After what wasn’t really a shock exit at the hands of neighbour/rivals Malaysia, and amidst so much ramblings from ex and current players, what’s next for Singaporean Football?
After Saturday’s stumble there’s been a lot of noise being thrown the way of FAS, Coach Bernd Stange and team Singapore itself. We have a new stadium, we had the home support who came out in full force for the game. Many were tuned in on the television or computers or smartphones, the point is the entire nation had the backs of our athletes, and it was sore to watch them lose at the hands of Malaysia to say the least.
The Malaysian fans were there to be heard, they cheered on their team and their players played well despite the cries of “Referee Kayu, Referee Kelong”. We can’t really go pointing fingers at the Malaysians, their fans or the referee. The truth was that we seemed poor in comparison with our neighbours and fans and former players are questioning and pushing for more to come out of the national team.
Ex defender for the Lions Sasikumar and recently retired striker Aleksander Duric have echoed calls for Bernd Stange’s job. They see it as a professional decision as results haven’t been in good showing and have called for local blood in his place. It is popular belief that majority of Singaporeans would like to see local heroes Fandi Ahmad or Sundramoothy to succeed the German, said the former defender.
Rafi Ali, former player kept his reservations for the local talent in the team attributing our poor showing to the lack of technical ability of our local players as compared to the Thais who seemed more than comfortable on the ball. And after recent news about the S-League cutting it’s size from 12 to 10 clubs, it seems like there would now be a smaller pool of talent to choose from.
It was a painful loss, but they’ve got to keep looking forward with the SEA games drawing nearer. The Gold medal should be the aim for the Young Lions, but we’ll have to wait and see if lessons have been learnt.