Dear Lionel Lewis
On behalf of all the long-suffering fans of the Lions, I would like to express my deepest thanks, appreciation and gratitude to you for your superb performance against Jordan last night.
Thanks to your brilliant reflexes, your calmness and presence of mind, you saved us from a mauling in Amman and restricted the marauding Jordanians to a narrow 2-1 win, a scoreline which certainly flattered us and paints a false picture of the actual gulf in playing standards between Jordan and us.
What was especially amazing was how you achieved this in spite of the windy and cold conditions, which made ball control and judgement even more difficult, and in spite of the ineptitude of Precious Emuejeraye and Baihakki Khaizan, our supposed two pillars in defence.
They were completely rubbish last night, that much was clear for all who tuned in to Channel 5’s live telecast of the crucial Asian Cup qualifying fixutre last night.
I blame them both for the two goals which you eventually conceded that sent us eventually to the bottom of our group, a place I feel we do not deserve considering some of the good work that we did during the initial part of the qualifying stage.
God knows what Precious was thinking in the third minute when he allowed Jordanian atacking midfielder Obai Al Saify to get in front of him and power a missile of a header past you.
Or perhaps he wasn’t thinking at all, which also wouldn’t surprise me.
Whatver the reason, that set the tone of the lop-sided battle between Obai and Precious last night.
Lumbering and slow on the turn, Precious just could not cope with the Jordanian’s skill and speed last night. In fact, on numerous occasions, he was left eating his dust.
It was so painful to watch, and you just wanted to point a gun at Precious and end our misery.
I can also only guess at why Precious and Baihakki chose to leave Anas Banyyasen unmarked during an inswinging corner in the 60th minute, allowing him to head the ball past you and hammer in the final nail in our coffin.
It was a goal which should never have happened, and it destroyed whatever confidence we had after Noh Alam Shah’s equaliser at the start of the second half and afterthat, we were left chasing the wind.
Enough of blaming.
I have decided that both Baihakki and Precious are completely useless at higher stages of Asian football, and even if Singapore go on to win the Suzuki Cup again this year, my opinion of them will never change.
So long as national coach Raddy Avramovic does not axe them, I will never put my money on a Singapore win and will always go to the National Stadium expecting the worst.
Perhaps that’s the way – so that every little win we eke out wil always be a relief and a pleasant surprise.
You, Lionel, on the other hand, are an example of the type of Lion Singapore needs.
Your performance last night was world-class.
As I write this, I am constantly replaying in my mind the reflex save you made at full stretch against Obai in the 25th minute, and the two occasions (20th and 38th) you saved at his feet.
I cannot imagine what the final scoreline would have been if those strikes had gone into the net in the first place.
Finally, thank you for deciding not to head off to Indonesia to play professional football.
As far as I am concerned, the Indonesian Super League can keep the likes of Precious and Bahihakki in perpetuity. Maybe they should consider giving them citizenship because from now on, the less we see of these two clowns in action for the Lions, the better.
Keep up the great work, Lionel.
Singapore Sports Fan