Coach Weiss has dribbled kerosene over whatever bridge he might still have with the Younghusbands, and chucked a lighted match on it. During Saturday's press conference the German coach praised the current team, saying they have no more prima donnas or players who "think they have achieved something but haven't."
For a guy who seems to be over the Younghusband brothers, he sure loves bringing them up in conversation, albeit implicitly.
I found the comment unnecessary and uncharitable. The brothers are already paying a price for not committing as much as the team would have liked. For sure they are feeling the pain. Why rub it in with those words after such a fun evening of championship glory? I guess that's how he rolls.
After the Guam match Weiss confessed that he was cheesed off at Jason Sabio and said that "we (team management?) have our eyes and ears everywhere and we see everything."
Is Big Brother Michael trying to create an Orwellian atmosphere in the Azkals locker room?
Another interesting tidbit; Weiss was talking about the team's development into the Challenge Cup next year. To my knowledge Weiss' contract runs out in a few months. Will it be renewed? My sources in the team give me the impression that he would love to stay. A deep run in the Suzuki Cup would help his cause.
Jeffrey Christiaens deserved his best defender award because he was invisible. Sometimes a defender is like the bassist in a rock band. You'll only notice him if he is completely all over the place. I cannot recall Christiaens making any boo-boos all week long. He just tidied up on that left flank and made his fair share of darting runs down the pitch. It was a mistake-free performance deserving of a trophy. It will be interesting to see how he fares against the quicker, stronger, and technically superior attackers of Bahrain and Kuwait. For certain he will have to sit back much more.
Christiaens is really a left wing more than a left back, and will likely succeed Chieffy Caligdong on that position one day. The Philippines needs to develop an International-quality left back just in case Christiaens or Caligdong are either not available or get hurt.
True left-footed defenders are Gold. As rare as four-leaf clovers and Halley's Comet sightings. Ray Jonsson is a proven left back but I have not heard any confirmation of his availability for November.
The candidates from the UFL are Roxy Dorlas, Neckson Leonora, or David Basa. They all have international experience. Dorlas, from Loyola, has a few caps from a few years ago. Leonora, who just joined brother Nicholas in Air Force, was in the ill-fated SEA Games squad last year and showed moments of promise. Basa, another Global player, played in the Suzuki Cup qualifiers two years ago. Only Basa was in the squad last week.
It would be great to see these young bucks develop even further in the upcoming UFL season.
Demit Omphroy could be one heck of a right winger. My buddy Vince Arriola made this great suggestion to me the other day. If Gier arrives for the Suzuki Cup then Carli de Murga could scoot over to right back. That could push Omphroy upfield and Patrick Reichelt into the second striker slot just behind Denis Wolf. Omphroy will now be freed of the responsibility of defending and will get to exercise his prodigious collection of offensive wares to the fullest. The possibilities are enticing.
The schedule of the Peace Cup should be tweaked. I like having a four team tournament in one week. It allows for a balanced schedule with all teams playing on all playdates. But three games in five days is brutal.
I suggest the organizers follow the lead of the Suzuki Cup. They play one playdate, then one day rest, then the second playdate, then TWO days of rest. Only then are the last matches played. That should make for less tired legs and perhaps even a chance for the teams to do some sightseeing or promotional activities.
Do we really have to play a team representing a blatantly undemocratic nation like Bahrain? The citizens of this Middle East nation, like many in the Arab world, joined the so-called Arab Spring last year. Bahrain is a monarchy led by a Sunni minority with a large but marginalized Shia minority. In February last year crowds of up to 150,000 Bahrainis rallied at the Pearl Monument in the capital of Manama, demanding democracy and human rights.
The response from the Bahrain government has been brutal and deadly. Almost three thousand have been arrested and five have reportedly died in police custody. Eighty people have reportedly perished in the crackdown. The government has torn down the Pearl Monument, presumably because it is now associated with opposition to the government. Several human rights groups and news organizations were denied entry into the country.
The Philippines is the birthplace of People Power. The Arab Spring is a descendant of what happened in February of 1986 here. Our nation should be a beacon of freedom in our world.
It is beyond doubt that the Bahrain government disregards basic human rights. I therefore believe it is wrong for us to play a Football match with them on October 12. They deserve isolation and sanctions, not Football. Some believe that Sport and Politics should not mix. I believe that justice is supersedes everything else. In playing this game we are implicitly condoning their shameful behavior towards their own people.
If Bahrain did indeed invite us to camp there and play a match there, we should have politely declined.
One week the Azkals play to promote Peace. The next week they play the team of a country that kills its own people because they want democracy. Am I the only one who thinks there is something wrong with this?
This game is a bad idea. Some things are more important than Football.
You can follow Bob on Twitter @bhobg333.
Editor's note: The blogger's views do not represent Yahoo! Southeast Asia's position on the topic or issue being discussed in this post.