Sunday, February 12, 2012

Fair Play: Weis and the Azkals, whiners and losers?

(This is the draft of my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu on Feb. 13)
THERE, I said it. I know some folks want to see these seven words on print and I’m granting their wish.

I know some are gloating with the latest debacle, a 3-0 spanking from the Uzbekistan Under 23 in a friendly last Saturday and they are probably going to lose against Al Ahli SC tonight, too.

Against Australia U23 on Thursday? Against a team that’s trying to regain its pride after stumbling in the Olympic qualifiers? The Azkals would probably whimper out, too.

The Socceroos would chase the Azkals out of the stadium, with their tails between their legs.

Yep, coach Michael Weiss is right. We shouldn’t expect too much from this team and the German coach who’s getting his fair share of criticism for his whining is going to blame Ronald McDonald for not getting an ideal preparation.

Or even the media. Yep Michael would probably blame the wise guys in the media who keep on adding to the Azkal hype.  Reporter sind Dumm!

Yes, the Azkals will probably lose two more matches in Dubai.

So when they come home, they’re going to feel embarrassed and humiliated.  They’d feel that nobody cares and nobody is giving them a snowball’s chance in hell in the AFC Challenge Cup.

Perhaps, that way, they’d regain that spunk and hunger the team had pre-2010. And perhaps, too, coach Michael Weiss will learn to shut up and stop blaming the neighbors every time the Azkal lose.

Yes, the Azkals are losers and coach Michael Weiss is a whiner.

That’s the long and short of it.

A couple more losses in Dubai, while Weiss does his Chemistry 101 with the lineup, would probably jolt the team:

“Hey lads, losing sucks.”

Yudi___ ka’g tunga, kapoy ni sige ta kapirdi. Daugun na nato ato mga duwa!”

"Das stimmt!"

"Estoy de acuerdo!"

And I’ll be more than fine with that.

Stumbling in Dubai, perhaps, will arm the Azkals for the three games that really matter—against North Korea, India and Tajikistan—in the AFC Challenge Cup,
they’ll have that same hunger and drive that got them to where they are.

The Philippines against the two former AFC Challenge Cup and reigning champions? It’s like the Suzuki Cup again, but on a bigger scale.

When the Philippines got drawn with Singapore, Vietnam and Myanmar, nobody gave them a chance and I even scoffed at Aly Borromeo when he said he was confident of getting a point against the Lions.

Of course, El Capitan was right.

Though coach Weiss isn’t giving the team much of a chance against the three former champions--and that’s probably the most sober and smartest assessment—I’m pretty confident the team will give it all because no matter what you and I say, these guys don’t know how to quit. 

Because they are the Azkals.

As to coach Weiss, whether we agree with him or not, whether we understand his tactics or not, as the head coach of the Philippine team in the Challenge Cup, he deserves our support.

So guys, no booing when his face is shown on TV.  It’s bad karma.

LIL NAOMI. I don’t remember when I first met Naomi Tomlinson, Roy Moore’s partner in the Fair Play For All Foundation, a group that is helping underprivileged kids in Manila, but what I remember is that this Englishwoman hasn’t seen a football game and had to rely on a Filipino to explain to her the structure of the English Premier League.

It would be like, say an Englishman explaining the Corona trial to a Pinoy in England, or an Australian telling her favorite nurse why Vicky Belo broke up with Hayden Kho.

But after months of being exposed to the Azkals and the Payatas kids matches, Naomi’s a true blue footie fan.  She even tried tweetcasting the Manchester United and Liverpool match.  And it was fun reading it.

The red guys keep stealing the ball from the white guys...good playing red guys in my professional football expert opinion of course…Wow...Rooney really does a.) look like Shrek and b.) celebrate like Azkals’ Chieffy…2-1 final score for man of the match...Wellbeck because he's the only other name I know apart from Rooney...good game!I hope in a couple of weeks, I get to read Naomi tweet, “The Azkals win it! The Azkals win it!”

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