Friday, February 17, 2012

Fair Play: That's the way to play!

(This is the draft of my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu on Feb. 18)
I’M just going to say flat out that what Kaya FC owner Santi Araneta tweeted—when he realized Joshua Beloya wasn’t part of the starting lineup--was wrong.

Sir Santi’s wears two hats, one as head of the Football Alliance and one as head of Kaya FC, and as the team owner, I think he was just looking out for the welfare of his player.

As team owner, it was an admirable move that would endear him to his players—the boss is willing to risk the wrath of fans for us—but as head of the Football Alliance, it may have been a tad tactless.

But we now live in a football environment when what everything the coach does, or doesn’t do, gets examine and analyzed and I’m fine with that.

Though I may throw a sound bite here and there regarding substitutions, I don’t when it comes to the starting lineup.  It’s the coach’s call and saying who should be there puts undue pressure to whoever was inserted and who wasn’t inserted.

Unless, of course, it so questionable a move like putting in Rafael Garcia for his cousin Angel Guirado putting in Misagh Bahadoran and Ian Araneta for the missing Phil and James Younghusband for me was as fine a move as putting in Joshua Beloya or Ruben Doctora Jr. or whoever else.

And I pretty much agree when Coach Weiss said in the post-match interview, “the ones who played today deserve their chance.” (I got a copy of the recorded interview thanks to my former boss Jobannie Tabada who is now in Dubai.)

Yes, though he’s gotten a lot of flak lately, Ian Araneta deserves a chance to prove himself.  He didn’t perform but at least as a member of the team who stuck it out during the lean years, he got his chance. I’m glad, too, that coach Weiss thought of giving him that chance.

Anyway, while Sir Santi may have criticized the non-inclusion of the Kaya players, like us, he was all praises for the team for that second half showing.

Because with the way the team played in the second half, my confidence level going into the Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup—where we are taking on two former champions and the reigning champion—just shot up a couple of levels, or even more.

And this was a team that didn’t have the Younghusband brothers, Chieffy Caligdong and Ali Borromeo!

And Juan Luis Guirado? Man was he something. I was particularly impressed with his move in the second half, when he threw his body in front of the Australian striker who was about to take a shot.

Though he didn’t block the shot, the fact that he was risking it all, in a friendly to boot, shows the dedication of this guy. Heck, it reminded me of John Terry doing the same thing for England in the 2010 World Cup against Germany.

And criticized by even the Philippine Football Federation president Mariano Araneta for putting in Lexton Moy in injury time against the Uzbekistan Under 23, Coach Weiss made all the right moves in the second half. (And yes, based on the interview, I think Coach Weiss really does pay attention to comments in Facebook and Twitter.  That’s something, isn’t it?)

Doctora showed what he is capable and Joshua Beloya? I think that move of his explains why Sir Santi went ballistic. He missed, yes, but he showed us what he can do for the senior team with even just half a chance.  The two, and I think most of the new guys who played, showed coach Weiss he’s got more options now on the bench.

It was a different team in the second half against Australia. In the first half, it seemed, the Olyroos were trying to redesign the ball, what with all the time they spent with it.

But in the second half? The Azkals brought the fight to them and then some. Marwin Angeles played superbly again, and I’m pretty sure not a few UFL coach are thinking of getting him for the first division.

Yep, we did fine against Australia and Coach Weiss, I think, scored one against his critics.

Good job guys.  That’s the way to play!


Anonymous said...

wasted first half with araneta, totally useless. if beloya subbed-in erlier, wore chances would have been created.

Mike Limpag said...

If it's true that it was Ian Araneta's last shot to prove himself, giving him one full half would be the right thing to do. It's not clear to me though, when Ruben Doctora got in, it must have come in one of those "hey, there's another pretty girl on the crowd, let's show her on TV" moments.

Anonymous said...

beloya deserves more than 12(against al ahli) or 20 mins playing time.

Anonymous said...

they should expell ian araneta in the line up!for my friends watching the game he is totaly useless and not deserving for the team!!he was just lazy as always!!!

Wiking said...

"...Ian Araneta's last shot to prove himself."

I hope that coach finally has seen what he needs to see with Ian. I just can't understand why it took so long? I've seen so many games where he has been a non factor in the games yet he has gotten sooo many chances time and again to the detriment of others who could've used that time to integrate themselves within the senior squad. Unless one is totally biased for IA, we all saw how much better the offense became when a tiny, unknown(to most) came in and changed the direction of the game. Another thing is IA's lack of high quality ball movement and willingness to engage on defense. I believe in loyalty to a player, but if it affects the outcome of the matches then that is unacceptable. I'm glad we found this out before the Challenge Cup. Let me rephrase, I hope the "coach" has found out what others have seen a long time ago.

Azkaholic Anonymous said...

there shouldnt be any emotions attached to coaching. it doesnt matter who the player is, where he comes from, or what his background is. it's the kind of work and performance that the players put in where coaches must draw their objective decisions from. they suck one bit, they dont play. players are on their toes and on top of it all the time. a coach will always field the best players he has to win a football game.

1 or 2 chances, maybe, to redeem themselves, or prove their abilities and impress the coach. araneta has been very inconsistent in an offensive position where consistency to make plays is the only thing that matters. time to move on and give these other players a chance. forward movement!

Mike Limpag said...

I disagree. Sports is all about emotions, gut-feels, and instincts. There's a scientific side to coaching, but it shouldn't be devoid of emotions. That said, I'm eager to know who he'll field against Malaysia.

Azkaholic Anonymous said...

Good point brother, but very difficult to become a good coach like that. coaching is analysis, feedbacks, technical, tactical,even statistical in today's setting. I totally believe that football is a very passsionate sport; for us us fans, yeah, against a bad ref call, yeah, individual performance to achieve greatness and all that good stuff, yeah. The coach, in his passion to motivate his team breaths fire and lightning into his team, yeah. Passion in chewing a player's ass, yeah. But it would be difficult to parallel emotions to accurate and objective information to high-stress athletes like our azkals players. A coach can't use an "emotional measuring tool" when working with a feedback process, it's not going to work. When the coach looks at the film of the previous game(s), a video post game analysis or what not, so much of objectivity is paramount in that process, pure observational, analytical, and deliberate thinking process, mike. I think, mike, that being emotional a coach, when dealing with enhancing the performance of a team distorts a coach's judgement. Many problems in the area of subjective assesment and/or disposition of an individual team player or the whole team.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely agree with Azkaholic.

Mike Limpag said...

Yap Azkaholic has posted a lot of sensible comments here.

More sensible than the stuffs I read on paper.

Anonymous said...

To Ian Araneta...we won't soon forget how vital you were in the 2010 Suzuki Cup. Your contributions to Philippine football are dully noted and should be honored for what is was. But the bar has been raised as we move our quest from legitimacy to more solid results internationally.

Glad to see that we are giving others a chance to shine and get the much needed experience. Am happy that the defense is moving up while holding their shape. Seeing our front line and midfield hustle is a delight. It all bodes well for our chances.

Coach Weiss may be overthinking his adjustments and overindulging's time to apply the discipline and simple logic for which the Germans are

confused football fan said...

I don't think what Santi said was wrong. He is entitled to his own opinion especially since he seems to have the best intentions for football in our country. He is also speaking as a fan just like any of us would.

IA aside, I can't see the coach's fascination with Angel Guirado either. He has never impressed me, yet he gets all the playing time. There is so much talent to pool from in the local scene, in the UAAP, in the UFL. Why does it seem like these are being ignored?