Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Lions XI - If I am National Team Coach...

Ok. The events that have taken place since 2-3 weeks ago have been disappointing and unsavoury. Unexpectedly there have been so much media coverage on the Lions this time around, albeit its some negative ones. But I guessed it did have its effect in raising some awareness in fellow Singaporeans about our national team?

All sorts of opinions have been expressed through a series of media platform and questions have been raised about Coach Raddy and his team selection. Players who have erred can be excluded by a simple reason, they have under performed for the past 2 years to be frank. No other excuses like disciplinary reasons are needed.

Lets take 1 issue at a time. Today, let me focus on team selection. Lets play Championship Manager (Asian version). I am in the mood to share my fantasy 11 for the next Lions X1.

Note: Jersey nos go with the old school English style, but in a 4-4-1-1 or 4-2-3-1 style.

No 1: Lionel Lewis/Hassan Sunny/Shahril Jantan

All came thorugh the famed Geylang United system. Need we explain more? All 3 are excellent goalkeepers. If one fault I can pick out, perhaps Lionel need to work on his kicking and backpasses more. Too bad our best department lies here, if not our team would be stronger.

No 2: Isa Halim ???

Tough tackler, decent technique. Played in all right sided positions with Woodlands in the past. Dun waste him sitting on the bench as a substitute centre midfield. I know he got outclassed in the SEA Games at right back. But I sense he can make the spot his in time to come.

**BUT: Need to show his worth more to Raddy to stake a 1st team spot.

No 3: Shaiful Esah

No much introduction needed. Just need to concentrate better and keep improve his defending.

While he recovers from injury, I will go for Jumaat Jantan for his mobility down the flanks.

No 4: Dan Bennett

One of the few successes of the FTS. Still solid though have been shaky in recent times. But I put that down to his partners in defence. He is still the 2 best centrebacks our small country possess.

No 5: Mustafic Fahrudin

The major surprise!

Quality undoubted as a defensive midfield. But this choice as centreback needs justification.

a) We do not have good enough centrebacks to step up currently. The closest will be Shariff Samat, needs to prove his worth to Coach. Next option will be Shahri Alias.

b) Farra has played in defence for Tampines before.

c) We do have other options for centre midfield.

No 6: Hariss Harun

Definitely a key player. Kudos to Raddy for blooding him early. He has improved leaps and bounds. Continue to work hard and he has a bright future. Did I mention b4 that he lives in my HDB block? Its true.

No 7: Ahmad Latiff

We all know about ghis performances in recent times. My first intention is to play ALK with Hariss in the middle, but considering the lack of capable options on the wing, I would think he has to work harder and run more on the wing for the Lions. Supposed its not too much to ask from him after sitting out intl games for so long?

No 8: John Wilkinson

My choice as a partner for Hariss in the middle. Works hard and good workrate in the middle with decent passsing ability. But if a new winger can come through soon, I will place Latiff in the middle and placed Wilko on the bench.

No 9: Noh Alam Shah

Ah Long has shown too that in recent games that he deserves his spot in the team. The stint in Malang looks to have spur him on.

* Needs to be at his inspiration besst if he is to retain his captaincy.

No 10: Shahril Ishak

The most creative among all the players we possess. Used to play in a free role in the national U-18 under Vincent Subramaniam. Has been tried at left midfield and central but his workrate and fitness levels puts him at a disadvantage in these positions. A supporting role will suit him well. We basically need him to be at his creative best for 60-70 minutes when a replacement can come on.

*Got to beware, Shafiq Ghani will certainly threaten this spot in a few years time. Watch your back Shahril.

No 11: Khairul Amri

One of our best in getting past defenders. Putting him wide on the left allows him the chacne to cut in a have a go as well. But needs to work hard on his defensive skills to suit the role better too.

Important subs: Shariff, Shahril Alias, Jumaat, Mustaqim, Agu, Fazrul, Jiayi, Qiu Li

Under further consideration: Jamil Ali, Aliff, Masrezwan

*I do not know if anyone of them smoke and I dun really care. As long as they show enough semangat and brains when they play, Singaporeans will never fault them. Stand up and prove that you deserved your place in the team.


  1. Hmmm... this picture of Dave Lee looks familiar :P

  2. seems that the pic more catchy than what i wrote. haha. think i plucked it out from some website.

  3. In the heart of defense, could we try Shevki Shab'an when he is fit?
    Some people claim Adrian Dhanaraj can do the job but he looked pretty anxious at times.
    Wonder would Obadin Aikhena get citizenship anytime soon. I know we wanna stop more FTs from coming in but Obadin had been as close to a local than most foreign talents.

    Qiu Li definitely look to be stepping up this season and hope he can develop a chemistry with Khairul at Tampines and both would be great asset supporting Noh Alam Shah.
    Hope Agu returns to full fitness and stronger too