Monday, July 11, 2011

Rewarding failure

It would appear that those in charge of Cambodian football are more than happy for the national team coach, South Korean Lee Tae-Hoon (pictured), to keep his job, despite a pretty spectacular run of dismal failures since he took the job last August. The deputy director of the football federation, May Tola has confirmed that the coach has been handed a 1-year contract and indicated that he's doing well in the post. If failing to progress past the first round in the AFF Suzuki Cup (we lost out on goal difference in October's qualifying stage), the AFC Challenge Cup (after a win over Macau over 2-legs, we lost miserably in the Maldives group matches in March) and now the FIFA World Cup is a sign of success, then I'd like to know what they would term as doing badly. It's hard to imagine a poorer set of results. Presumably, those in charge deem recent wins over a poor Malaysian Olympic team, success against a Vietnamese second tier side and a 4-2 success over Laos, all at home, as a run of results deserving merit. I don't. I regard the victory over Laos as the only redeeming factor in a long list of poor results for the national team. The second leg, where Lee Tae-Hoon's team failed to stem the flow of goals from a rampant Laos team, that progressed to meet China with a 6-2 win after extra time, was painfully predictable. We have developed a nasty habit of conceding early goals.

That said, with Lee Tae-Hoon firmly in place for another twelve months, his focus will now shift from the full national team to the U-23s, as the SEA Games in Indonesia is the next big international competition on the horizon, with the 2nd edition of the BIDC Cup preceding it in Phnom Penh in October. But then, according to the national team camp, the focus has always been on the U-23s anyway and the World Cup matches were just an inconvenience to their future plans. Cambodia's record in the SEA Games does not make great reading, so the coach will have his work cut out if he's going to improve on recent years. However, it appears that Cambodia's football hierarchy have faith in his abilities, judging by their recent vote of confidence. Just for the record, in 2005 in the Philippines, we lost to Malaysia 0-5, Philippines 2-4 and Thailand 0-1. In Thailand in 2007, we suffered defeats to Indonesia 1-3, Thailand 0-8 and Myanmar 2-6. Our 2009 sojourn in Laos saw a 4-1 win over Timor Leste but defeats to Thailand 4-0, Malaysia 0-4 and Vietnam 1-6. So there's lots of room for improvement in our SEA Games record. The football competition at the SEA Games is always competed for at Under-23 level.


Anonymous said...

To only take a squad of 18 to Vientiane after a commendable 4-2 first leg win, was a recipe for disaster! The Laos coach could not believe his luck, seeing just 7 on the Cambodian bench (no striker!) compared to his 12 brimming with attacking talent. Lee used his 3 "like for like" subs by the 75th minute whereas Hans Peter Schaller used his first on 73m and played his masterstroke on 88m when he took off his 2-goal star striker No 8 Lamnao and replaced him with the equally impressive striker No 9 Visay who repayed the coach with a stunning match-winner on 93m and earned his side a penalty when he was brought down in the box a few minutes later. Where were Khim Borey, Sokngon. Chan Rithy, Chan Chhaya? Oh yes, I remember not in the 30-man World Cup squad!
Phoung Soksana? Oh yes no room on the plane!


Anonymous said...

I heard Korean FA will donate 1 bus to FFC if they continue to use Lee's master tactic's for 1 more year.
What a shame and joke for FFC again.

Anonymous said...

I remembered one time Andy said " Please write this issue on the newspaper in Cambodia" .. Phnom Penh Post, The Cambodia Daily, Khmer's newspaper like Raksmei kampuchia, Koh Santepheap, ... some online news like Sa bai or CEN online news...

To show our protest against the continuation of Mr. Lee's work as head of coach.


Anonymous said...

that result is not good for us.why they don call ChanRithy, Khim Borey, Keo Sokngon and Chan Chhaya?
I don't understand about that Please give us the reason!!!!

Anonymous said...

Why they dont call Chan rithy, khim borey, keo sokngon and chan chhaya to join? Please give me the reason!!!!!!!

Andy Brouwer said...

Anon, I heard a similar story as well. It must be a popular story going around just now.

I also hear that the Phnom Penh Post - Khmer edition have a series of comments from fans and others regarding the recent travails of the Cambodian national team. It's in Khmer so I need to get a friend to translate for me :-)


Andy Brouwer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andy Brouwer said...

The reason why Cambodia did not call up the services of their Thailand-based players is a mystery known only by the Football Federation and the national coach, Lee Tae-Hoon. He has used all of the players in previous matches and for training so he knows exactly what Khim Borey, Keo Sokngorn and Chan Rithy are capable of. They are definitely amongst our best players.
My own view is that the FFC didn't want to pay their travel costs and that both the FFC and the coach didn't really want to progress in the World Cup, so they decided just to stick with the home-based players. They even sent a reduced squad of just 18 to the 2nd leg. All of this points to or suggests that they were not interested in progressing in this competition.

Which quite frankly, is totally unacceptable for the country's football fans. Everyone that watched the 4-2 win over Laos was willing Cambodia to do well in Laos so we could meet China in the next round. Judging by their actions, the FFC and the coach did not share those views.


Anonymous said...

The coach made a last-minute request to the FCC to take Phoung Soksana the Army striker to bolster his attacking options, but was told that the 18-player team list had already been sent, and that Soksana could not go to Vientiane. The 7 substitute bench looked very thin and lacked firepower. With no striker or match-winner to turn to, the coach watched helplessly as the game got away from him in extra-time and the fans watched their dreams of a 3rd round clash with China go up in smoke!

Anonymous said...

Apt heading!

Anonymous said...

Chan Chhaya has pace and, like Keo Sokngon, that rare ability to ghost into the penalty box and cause panic in the defence. Let's hope we see him in action for the National side soon.

Anonymous said...

Totally agree with all visitors.

FFC officials can't call up some of Cambodia's best players to join national team due to cost saving.

If FFC send more players to Laos and call up some of cambodian players from Thailand will result as follow:
- waste money
- relative/ friends of some of the FFC officials/ head coach assistants will not be included in the list like Sa Em Nasa, Ouk Mic, Prak Monyoudom, Soun Veasna, etc.....

Really sorry for those who have their name in the list but i have to reveal this information for reconstruction/ developement of our country not only for football.