Here’s part two of my take on coach Thomas Dooley’s series on the AFC Asian Cup qualifiers
First half substitutions are rare and it’s usually due to an injury so I was curious why Coach Dooley made such an early change. It turns out he had a strategy for the first 15 minutes against Palestine but it didn’t pan out.
I really thought that that was a bit weird until in the second half, when we made our fourth sub was it and I got reminded that Fifa now allows for five subs in a game so coaches now have a bigger leeway to experiment with the lineup.
I’ve already shared my sentiments on that game here, but it’s safe too say that one brought us down to earth.
Yes, we are playing better
Some disappointed fans seem to think that just because we made the Asian Cup last time, we deserve to be this time again. While the frustration is normal, we have to remember the other teams prepared better than us. While there was that brief chance of us seeing through despite the loss, I remember thinking it wouldn’t be a nice way to qualify and that Malaysia and Indonesia deserve those spots better than us.
Are we playing better? Without a doubt. One only has to look back in March to see the difference in the team, at least for me. Why have we scored only once in five matches this year? We can’t score if we can’t create a chance, we surely didn’t with all those long balls.
In the qualifiers, we had more possession but only got to score once. Despite having possession, especially against Palestine, we still didn’t create a scoring chance. Aside from the fact it’s Palestine we were playing, I think a few more games under the current setup should improve our scoring tally, or if Phil Younghusband decides to un-retire, it will improve in the next game.
Fan driven content
By the way, having started covering the national team, PFF and football in the late 90s, when Manila media ignored the football scene, I’m more appreciative when fans try to cover the team or talk about the team.
From 2004 to 2009, you’d learn more about Philippine football from forums or website rather than from the papers. When it first started, the UFL even had to buy ad space from the Inquirer, so it could run a short story about its championship and back in 2011, a website writer told me that he felt small compared to the journalist who were now covering football because, “Website lang kami.”
I told him you know more about football than these guys. He’s now on the other side with the PFF and is doing well.
That being said, just because these fans are not mainstream journalists doesn’t mean they don’t have to act like one. I saw a video interview with Coach Dooley and I thought there was something a bit off. I lasted 10 minutes.
I love fan-initiated talk shows about football, it’s a missing niche, that’s why I was glad when there was FTW and Coach Hans and the Four Guys. This latest one needs some improvements.
What’s the goal of their talk show? To initiate an exchange that would hopefully be heard by a larger part of the population or even picked up by media because of its relevance but having “fucking” in your username is not the way to do that.
And what’s with this “Tito” and “Pamangkiners” exchange? (Edit, I was told it’s Pamangkickers, not Pamangkiners.) When I got into writing, most of the fans, officers and stakeholders were older than me. They’re already alienating a good portion of the football fans by adopting that identity. And to be brutally honest, it seems like they’re looking for fans with “Daddy issues.”
Lastly, the interview itself. I never had any formal journalism training (I was an engineering undergrad before finishing a degree in Sociology) but I had great mentors over the years. First rule of an interview? Respect your interviewee. So, in all my interviews, I try to keep it short and always CONCENTRATE on listening when your subject talks.
I never drink water while he or she is talking and I certainly don’t make crazy eye movements or stick my tongue out (that had me shaking my head). Yes, it’s a video interview, but certain decorum should also apply.
I hope these guys keep talking but I hope they consider changing the way they hold their show. Don’t forget basic decency and manners while you sleep, eat and breathe football.