Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Fair Play: It's not the time to get rid of Weiss

(This is my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu on Nov. 17)
JUST two weeks after going into the Southeast Asian Games with so much promise, the Philippines Under 23 team crashed out with just one win in five matches, after that tough loss to Brunei.

And after that loss and the embarrassing exit, some are calling for coach Michael Weiss to be sacked.
Should he? No.

But I think it’s time for Dan Palami to look for another coach for the Under 23, and let Weiss worry about the senior team.  Let’s have a full-time coach whose only worry is the Under 23 squad and its preparation since getting Weiss to handle the Under 23 team has not been a success.

And Dan has been challenged by the failure.

Did you know why he agreed to handle the senior team in the first place?

It was because of the Under 19 debacle, a team that got manhandled by China, Korea in the AFC Under 19 championships in 2009. A pitiful showing that had Dan thinking that if only a Philippine team would have an ideal preparation, it won’t get embarrassed.

That’s why in pre-Suzuki Cup 2010, the senior team, under Dan, had the best preparation possible, one this year’s SEA Games team didn’t have.

And Dan has been challenged, again, by the failure.

“Tough loss, sorry about that. An insight though on U23 coach, I thought the experiment would be good, it seems to be working for Vietnam and some other countries,” Dan told me minutes after that 2-1 loss to Brunei.

And because he’s a businessman who’s used to doing his thing in his own timeframe, he isn’t wasting another minute.

“But I take your suggestion, will get U21 team NOW and have a full-time coach and trainer for the team. Setting it up now even before we arrive at our hotel. Playing lots of games together is THE key to building A TEAM. I know better now.”

It’s been pointed out often in the past few days that what we have is an Under 21 team, one that is eligible for another SEAG.

This team’s preparation has been less than ideal, while the pressure on them has been enormous. It was a fact I pointed out to coach Weiss in September.

“What happens if they don’t deliver?”Coach Weiss told me. “You will all say ‘fire the coach, FIRE THE COACH?’”

I don’t think we should get rid of Coach Weiss, unless he fails badly with the senior team. But it’s time, though, for the management to rethink its Under 23 preparation.

As to team captain Matt Hartmann’s desertion of the team?

That’s another topic to tackle.


Arielle said...

More in line with what you wrote in an earlier piece: perhaps now's the time to get a real, sustainable football development programme going.

Sacking coach Weiss now would be a disaster, me thinks. That's going to set us back a year and with the Challenge Cup coming for the senior side, I think it would be wrong to change coaches (and tactical philosophies) at this point.

So I fully agree with the idea of getting a dedicated U23 coach and have coach Weiss concentrate on the seniors. But again, everything should be under a real programme.

cjeagle said...

When Laos lost to the Philippines a week ago, this is what the Laos coach had to say:

“It is my duty as the chief coach of Laos to accept responsibility for the losses the team suffered. Afterall, I’m the one who chose the starting eleven,” lamented Hans Schaller.

“In Europe, there is a famous saying which goes something like, if the team wins; it is the players who were responsible. But if the team loses, then is the coach who is responsible.”

The Laos coach did not make any excuses. but instead took responsibility for the loss.

It is just as important to have accountability where it comes to job performance in sports as it is in government, or business. Otherwise, progress in any endeavor, will be extremely difficult.

Anonymous said...

Weiss is hopeless. But I understand he's signed a contract (which I hope ends soon) and it won't be practical do away with him at the moment. He'll just keep on experimenting with the players' natural positions and refuse to use a sub when it's badly needed. His performances are all very inconsistent, he's far from yielding a sustainable winning streak for the team even with the amount of talent and quality our players have. We've gone past the cut-him-some-slack period and missed one too many chances. I hope you're not blindly waiting for the inevitable. More than that, I pray that our senior team will be spared in the upcoming matches for 2012. Our U23 did not deserve such a lackluster showing and a bunch of excuses from the coaching staff.

In any case, let's just wish you won't regret anything you wrote in this article, especially the part where had to defend the German. At the end of the day, someone has to be held accountable. It's safe to say our players gave it their all. But for the "powers that be", that remains highly contested.

Mike said...

Not blindly waiting for the inevitable. I simply think, and you said it yourself, sacking Weiss with just less than four months to go before the next competition isn't the best move.

He signed a two-year contract.

cjeagle said...

I am on record on saying that I wasn't expecting much from our young U-23 squad because of our lack of preparation but given the 5 games played in our group, I was expecting an improvement from game to game from the 1st to the last game. But what actually happened, was after having a promising start against favored Vietnam, we somehow managed to get worse(I consider our win against Laos as lucky as we were getting outplayed and only managed to have 2 goals in the end) , even managing to be defeated by teams we have no business losing to. Our final game against Brunei, was especially disappointing, as we have beaten this team many times in the past, with just local players. Brunei don't have any reinforcements from abroad, are mush less experienced than our players, and did not have much preparation time either. They were hastily assembled after the FIFA ban on Brunei was lifted and were not part of an excellent grassroots development program like some of the other countries have done. You can't really blame our players, as they have more skill and experience than the players from Brunei, or some of the other teams in our group, so that leaves only one person to be held accountable for that loss, Coach Weiss.

Azkaholic Anonymous said...

Fair enough, Mike, free pass on Weiss. Maybe if he had some kind of honor he'd opt to resign instead.

This kid Hartman's bailing indicates some erosion of authority in that "chain of command" there, unless he was fired and didnt bail out at will. I mean, what kind of a coach would let that happen? Weiss knew leading up to the games that he had nothing to lose knowing that he had the headlock on Palami on the Sr Azkal deal.