Three big-name Singapore players are likely to be axed from the national squad when national coach Radojko Avramovic re-gathers his Lions for the remainder of 2011 Asian Cup Group E qualifying matches in November.
A source close to the national set-up has revealed to the Singapore Sports Fan the names of the three ‘stars’.
However, the SSF has decided not to unveil them on this blog for now.
But Singapore’s 2-1 win over Jordan on Wednesday should give a pretty good idea to sharp-eyed and discerning fans just who some of these players might be.
When asked why the players will be axed, our source said: “After winning two Asean Championships, some of the senior players think they are big stars who are indispensable to the side.
“They have gotten too big for their boots. It is also quite clear that they choose the matches that they want to play in.”
When asked what he meant by the last statement, our source said: “It is very obvious that they pull their punches when Singapore takes on much tougher opponents. They don’t go all out, and they don’t contribute to the team effort.
“All these recent developments have definitely affected team morale.”
Our source’s explanation ties in with Avramovic’s cryptic remark at the Singapore-Jordan post-match press conference.
When asked to assess his team’s performance, the 59-year-old Serb had said: “The team spirit is back a little. It’s not back to 100 per cent but it’s back.” (‘Lions back on track’, TODAY, 29 Jan 2009)
Avramovic did not elaborate further on the ‘team spirit’ remark.
Our source added that one of the Lions who will be axed has already lost the confidence of his team-mates because of his poor technical ability.
“His recent poor performances have caused his team-mates to lose their confidence in him,” he said. “They feel that he panics under pressure and gives the ball away too quickly.”
Finally, our source tells us that the Lions are likely to have a new skipper at the helm when the Asian Cup qualifying campaign resumes in November.
“We need someone who is a fighter and who can lead by example,” he said.
“We’ve identified the person and hopefully, the captaincy will also help him to mature further as a player, and enable him to channel his natural aggressive style of play into leadership qualities.”
Yours in sport
Singapore Sports Fan
P/S: By the way, check out this nine-minute video which captures all the highlights of Singapore’s 2-1 win over Jordan in an Asian Cup qualifying match on Wednesday.
I thought it was a great piece of editing by the author who goes by the moniker ‘footy4life09’.
But more importantly, the video will show you that national coach Avramovic is already making some progress in his efforts to reshape the national team. Singapore put up a tenacious display, one that was full of running and decent passing.
The performance is still some way off the top-notch display that enabled Singapore to stun Iraq 2-0 in 2007.
Nevertheless, the signs are promising.