some of them can take the rap for throwing in the towel before the final whistle had blown. In the game against China, we conceeded a soft late goal because the players couldn't wait for the game to be over and fell asleep. Against the Uzbeks, we conceeded two late goals because their minds weren't on the game anymore (more on this later). And yes, a certain portoin of the blame has got to go to the mindset of some of them.

Our star player, Akmal Rizal once had a stint in Germany but was unable to hold a place in the team. He later claimed he was homesick, couldn't get used to the weather and the food, and hence came back to be the Jaguh Kampung he undoubtedly is today. He, along with a few others failed to make the most of the chance given to them to improve their game and came crawling back to their comfort zone.

Then, if you listen to the FAM president, Sultan Ahmad Shah, the coach Norizan Bakar is to blame for our disastrous start against China. He claimed Norizan had messed up with his team selection, leaving Indra Putra and K. Nanthakumar on the bench.

Sure, it is easy to hurl such accusations with the power of hindsight. It isn't just in Malaysian football, mind you. Coaches all over the world get blamed for wrong team selection all the time, but the fans fail to realise that the coaches sometimes make these decisions because they know more about the players than the fans do. In this case, it was very obvious that Indra Putra did not start because he just came back from a long injury, as did Akmal Rizal. Starting with two half-fit strikers is never a wise thing to do.

I do not wish to be in Norizan's shoes. I am totally and utterly convinced that being the head coach of our national football team is the worst job in the country. You have nothing to work with, you have everybody shitting on your head, and you are expected to perform miracles. It is not a job even God could do. Being a national team coach isn't quite the same as being the coach of a club team.

If Sir Alex Ferguson identified an area of his squad that was weak, he could go out and buy players to strengthen that area. If he fails to do that, or makes a wrong signing, his head would be on the chopping block, and fairly so. Encik Norizan Bakar has no such luxury. These players are the best of the lot. These are the players he has to work with whether he likes it or not, or whether they are good enough to face Iran. What do we expect him to do when none of our central defenders have the ability to control the ball and keep possession?

But of course, he still must take some blame for the drubbing. It was suicide to play 4-4-2 against technically and physically superior teams. Realistically, we had no chance of winning, but if the players could keep it tight and frustrate the opponent, we could have nicked something from a set piece (which we are bloody good at). In Jose Mourinho's words, we needed to 'park the bus in front of the goal'. We needed to play 4-5-1 and put 10 men behind the ball at all times. Hit them on the counter attack, hit them with a set piece. We could have at least put up some sort of fight if we made it to half time still level, even if it meant that their keeper didn't need to touch the ball once.

Then there is the favourite bash toy of the fans - the Football Association of Malaysia. Of course, it is simple enough to blame them. They are the ones who run the game in the country. When all goes pear shaped, they should take the heat. And rightly so, for many issues. We have a piss poor youth development programme. The national league is in shambles as are the the State FAs. They are the ones who are responsible for hiring the coaches, setting up the training facilities and scouting for talent so when everything fails, it is most convenient to blame the FAM and the involvement of politicians in the scene.

But politicians have always, always sat at the helm of the FAM. From our beloved Tunku Abdul Rahman right to the present day, the FAM president has always been a politician or a Sultan. And when you think about it, it is not as if the FAM has not realised that the current state of affairs is dire. They have - and they have taken countless number of steps to prevent it from declining further. They have revamped and restructured the league system countless of times in the last few years. In fact, it was the current FAM president Sultan Ahmad Shah, who turned the league from semi-pro to professional.

And when all conventional methods had failed, they tried unconventional methods but to no avail. They tried to piece together a team of youngsters to try to qualify for the 2000 Olympics. More recently was the silly MyTeam competition(not sure how much the FAM was involved in this - but still..) It was a sorry excuse of a scouting programme, but nonetheless efforts were made. What can you do if at the end of the day, when all you have are players that are simply NOT GOOD ENOUGH?

Which makes me wonder...

Everybody seems to ramble on and on about our so-called 'past glories' and how far we had sunk since those days. Just what kind of 'glory' are we talking about here?! We never made it to the World Cup and only made it to the Asian Cup final twice ever in 1976 and 1980, where we didn't even make it past the first round. We go on and on about how it was such a great achievement that we had qualified for the Olympics in 1972 and 1980, but if you need a short history lesson, here's one. Before 1984, Olympic football was for amateurs. Professionals weren't allowed to participate because FIFA was afraid that it would cheapen the World Cup.

And if you look at the timeline, it is obvious that our period of 'dominance' only lasted about 10 years - that is one whole generation of players. This is our equivalent of Portugal's Golden Generation. For Luis Figo, Rui Costa and Fernando Couto, read Mokhtar Dahari, Soh Chin Aun and Arumugam. Malaysian football had never seen bigger stars and probably will never see bigger stars. Sometimes, as much as it belittles their achievements, the pure fluke of having a whole generation of great players growing up together and playing together will never be replicated. It was a one-off. Zainal Abidin Hassan and Dollah Salleh aside, there wasn't anybody to replace them, so in truth, Malaysian football had started its decline a long, long time ago.

And that brings me to the chief culprit in this whole football fiasco - the Malaysian football fans.

As I said earlier, that is a term I am forced to use very loosely because the sad fact is that Malaysians do not make good sports fans. We are 'glory hunters' in every sense of the term.

I never had the privillege to watch the great Mokthar Dahari. I never even had the chance to watch the 1989 SEA Games - the last time we actually won something. But the most common excuse people give these days is that we have had no success. It seems we only support our teams when they win, and abandon them when they lose. Sometimes I wonder whether we deserve world class athletes. In squash and bowling we have world champions, world beaters, but we do not support them much. Instead of watching Nicol's games, all we do is pick up the papers the next morning and go, "Oh, Nicol won again. Cool!" and then go back about our business as usual.

The stadium was less than one-third full for the China game and absolutely deserted for the Uzbekistan game. Where was everybody?! How can we complain that our team isn't performing well when we do not even bother to turn up to support them? As football fans, we all know the 12th man phenomenon is extremely important. But instead of being the 12th man for our own national side, we only serve to demotivate them.

Picture this. You are playing for your country. You are already losing 3-0 and fighting with your inner demons, trying your hardest not to cave in. Nothing has gone right for you all night. You have been outplayed and outgunned. The only thing left that can possibly motivate you is the knowledge that you are representing your country and that you do not want to let your fans down. And then you look up and look around you and find the whole stadium is deserted. And whatever 'fans' you actually have are morons who turn up just to boo and hiss at you. The fans who, instead of supporting you and your teammates, turn up with banners to proclaim how much you suck. Fuck it. What is there to play for?!?!

And it's not just the Asian Cup we are talking about. Our players have ZERO experience playing in the big stage. Was it any wonder why we lost to Singapore in the penalty shootout in the ASEAN Cup the other day? The famous Kallang Roar turned our boys' knees into jelly. They were faced with a full-house stadium screaming and taunting them. It is safe to say that most of them, if not all of them have never, ever played in front of a packed stadium before. Nobody supports the local league.

Nobody bothers going to the stadiums to watch the league games. We all thought that the league was getting better a couple of years ago when people flocked to the Shah Alam stadium to watch Selangor. Turns out they were all Indonesian workers going to see Bambang Pamungkas. Imagine that sort of patriotism - hoardes of them going to watch a football game, week in week out just because their fellow countryman played for a team which they should have no alliegience to.

We blame the FAM for not being able to deliver. We expect them to devise a programme that can bring us success in 5 years. And when they try to do that, they inevitably fail - because we are too impatient. You cannot change the whole system in 5 or even 10 years. The whole system needs a revamp. Somebody needs to say to them, "We give you 15 years. Tear up everything. Start from scratch." But no, we expect results and we expect them today.

And without us, without the football fans watching the games, where on Earth are you going to find sponsors? You can talk about youth development and all that boo-hah but if there is no sustained interest from the public, where do you propose the money comes from? Have a nice look at the American NCAA. I never went to an American university but I hear the fan base is fanatical. The games are even broadcast live on TV and people tune in to watch! Then ask yourself if you would ever consider watching Malay College Kuala Kangsar versus Kolej Tunku Jaafar.

Somebody I talked to just now was ranting about how Malaysian football sucks (it really is the flavour of the day). I asked him if he watched the game and he replied he didn't. "What for support them la? They suck so bad!" I replied, "So why do you care if they suck if you don't bother supporting them?" I remember our Rugby Sevens team getting smacked 73-0 a few years ago. But nobody gave a hoot about it because nobody cares about Rugby Sevens. Similarly, if you don't care enough to watch the game, why do you care enough to complain?

Who in their right mind wants to play for the national team at the moment? Who in the right mind wants to be a footballer in Malaysia? You play in front of empty stadiums, get a crappy paycheck and at the end of the day get a barrage of abuses no matter how hard you play. People like Hardi Jaafar and Hairuddin Omar spent the last two games running after every ball, back tracking when the team needed them, playing to their strengths but instead of hearing people say, "At least you did your best" they get people spitting all sorts of abuse on them. That is assuming the public even knows their names, which I am willing to wager a jug of beer that none of you reading this can name our Starting XI.

Don't complain unless you are part of the solution.

Start going to the local league games. When we fill up the stadiums, sponsors will come. The money will inject just a little bit more glamour into the game. The players would know that they have something to play for. The kids, the 8 year old kids will look at footballers as their idols and that might inspire them to want to be footballers when they grow up. How do you propose a youth development system when the kids do not want to be part of the system in fear that they will grow up into a dead career?

The blame can go to the players, the coaches and the FAM. But as the fans, we must take responsibilty for abandoning the game in the first place, and then expecting it to flourish after we ignored it for years.

July 15, 2007

10 - 1 to the Chinese and the Uzbeks. Bring on the Iranians, I say!


1-5 against the Chinese, 0-5 against the Uzbeks.

I guess that officially makes us the worst team in the AFC Finals.

I wonder what's the all time worse record at a major continental finals ever. I reckon if we ship another 5 goals against the Iranians, we might just beat that record, and maybe, JUST MAYBE, the bloody FAM will wake up and do something.


July 12, 2007

Shebby goes OOOOH! AAAHHHH!

Overheard during the MExico vs Argentina match:

"Veron always likes to play the OOOH ball. You know, the kind of pass that makes you go OOOOH. Or is it an AHH ball?"

Oh, VERY astute observation, Shebby. Did you come up with that quote all by yourself?

After watching this game, and the Malaysia-China one on TV2, I have come to the conclusion that even the RTM2 commentator was a lot better than Shebby. Or at least, less annoying.

Oh, and Brazil vs Argentina huh? The way Brazil have been playing, go steamroll them, you Argies.

July 10, 2007

malaysia vs china

Stuck in Hicksville.
Couldn't go to the stadium to see the game.
Why stadium so empty?
What you buggers doing sitting at home?
Why go so fucking many Chinamen there?

Not a proper post.
Not even a proper rant.
We got reamed in the ass.
1 deflection.
2 mistakes.
2 fucking stupid goals.
1 awesome goal, and we scored it.
So if you can count, we lost 5-1.

But we lost because we have a shitty defence.
Especially the right back.
He makes Djimi Traore look good.
But you can't blame the lack of spirit.
Because people who lack spirit don't run around like headless chickens.
Which is bad, running around like headless chickens, I mean.

But still, Hardi Jaafar is a fucking awesome crosser.
Runs like a headless chicken and doesn't do much else, but still awesome for set pieces.
Kinda like David Beckham.
Actually, I think better.
Which brings us to:

Create polls and vote for free. dPolls.com

Oh yeah, welcome back Indra Putra.
Next game start with Akmal Rizal and Indra Putra.
And Nanthakumar also.
And change the fucking rightback.
Hairuddin Omar is good in the air, but can't do jack against the Uzbeks giants.
Better play low balls.
We can play awesome one-twos.
Botakman can put good low balls in the box.

Go watch the game in Bukit Jalil yah.
Because that would be our best chance to actually get something.
After that Iran.
I scared they rape our ass again.

July 09, 2007

Geordie Update

We've got a new owner. He's not an American leprechaun nor a Thai crook nor a Hongkietonk.

We've a brand new manager, and he seems to know what he's doing.

We've got a new defence. No Tit Bramble, no Goochy, no Crack More.

We've got a new gangster in the middle of the park.

We've also gotten a big striker to hold up the ball for Ickle Mickey.

All seems well and good. Birds are chirping. Flowers are blooming in Geordieland.

Wait? What's this?

Damncbknntiuniasengniamahpokaihamkalinglunchowpetpetchowhye Fat Freddy Shepherd stays as Chairman.

Mike Ashley, you no blain ah?

Arrggghhhhhh... *pulls out hair*

July 03, 2007

Shock of the Summer: Arsenal Spends Money!

It just HAD to happen, didn't it? With all the big names being linked to us, Arsene Wenger pulls another fast one on us.

No way he's leaving.



Yes, but with the whole board resigning (which is not too bad actually)

So with the mega sale sum of £16m received for our best player of all time, Arsene signs an unknown Croazillian who has apparently scored once against us and once against England. Two things which weren't very difficult to do last year.

Wenger's signings can be awfully spectacular... or spectacularly awful. But I'd rather we get someone who's unknown to be good or bad rather than one who is KNOWN to be average, ie, Darren Bent. Or somone proven to be good but turned crap, ie, Shevchenko.... And at least we were smart enough to take out a Skim Pinjaman Pemain with Craptista first.

But whatever happens, you can bet your arse that our HB contributors will have a field day with his nickname: "Dudu".

July 02, 2007

Deflected Goals Won't Get You Into Barca

So. You're the 'star player' of a club. You know that your teammates are earning more money than you are, even though you bloody score more (deflected) goals than that bloody Sheva, and you are one of the 'English Core' players in the team.

So you ask for more money.

But they dowan to give you.

So what do you do? Heck, you're a bloody STAR PLAYER right? Even though all you do is sit in midfield doing nothing but pass the ball sideways and score the occasionally deflected goal while aiming for the corner flag, surely some big club like Barca or Inter would want you right?

So lets OFFER YOUR SERVICES to those clubs! When they bid for you, SURE that bloody Roman guy will give you more money to stay wan!

Well, so much for THAT idea, Fat Lamps...

Continental giants snub Lampard

Frank Lampard 'knows he has no chance of moving' to any of the big European clubs and so will almost definitely stay at Chelsea, according to an executive at Barcelona. 'There is no other option. He has been offered to us, Milan, Inter and Real Madrid. Basically all of the big clubs. But none are interested.

I especially loved this line:

We are the same as those clubs are, we're looking for a player who is more creative and has a greater technique than Lampard. So it looks like he will go nowhere.'


I guess those idiots in Spain and Italy know a crap player when they see one...