After more than two years on the job, critics are baying for national football coach Bernd Stange’s job. Are they justified in their call or are they failing to grasp what is really wrong with Singapore football?
HERE WE go again. It is another open season on the national football coach and the old trusted daggers are out. This time, they have Bernd Stange’s name on the blades.
Four years ago, in the aftermath of the Lions’ exit from the group stage of the AFF Suzuki Cup, Raddy Avramovic was the target. Pundits and fans bayed for his blood and a year later they upped the decibels after Iraq thrashed Singapore 7-1 in a World Cup Qualifier (WCQ).
Football coaches are first in the line of fire when teams don’t perform. The logic is simple — they are hired to deliver results and if they don’t, are fired. But this makes sense only if a coach is given the right players to work with.
And there are exceptional talents on Stange’s chessboard for him to make crucial moves. He has midfielders Hariss Harun and Safuwan Baharudin, goalkeeper Iswan Mahbud, defender Baihakki Khaizan and striker Khairul Amri, who can execute the checkmates. They form the spine of the team.
So the question is — has Stange turned out to be a dud after more than two years on the payroll of the Football Association of Singapore (FAS)?