When coach B Sathianathan commented about the state of Malaysian League, many criticize him although the majority agrees with him.
There is actually nothing new about the game name soccer in Malaysia after the glory days of the late SuperMokh, Aru the Spiderman, Syed Ahmad, Namat Abdullah, Soh Chin Aun, Santokh Singh, just to name a few. I thought during that time there was not much money involved and the league was not even a professional league. Stadiums are packed to brims whenever icons like SuperMokh is appearing and as kids we wanted to become Mokhtar Dahari, Soh Chin Aun, Santokh Singh, Arumugam, Shahrudin Abdullah and Syed Ahmad. Yes, we were also exposed to the Star Soccer then but the only international figure that comes to our mind was only the legendary Pele via-a-vis that of today when names like David Beckham, Christiano Ronaldo, Henry, Zidane etc are very well known. I trust during our soccer glory days SuperMokh was even recognized within the soccer fratenity all over Asia.
I thought the rot of Malaysian soccer started when it becomes semi-pro and the professional. Whilst the idea is noble but how it was managed turn from bad to worse. More often than not we see mediocre players get paid like they are stars and even some teams thought that they are like Real Madrid. That was awful. How can that be!
The players are most of them “muka tak malu belagak bagus”. Today instead of appearing in sports pages they are like rock stars appearing in entertainment magazines. When they are called for national duty, damn…they are not fit! How come? Aren’t they sportsmen that are supposed to be fit all the time? Aren’t those that knew that they are national team material needs to be fit anytime they will be called for an international tournament? Were they not been made aware of the tournament that they will be involved in? I think those state coaches who criticize coach B Sathianathan must be all nuts. They should be sacked as coaches as well as they are the one who are supposed to supply players for the national team. Didn’t they think that they have the responsibility to make the game better, create world class players who are fit? If they cannot do that then they should stop their career as coaches. Pathetic creatures they are as I see it.
So today, when the coaches criticize the authority, they were sacked! Bring in the best coach (have we not done that?) but with the mentality of the current set of players, we will still go nowhere. Maybe the easiest way is to emulate some nations that get foreigners and give them Malaysia citizenship and pay them to play international soccer for Malaysia. What the heck man. At least if we lose a match it would not be 5-0 drubbing with players running around like mad dogs trying to chase the opponents around. Sometime it is like watching a comedy though.
If the game is to improve, the current league structure needed to be scrapped. If need be, a professional league can be established with just a few teams with strict adherence to players entry. State soccer teams can have their own league and they should go back playing on municipal fields just to draw interest from the public. Just like good old days they kick off at 5.00 pm. Maybe playing in the evening can brought back their fitness level as they will be playing before dinner. These are just crazy ideas.
Today the EPL star playerss are similar to the Hollywood stars. Interesting players are like Brad Pit that could draw crowd attention and brought increased interest into the game. This indeed help teams to improve their cash flow as the stars themselves are good brands for marketing. David Beckham made Real Madrid the riches team in the world when he signed for them. When Japan started their professional league, they brought in names like Zico to get the masses interested with the game and within a short period of time Japan qualified into the World Cup. Here in Malaysia, teams brought in dunno who and some of them were just clowns on the field.
I cherished the glory days of Malaysian soccer. Most of the players and kids today unfortunately did not have that chance to watch those matches. It could be a good idea if the TV stations can do reruns of those glory matches just like they did reruns on P. Ramlee movies.