Tag Archives: Baihakki Khaizan

Baihakki and Shahril now deemed not good enough for Indonesia league

The report:

This report appeared in today’s edition of The Straits Times:

Shahril, Baihakki likely to return home

(The Straits Times, 7 Feb 2011)

By Lee Min Kok

SINGAPORE captain Shahril Ishak and national defender Baihakki Khaizan seem set to make a return to the S-League.

The Straits Times understands that the duo, who play for Indonesia Super League (ISL) side Persib Bandung, have been deemed surplus to requirements and could be released by their club soon.

Shahril, 27, the S-League’s Player of the Year last season, left Home United in October – two months before the S-League season ended.

Ex-Geylang United defender Baihakki was one of seven national players, including striker Noh Alam Shah, to lead the highly-publicised exodus to Indonesia in 2009. That was when the ISL introduced a rule under which two of each club’s five foreign imports had to come from Asia.

The offer of higher pay, better perks and the chance to play in front of 20,000-strong crowds drew several high-profile Lions to the ISL.

Baihakki joined Persija Jakarta, before moving to Persib last year.

Both he and Shahril could not be reached for comment yesterday.

According to the Indonesian football blog Jakarta Casual, Persib’s new coach Daniel Roekito does not rate the 27-year-old Baihakki highly.

The Indonesian, who took over the reins last November, recently confirmed the signing of Malaysian striker Safee Sali (the top scorer at last December’s AFF Suzuki Cup with five goals) for the second half of the 2010-11 ISL season, which starts on March 7. Persib lie second from bottom in the 15-team ISL after 12 games.

And Baihakki seems ready to leave. He wrote on his Twitter page yesterday: ‘Prepare (sic) to go, but will still give my best for the last 3 games.’

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My thoughts:

I was about to say something rude and cutting like “So, Baihakki, I’m curious. What does humble pie taste like?”

But I thought better of it.

But now that Malaysia’s players are the flavour of the month after winning the South-east Asia Games gold medal and the Asean Cup, I wonder how many more Singapore players are in danger of losing their well-paying and glamorous careers in the ISL — especially after Singapore’s dismal showing and their own crappy performances in the Asean Cup.

What I thought was telling was this sentence about new Persib coach Daniel Roekito:

“According to the Indonesian football blog Jakarta Casual, Persib’s new coach Daniel Roekito does not rate the 27-year-old Baihakki highly.”

I’m also wondering how many S-League clubs will be vying to take them back.

I am sure there will be a few clubs competing for Shahril’s services. After all, he is young, an emerging talent and the national skipper. No one will also forget the critical role he played in Home’s push for the S-League title before he left for the ISL, one which ultimately saw him being named the S-League’s Player of the Year.

The fact that Home’s title challenge immediately went to pieces the moment he left also spoke volumes of his abilities and importance.

But I’m not so sure about Baihakki’s desirability  after all the allegations of ill discipline and arrogance about him (and Ridhuan Muhammad) that has come out in the media in recent times.

Yours in sport

Singapore Sports Fan

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Lions crash out of Suzuki Cup, but frankly, it could be the best thing to happen to Singapore football

The Lions crashed out of the group stage of the AFF Suzuki Cup after losing 0-1 to Vietnam tonight, the first time they have done so since 2002.

Frankly, this outcome was probably the best thing to happen.

I don’t think I could have gone on watching the Lions in this tournament without feeling more and more unhappy and dissatisfied with the state of the national team.

Let’s not beat around the bush: Singapore football has returned to the dark ages. From two consecutive Cup wins to a semi-final exit in 2008, and now this, a group stage exit. If this is not the most apt symbol for going backwards, then I don’t know what is.

We’ve returned to the late 90s and early years of the new millennium when the likes of Nasri Nasir, Rafi Ali and Zulkarnaen Zainal ruled the roost but couldn’t take the Lions forward anymore.

But what really hurt this time was watching some of our national players in action. Noh Alam Shah, Ridhuan Muhammad, Baihakki Khaizan and Precious Emuejeraye ere the worst culprits.

While Precious has always been a poor defender, one cannot help wondering what has happened to the first three in recent times.

They’ve played so poorly this time that one just cannot help wondering whether they were intentionally doing so in order to save themselves from injury and return to their Indonesian Super League clubs fully fit.

Or have they become so big-headed as a result of their being treated like stars in the ISL that they’ve come to think of themselves as the Untouchables, players who will always be picked to play regardless of form?

When the Lions suffer in defence because of injury to Daniel Bennett, lack bite in midfield because of the absence of Shi Jiayi and John Wilkinson, and have to rely on Aleksandar Duric and Agu Cashmir to deliver the goals, the state of local football can only be truly classified as really bad.

Really, let’s be frank here: how well would we have really done in the last two years without these naturalised citizens taking to the field as our Lions?

In other words, these naturalised citizens have been the strips of  duct tape that have been holding up the torn and tattered shell that is the national team all this while.

Which brings me to my next point – it is also probably time for national coach Raddy Avramovic to go.

I think he deserves a medal for what he has done for Singapore football, but I think he has also come to the end of the road as the man tasked with taking Singapore football to the next level.

We will need a new man at the helm, someone who comes in with a clean slate, with no biases, no attachments to players that were groomed during his tenure, and who can call a spade a spade.

We need someone with the guts to cull the laggards. Most importantly, we need to give this new man time to cast a fresh eye on the talent of the land and give him our blessings to take risks with new emerging talents and groom his new generation of Lions.

Does he have to be a foreigner? Maybe not.

I see some promising local coaches in the national set-up who can do the job if they are allowed to do their job, and pick their own players without interference from their bosses.

Bottom line: it hurts to see the Lions going out. But this could also be a blessing in disguise.

Let’s just hope the Football Association of Singapore has the f***king guts to do what is necessary.

Yours in sport

Singapore Sports Fan

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Baihakki and Ridhuan’s insincere and defensive apologies are the most pathetic attempts at saying sorry I’ve ever heard

The report:

This report appeared in today’s edition of The Straits Times. My observations appear after the report. Do note the ‘interesting’ parts that I have highlighted.

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Please don’t make us scapegoats: Baihakki

(The Straits Times, 12 March 2010)

By Wang Meng Meng

BAIHAKKI Khaizan and Ridhuan Muhamad, the two national footballers at the centre of the latecoming controversy in Jordan, have apologised for their transgressions.

Baihakki, who plays for Indonesia Super League club Persija, said: ‘I am sorry to the coach and my teammates for being late. I didn’t do it on purpose.’

Arema Malang right-winger Ridhuan also issued an apology. But he explained the circumstances leading up to Lions coach Raddy Avramovic filing a report on the duo’s tardiness, which kept their teammates waiting for seven minutes on the team bus that was to take them for their Asian Cup qualifier against Jordan.

The 25-year-old said: ‘I wanted to apologise to the guys when I was on the bus but Raddy’s stern look scared me.’

Baihakki, a defender, added: ‘I wasn’t trying to be arrogant or act like a superstar. When I boarded the bus, Raddy was staring at Ridhuan and me. The way he stared at us was as if he wanted to eat us.

‘That’s why Ridhuan and I quickly sat down and kept quiet. I blocked the incident out of my mind immediately as I wanted to focus totally on the big match.’

With the two players, who were roommates in Amman, likely to face disciplinary action, Baihakki, 26, hopes that he will not be held responsible for the 1-2 defeat that ended Singapore’s hopes of qualifying for the 2011 Asian Cup Finals.

He said: ‘I’m prepared to face the disciplinary committee. I will explain my side of the story. But don’t use this case to drop me. Don’t destroy my international career over seven minutes. Please don’t make Ridhuan and me the scapegoats for the defeat. We lost to a hungrier team.’

Avramovic has decided on the duo’s fate, but he declined to reveal his verdict for now.

Baihakki lamented that the issue came to light after Singapore’s loss, saying: ‘When we lose, big and small issues will start to come out. But when we win, everything looks so nice.’

Ridhuan, meanwhile, believes that he is a target of envy. He said: ‘Maybe, some people don’t like us. Just because Baihakki and I play in Indonesia, some people think we’re big-headed.

‘Honestly, we are still the same guys. We want to win for Singapore as much as everybody else

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My thoughts:

I’ve made up my mind: Baihakki Khaizan and Muhammad Ridhuan should not be made scapegoats for Singapore’s 1-2 loss to Jordan which ended the Lions’ hopes of qualifying for next year’s Asian Cup. The team’s failure was a collective one. Besides, we just weren’t good enough against Jordan.

But nevertheless, Baihakki and Ridhuan should be axed from the Lions’ squad,  regardless.

Just look at their sorry excuse of an attempt at an apology, and ask yourselves: are these the sort of players we want in the national team?

In their own words, they didn’t apologise to the team for being late because they were scared of Raddy Avramovic. They were intimidated by his black face, and so they kept quiet.

So, was that a valid excuse for not apologising subsequently?

Let’s call a spade a spade.

If you are not man enough to stand up and admit you are wrong, even when you are fearful of the coach, then honestly, what sort of person are you? And how does that make you fit to be a Lion?

What was to stop them, while the bus was making its way to the stadium in Amman, to ask team manager Eugene Loo if they could have permission to apologise to the team for their tardiness?

Nothing, right? At most, if it had been rebuffed, they still could have said they tried to apologise.

What was to stop them from apologising in the locker room before the game? Wouldn’t that have done wonders for team unity minutes before the game?

Instead, they opted not to apologise, and in Baihakki’s words, tried to block the incident from their minds.

Which means they didn’t take into account the possibility that their teammates could have been resentful of their poor discipline en route to the stadiujm, Not very good for team unity, right?

And they only chose to apologise several days after the match, upon hearing about Avramovic’s  decision to report their ill-discipline to the FAS.

In that light, their apologies don’t seem terribly sincere after all.

But what was most revealing was what these two clowns said to pad up their attempt at an apology.

Please don’t make us scapegoats, said Baihakki.

Also, he asked, why is it that when the Lions lose,m the big and small issues come out?

So is this what you think it is all about, Baihakki? That everyone is looking for a scapegoat?

Hasn’t it occured to you that your ill discipline, on the day of the big match, was unforgivable in itself?

And here’s another question: do you think your lateness is a big or a small issue?

If  it is a big issue, then why are you apologising only now?

And if it is a small issue, then what does it say about you? Is lateness really such a small issue?

Ridhuan was even better. After attempting to apologise, this clown of a footballer says “Maybe some people don’t like us. Just because Baihakki and I play in Indonesia, some people think we are big-headed.”

The moment he said that, I knew his apology had no sincerity in it.

So is this you think this hoo-hah is all about, Ridhuan? Jealousy?

What about respect for the team and your teammates? Isn’t that the issue here?

And aren’t you supposed to be a professional footballer in Indonesia now?

If so, then how is it that you can be so unprofessional in your behaviour in the Singapore jersey?

Doesn’t playing for one’s country deserve a higher level of professional conduct?

I am flabbergasted at these two clowns. And I have had enough of them. Their attempt at an apology is a sheer insult to the Lions, to Avramovic, and to us long-suffering die-hard fans.

Please, Raddy, axe them.

They do not deserve to have the five stars and crescent on their chests from now on.

Yours in sport

Singapore Sports Fan

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