|Singapore Olympic Team - future heroes?|
For the first time in a long while, I stepped into the Jalan Besar Stadium, having that sick feeling that we will lose to a Malaysian side. I was not the only one as many others shared the same sentiment. In fact, even the most die-hard of fans would be forgiven if they had anticipated a defeat, a heavy defeat that is. Such is the mood of Singapore football right now and sadly, the papers are not helping by continuously highlighting the strengths of the Malaysian team while focussing on the negative aspects on Singapore football so disproportionately.
But if you think that fear was in the hearts of the fans only, it was more evident when you look at the players who are representing any team at any age group at the national level.
As promissing or as gutsy and passsionate the players were last night, you can tell that they had fear written all over their eyes and their actions. There was the fear to take on the shot. There was fear to dribble pass an opponent. And honestly, there was fear to evn bring the ball afew more steps forward.
I do not know why but I could only point to one thing. I feel that they fear of getting the chop at any instant they are not performing. This should not be the way as champions are fearless, even of failure.
What was worse was that the team lacked a natural leader, a fighter of some sort that dared to do the extraordinary and push the team on. There wasn't an Alam Shah or an Allapitchay or a Fandi or a David Lee or even an Aide Iskandar in the team that looks set to replace the current batch of senior players. Hariss Harun is a role model alright but he needs to be more charismatic and be able to make the game his. Of course, his luck with injuries had never been the best, to be fair to him.
It is not just the players that yearns for an inspirational figure. The fans too want a hero as well. Sadly, they can only turn to only one figure as chants of " We Want Hariss!" filled the stadium as the minutes went by.
Somone or something had destroyed the mood in Singapore football. Local talent and young hearts is ideal alright but at the end of the day, the end product is what people are looking for. Let's not rely on the excuse that "we have a young team" for the years to come. As it is right now, the signs look more ominous than promising.
Mr President, are you watching?