To be perfectly honest, I didn’t expect much from our U23 and it’s not because I have no faith in the team but that I knew preparations, thanks to the pandemic, have been less than ideal. So I was surprised with the 0-0 score at half-time with South Korea.
This could be something, I thought. We lost, 3-0, but as my friend, a local coach pointed out to me, “That’s South Korea, that’s a good result.”
I thought the schedule favored us, too. First game against the toughest team, maybe a recovery win against Singapore and a going-out party against Timor Leste, the perceived weakest team? That didn’t happen of course and yes, I know, Timor Leste has made some strides in the past and it’s about time we stop considering them the weakest team of the bunch.
So here we are, talking about sacking Scott Cooper, because not only did our U23 team go 0 for 3, we didn’t even get a single goal.
To be honest, I really have no dog in the Fire-Cooper-Argument and besides, I think I don’t know enough of what happened with the U23. But, if the Philippine Football Federation has to sack the coach, it has to happen now, Nov. 1, 2021 or Nov. 3 at the latest. Why? We have the Suzuki Cup on Dec. 5, at least that will leave the new coach a month to prepare; that’s assuming, of course, the PFF can get a new coach the day it sacks Cooper.
Barring that, we have to stick with the coach, whether we like him or not. Already disrupted the pandemic, we can’t disrupt the team preparation by taking in a new coach just weeks before Southeast Asia’s biggest tournament, one where we all feel we have a realistic chance of winning in our lifetime.
After the Suzuki Cup? I say the gloves are off.
Does that mean all talks of sacking Scott Cooper must end? No. I’m just saying that if we have to sack the coach, it has to be now or tomorrow. Besides, all these talks, these discontent with how the team is handled keeps the management, and by extension, the PFF on its toes. How many coaches have been sacked the world over because fans were no longer satisfied?
Better watch out, better do it right, or Santa’s not coming for you this Christmas.
And while we’re at it, there’s another intriguing idea being presented—a five-team professional league vs. a 20-team, multi-tiered semi-pro league. Going back to semi-pro, after having a taste of a pro-league in the past three years may seem like a step backward, but how many pro teams have folded up since we’ve had the league? Meralco, Davao, Ilocos, Global and Ceres. (Did I miss anything?).
I think that’s worth discussing, considering that the Qatar Airways sponsorship ends in 2022.
What do you think?