Football

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1.Safee Sali’s Successor Must Be Found, ASAP

There’s a need for Malaysia to find a talismanic striker. Let’s face the facts, Safee Sali may be the best striker in the region but with his age peaking at 27, there’s a need to search for his next successor. Norshahrul Idlan Talaha is our country’s next best thing but he is only a year younger than Safee so a young hungry hitman to emulate this duo has to be discovered soon. Fortunately with the emergence of Shakir Ali (Negeri Sembilan), Abdul Manaf Mamat (Terengganu), Afiq Azmi (Kuala Lumpur), Shahrul Azwari and Hazwan Bakri (Harimau Muda) , national coach K.Rajagopal doesn’t have to look far. With some guidance and polishing, we could have more potent strikers coming up the ranks in the near future.

2. Have More Competitive INTERNATIONAL Matches

People do not seem to get the logic behind K.Rajagopal’s idea of having tryouts by playing against local clubs to prepare the best lineup ahead of the AFF cup. Will it lead to improvement? Yes it will, but the shortage on quality is certainly evident. This does not mean that local clubs don’t have the quality but in comparison to national teams, wouldn’t it be more fitting to play against international teams considering that the players will be gaining more experience against high quality opponents on the international stage? When Malaysia played Premiership clubs such as Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool during their visit last year, some of our weaknesses were clearly visible but it gave an opportunity to Rajagopal and the players to learn from their mistakes. Last year, Malaysia only played against a team from the Asia’s top five. It ended up badly for but it was a lesson in bold: Malaysia needs more competitive matches to improve their ranking.

3. Questionable Call-Ups And Line-Ups

Malaysia do have diamonds in the rough. But sometimes, they are just overlooked. From observation prior to the game against Philippines, the players that featured...
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