Monday, May 6, 2013

BBU aftermath

Coach Sam Schweingruber giving his half-time team talk

Phnom Penh Crown head coach Sam Schweingruber gave his views on his team's 1-0 defeat to BBU on Sunday. "We made a lot of individual mistakes today, we gave the ball away while we were hoping to push upfront and our transition was often too slow, getting ourselves into big trouble. We were a bit unlucky a few times, was it offside or not but the game didn't really go our direction, and too many mistakes by individuals made it impossible for us to control the game. I'll have to see the penalty incident again. I wasn't surprised the referee gave it when I saw the situation. We defended poorly throughout the game, we missed Tony's (Obadin) experience and leadership in central defence and we gave them too much space. We felt good in training this week, working a lot on defending and transition but not much of that good work was seen today.
To create chances we need to do something with the ball but we turned it over to the opposition way too much,and too easily. Good individual players struggled today to control the ball, taking too many touches, it just didn't run our way at all. Certainly the pitch doesn't favour a team trying to play good football. BBU looked for the long ball much of the time and we then fell into the same trap, going over the heads of midfield. The field is terrible, it doesn't make playing football easy. The grass is not cut, its way too long and its bumpy in the middle of the pitch, making it very difficult. I also couldn't understand a lot of the referee's decisions. Silly things like inconsistent flagging, it wasn't good and any 50/50 balls went against us every time."

Certainly the pitch at the Army Stadium has always been a bone of contention. Just take a stroll down the center of the pitch from one goalmouth to the other and you will see immediately how difficult it is to control the ball down the spine of the whole field. Tufts of uneven grass, areas of sand and mud, much of both goalmouths lacking any grass at all, make the pitch a virtual lottery for teams. The stadium authorities allow way too many games to be played at the stadium and then expect to stage professional Metfone C-League games on it - its simply not a good enough surface to be acceptable for first-class matches. Off the field, there are no changing rooms or shower facilities either and how the football federation allow matches to be played here is beyond my comprehension. I've said this before and will continue saying it until I'm blue in the face. C-League games should not be played at the Army Stadium. Period.
Looking at one of the goalmouths, minus the grass
Uneven new grass has been added down the spine of the pitch

This piece of grass is an example of the length to be found across the surface with the bare center of the pitch in the background

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