Opinion

FAM: The fault lies in all the President’s men (Oct 6, 2010)

Ask Shebby

Shebby Singh is a full-time football pundit with ESPN STAR Sports and is now into his 14th year of giving us his straight-talking comments on the beautiful game. As a player, Shebby won everything there was to win in Malaysian football, and represented the country on the international stage.

OCT 6 — FAM: The fault lies in all the President’s men

 

Amran (aamran@streamyx.com)

Hi Shebby! I don't love or hate you but I believe you are a nice guy!

a) What do you think is the main obstacle to the success of Malaysian football? Be honest please. Can the FAM President do more?

b) In a football match, if a goal is “scored” by a referee by means of a deflection (any part of his body), will that be considered a goal? Please elaborate why, whatever your answer may be.

Shebby Says:

a) To be honest, the President is a figurehead who relies on sound advice given by the various committees. Unfortunately, if the committees have incompetent members then the President can only endorse their recommendations. If anything, I think the President has been too kind in tolerating these officials to the detriment of football.

b) A referee is considered part of a game, so the goal stands. If you remember the beachball incident in the Premier League last season between Sunderland and Liverpool, the referee was wrong in awarding the goal. He should have blown his whistle, remove the “foreign object“ and restarted the game with a drop ball.

 

Mazlan (akusegan@gmail.com)

Hi Shebby,

Would like to know your personal opinion on Liverpool FC, on their performance tactically.

And if you have the chance to give some words of advice, what would you say?

Shebby Says:

Liverpool has become so used to playing the 4-2-3-1 formation under Rafa Benitez. Unfortunately for Roy Hodgson, he has not been strong enough to say this is not the way I want to play! So, Hodgson is now struggling to impose himself and his tactics on the team. Hence it is getting from bad to worse. Go back to basics, 4-4-2 and take it from there. And strengthen the very creaky defence.

 

Aizuddin Danian (aizuddin@gmail.com)

Dear Shebby,

I'm a Newcastle United fan.

This season, I'm happy to see them back in the Premiership. However, I've been terribly frustrated by their inconsistency.

Smashing Aston Villa 6-0 at home, beating Chelsea and Everton away, then losing to the likes of Blackpool and Stoke at home (both games of which you would have thought they would win or at least draw given their away form).  What gives?

Thanks, mate. Keep up the good work.

Shebby Says:

Well Aizuddin, with Spurs losing at home to Wigan and Liverpool losing at home to Blackpool, Newcastle are not the only team to be inflicted with this malaise! However, for your lot, it is going to be extremely difficult to adapt to the Premier League again and easy to be motivated to play in the big games. This seems to be the culture in the EPL and unfortunately it will continue. The teams with the better players and more money will be more consistent.

 

Suhaib (meemerque@yahoo.com)

Good day Shebby,

I do believe that we need to change the mechanism and policies on our local football scene.

Why can’t the FAM increase the quota, like 5 imported players max per team at least (or probably unlimited import players for every team)?

That will definitely create good competition among locals, which will then contribute to improve the local players for our national team. What’s your thought on this?

Shebby Says:

I have suggested time and again that we open the doors to ASEAN players. We shouldn’t consider them as foreigners. We need to create better competition in our pro league and create more awareness in the region.

Trinidad and Tobago do not care if their native scores 100 goals in the M League and the Brazilians, forget it! But the Vietnamese will get very excited if their best players play in Malaysia. Marketing and development has to go hand in hand.

 

Mohd Adha Thangarajah B. Abdullah (adha@bursamalaysia.com)

Hi Shebbs,

You and I were actually nearly the same batch during our football heydays. You excelled further, however. I stopped halfway, although I was playing for Hong Chin Football Club (Selangor Dunhill League) during the times of ex-Selangor player John Engkatesu (who was the coach of Hong Chin at the time).

This was the famous football era of Malaysian football. There were so many gifted players like you and the rest alike.

My point is, with so many talents (ex-footballers), why aren't these people given a chance to run the management of Malaysian football. Minus Rajagopal, who is the current national coach, what happened to the rest?

Where are the likes of Soh Chin Aun, Santokh Singh, Shukor Salleh, James Wong, Wong Hung Nung, Khan Hung Meng, Hassan Sani, Khalid Ali, Rashid Hassan and other gifted talent?

Seeing you appearing on ESPN as a pundit, always reminds me of a question. Why not with all the experience as a player and a pundit in football that you have with you, come and join the Malaysian football management.

It is sad to see the Football Association of Malaysia currently not having any of these so called football greats, and merely being run by politicians, who might be only after fame, glory and money.

Come on Shebbs, start forming a committee with all ex-football players of Malaysia and come up with a comprehensive blue-print to transform Malaysian football. It’s just pathetic to see the current crop of players. Thanks mate!

Shebby Says:

Thank you bro! It is always nice to hear from a fellow footballer, be it a teammate or opponent! We had fun didn’t we? We do not have a culture that honours former players. How many former footballers do you see being Guest of Honour at football matches? If I go to the Johor FA and ask them if they have records of 1978, the year I started playing for them, you can bet your life they have no clue! And you are right, former players will take the limelight away from the politicians!

 

Chiyau (ly7757@hotmail.com)

What are Arsenal’s chances in this season’s EPL?  TQ.

Shebby Says:

I have picked them to be Premier League Champions and I am standing by that! Forget the negative reports about losing to Chelsea! If you read the English media, Arsenal are gone! Don’t believe a word of what they say!

 

Asharuddin bin Ahmad (asharuddin@gmail.com)

Shebb,

Who you reckon was a better striker regardless of strike rates, Fandi Ahmad or Mokhtar Dahari?

Shebby Says:

Two awesome strikers! I had the privilege of playing and training with Fandi Ahmad and only opposed Super Mokh on a few occasions. Mokhtar was tremendously powerful while Fandi was a better all-rounder. Fandi was more versatile too, dropping into midfield and setting up play.

 

Jay (dx_rapper7@hotmail.com)

Hi Shebby,

I don’t think you are a good pundit. Seriously, sometimes I really don’t know how you can come up with these kinds of ideas.

One example – you were mentioning Ramires is far better than Essien and Mikel put together.

This is just my point of view, nothing personal.

Shebby Says:

Well Jay, you sound like someone who has got his head buried in the EPL, so I can’t really blame you though! How awesome was Ramires against Arsenal on the weekend! He is new to the EPL but is taking to it like a duck to water. An established Brazilian international, Ramires was outstanding in the Portuguese League and also made a big impression in the Europa League for Benfica. Guess you should watch more football!

 

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