Thursday, November 11, 2010

Room for improvement, Etoile FC

First, congrats to Etoile and their fans on clinching the league title.

I know many in the local football fratenity would have preferred a local team to win it, myself included. I can understand their allegiance since we are Singaporeans and this is our league. The only thing I am disappointed is that the $100,000 prize money is not kept within a local club for bonuses or improving its finances.

Etoile have brought a new brand of football to the local league and challenged the teams here to do better, which is great for the league on the whole. If this allows local clubs, league/FAS top managment to crack the whip and strive harder to improve, I am sure local fans would gladly give up the 2010 SLeague trophy to Etoile.

Now to the not so nice things.

Why do Singapore football followers generally dislike Etoile so much as it seems?

(This section is really for Etoile fans, players, Johan, Patrick and now Jorg. I am not throwing cold water at your celebrations. But to seek your cooperation in improving our league)

From the start, it is easy to say bcos Etoile have been winning games, beating teams that we support, thats why we dislike you. This is definitely not true, at least for me.

To me, there is 1 CLEAR REASON why Etoile have not gathered the respect of Singapore fans and followers like Albirex have done.

Its the behaviour of players and coach.

So much that Etoile's football in general is impressive, there have too many an incident of dissent happening on the pitch and off the pitch.

Yes, refereeing standards sometimes, or most time sucks. But all teams suffer from it, not just you. I am not sure if its the language issues, but I doubt so when I watch Etoile games.

Recall the 1-1 with Tampines in March or April at Tampines Stadium. Etoile spent much time chasing the game after going down to sublime Qiu Li freekick. In the process of it, I saw players losing their heads, overly rough tackles and a ball boy getting f***** literally by Patrick. It was not still injury time that Patrick was sent to the stands and Michelini had equalised. Initially i put that down to a typical Frenchman's passion and emotions, especially when they were on the losing end. But having it too frequent is too convenient an excuse.

There you have it, u made your first enemies at Tampines.

What was to follow during the season were issues like arguing with referees, complaining, acts of dissent and diving.

When decisions go against Etoile, it was the same players who would be making noise. From rightback, you can bet Julien Delatraz will be the first at the scene, having a go at the officials. Leclerq, Lakehal, Vershave are the others.

Diving - there is only 1 culprit. So much so a new chant of "Frederic Mendy's falling down, falling down" came by.

Patrick needs to stop his incessant arguing on the sidelines. I do agree that the 'closing of one eye' by the officials sometimes encourage him to go on and on. There are proper ways to lodge complaints. But do we expect higher standards for a professional who hails from Europe?

Talks now are that there will be major reshuffle of the team, but whoever that comes it, Etoile need to do better in their behaviour, Patrick included, especially now that Etoile will be the defending champions in 2011. You got to show some standards. I challenge you to be in the top 4 in the 2011 Fair Play table.

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