Sunday, September 30, 2007


Happy Manchester City fans shock horor!!!

Supporting a football team was never meant to be an enjoyable experience. A 'true' supporter is one who has endured untold pain and agony over untold years and never once contemplated another hobby. Like trainspotting. It doesn't work that way. A football club is for life. Sometimes Manchester City fans wonder who they had upset in earlier reincarnations. Most clubs have their ups and downs, for City the downs seem interminable. The odd ray of light has surfaced. Watching the silky skills of Kinkladze. Signing Uwe Rosler just so the fans could wear t shirts saying Uwe's Grandad Bombed Old Trafford. City fans needed a sense of humour, especially when United started winning everything within sight with a regularity that bordered on monotony.

I's ok said the fans from the Blue half. We beat Huddersfield 10-1. We beat United 5-1. Those odd triumphs shone all the more for their rarity. Rubber inflatables started at the old Maine Road. Oasis were City fans, they had the best chunes. Straws were clutched at and retained long in the memory, god knows when the nest one would surface.

Then came Thaksin and his millions along with failed England manager but oh so successful club manager Sven. He spent Thaksin's moolah after surfing You Tube and now City look different. They look like a football club. Thier support are salivating over performances from talented players like Richards, Johnson and Ireland. And yesterday Newcastle United came to town. Or Toon. With ambitions of their own, instead of the cosmopolitan Sven they looked to earthy Big Sam, the gum chewing, walrus faced chap whose Bolton had elbowed and niggled their way into Europe.

City won. And how. Oberfami Martins scored a lovely goal to give the Barcodes the lead but twas fleeting. Elano! Who would not want him on their team sheet? So why did nobody else go after him? He is the puppet master of this team his class and vision was once such a fixture of City teams with the likes of Bell and Marsh but has been sadly missing for generations. His first goal for the club, a piledriver of a free kick had him bowing before his audience. The ovation given by them when he was taken off moments later was deserved. No player is bigger than the team but once in a while a performance derserves individual recognition and Elano's did yesterday.

This City team is still a work in progress. They need a keeper and a striker. Ironically Newcastle had both. Shay Given had another strong game, his first half save denied Elano a sweet earlier while Martins has trickery and guile and a penchant for the spectacular. The Nigerian needs to work on the more bread and butter stuff like tap ins but you feel even now he would be a better option for them than Mpenza.

But while City fans sing Blue Moon all night Chelsea's continue to inundate phone in shows complaining about the recent goings on at their club and moaning how everyone hates you. People hate you, Simon from Bracknell, 'cos you're nothing but a billionaire's plaything and once he tires of his toy you'll be as anonymous as you have been for most of your dull history and we told you so. Enjoy your 15 minutes, the seconds are ticking away. Fulham at home and a 4th consecutive game in the league without a goal.

11 goals at Portsmouth, how Avram Grant probably wishes he'd stayed their. Collecting the bibs and cones. You'd imagine Tony Adams will be having nightmares about that defence. A game for the neutrals but I'd wager there weren't many at Fratton park yesterday and as Coppell headed for home I just can't picture him saying 'it's allright lads, the neutrals would have enjoyed that.'

Arsenal got another 3 points in a performance that showed a couple of things. The most important thing in football is the result. And Fabregas also plays very well instead of just outstanding. Ashton had several chances for the Hammers but rarely troubled Almunia who spent long periods of the game playing Sudoku. Odd how the Big 3 all won 1-0 away from home. It's what makes champions you know!

Saturday, September 29, 2007


Moan moan moan

That Rafa for me is the most loathed manager in the league at the moment. His latest whinge, and boy does he excel in them is that if Liverpool don't win the Premier League then don't blame him cos it won't be his fault. Oh no, it will be those evil refs who don't offer players like Torres enough protection.

Stick to the Carling Cup then goatee face...

The reptilian Uzbek continues to buy up shares at The Arsenal. My question instead of thisslimey, loathsome swamp dweller buying the shares is why aren't the club? David Dein professes to love the club but he continues to presist with his involvement with this vile creature. How repulsive is he? Recently some allegations appeared on the net about him and were spread around Arsenal forums and websites. Run by Arsenal fans. The response of this blob? Letters from lawyers threatening I know not what. I have no idea whether the allegations are true or false but surely if someone wants to get people, his future customers, on his side the last thing you do is go legal. Is the theme of threat and opaqueness the future of my football club under him?

Arsenal's figures this week revealed they are the richest club in the country and it's gonna get better. Opening the door to numbnuts and friends so they can rape the assets is not in the interests of Arsenal Football Club. Why can't he buy Spurs?!

Right, whinge over. I'm off to the pub. C'mon Arsenal!

Thursday, September 27, 2007


Arema Malang

I understand Arema are considering going public in an effort to inject more funds into the club.

Arema, one of the best supported teams in the country, are currently owned by a tobacco manufacturer and the day can't be far off when their involvement in sport becomes prohibited.

Football here needs to be run professionaly for Indonesia to realise its ambitions and let's hope this is just the start.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


We all live in a Rafa Wonderland

Rafael Benitez refused to promise Fernando Torres a regular starting place despite seeing the Spaniard score his first Liverpool hat trick in their League Cup third round win at Reading.
Benitez sparked an angry reaction from Liverpool fans by resting Torres for Liverpool's recent goalless Premier League draws with Portsmouth and Birmingham.
But the 26 million pound striker responded by inspiring Liverpool to a 4-2 win at the Madejski Stadium on Tuesday.
"With Fernando's pace you know he will kill defenders and he had a terrific game," said Benitez.
"If he is not injured and if he keeps training well, maybe he will start the game against Wigan on Saturday. (Eat your heart out Nando)

Name me one other manager, who has won the Premiership in England by leaving one of Europe's best forwards on the bench...

I don't like Rafa and I'm sure glad he doesn't work at Arsenal. Jose to Liverpool in 12 months??? Rafa has got to win the Premier League this season, no ifs, no buts. He's had the money to spend, it's his team, he must make it work.

Not that I care like but if I was a Liverpool fan I'd be spitting blood over some of his decisions.


Singapore clubs battle bravely in AFC Cup

After losing thei first leg tie in Jordan SAF obvioulsy felt more secure at home but their 3-0 over Shabab Al Ordun wasn't enough to see them progress in Asia's second tier tournament, hot shot Duric missing a penalty.

Tampines fought gallantly in Amman racing to a 2-0 lead after 15 minutes, putting them 3-2 up on aggregate. Defending champions Al Faisaly came back to win 5-2 on the night, 7-3 on aggregate.

Three Jordanian teams make up the quarter finals along with one from Lebanon.


Peter Butler and Indonesia

There is a nice interview over on the AFC site with Peter Butler, former West Ham player and currently coach of Group 2 side Persiba Balikpapan. Persiba are having a good season and Butler must be quitely confident of securing a Top 4 spot that would see the team from Kalimantin in the League play offs and guarantee Liga Super football next season.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Home United level top

They beat Albirex 3-2, Ludovick getting the vital goal in the last minute. 1100 crowd to see them go level top with SAF.


I Will Survive - Martin Jol

First I was afraid, I was petrified
Kept thinking I could never turn Spurs into a top 4 side
But I spent oh so many nights thinking how Staltari did me wrong
Am I a mong??,
but I'll just have to carry on
and we'll be back, into 5th place
I'll just wait till the transfer window to sign another waste of space
I should have sold Paul Robinson,
I should have dropped him from the team
If I had known for just one second he'd concede more goals than Derby Coun-ty

Go on now go, Bent there's the door
just turn around now, 'cause you don't score goals anymore
weren't you the one we paid so much for,
you were dearer than Hen-ry
I knew you'd crumble,
I'd rather have Emile Hes-key,,,,

Oh no cause I, I will survive
As long as I win the next 6 games
I know I will stay alive,
I've got Tainio who is crap, & Huddlestone who's just fat,
but I'll survive
I will survive..

It took all the strength I had not to fall apart
kept trying hard to mend Defoe's relationship with his little tart
and I spent oh so many nights trying on John Barnes's tights
And oh I've cried, I want the Spurs job till I die! A
nd you see Keane, he hates me too
I subbed him off when we were winning,
then we went and ****ing drew!
And now im scratching my big chin,
why can't I just sell Ledley King?
If I'm gonna save my skin, I'll need some politics style Spin!!

Monday, September 24, 2007


PSM appoint new coach

PSM Makassar have appointed Radov Minkovski to help them secure the Liga Indonesia 2007. Radov, recommended by fellow Bulgarian Ivan Kolev who coaches the Indonesian national team, has also worked in China and Myanmar.


Indonesian stars to Malaysia?

There is talk of Budi Sudarsono of Persik and Elie Aiboy, Arema, are interesting Police FC in Malaysia for next season.

Budi and Elie are two of the highest profile players in Indonesia and that fact that they are considering a move to what is possibly a lesser club in a lesser league will disappoint many here.

Aiboy spent a couple of years at Selangor, returning at the start of this season.


The backlash begins

At work today one Chelsea fan says he is giving up on the club in the wake of the Special One leaving. He assures me the key ring will soon be history and he will find a new team. He's not the only one. One or two say they're hanging on in there to see what happens but many have had enough.

I've been telling them this for the last three years, only now they believe me. I have told them in no uncertain terms thay cannot start supporting Arsenal. We don't want other clubs hand me downs...


English weekend

Them games can't come round quick eneough for Arsenal fans. Another impressive display Saturday slaughtered the Rams with Fabregas and Adebayor prominent. If the little Spaniard does nothing for the rest of the season he would still be a contender for players of the season. Adebayor made it 5 goals in 2 games with his forst hat trick and already he is showing the leadership qualities on the field that Henry never showed. His English spoken at speed in interviews is bloody well unintelligible though. But Derby at home to be honest isn't really a problem. Next week is West Ham away.

The game I was looking forward to yesterday was West Ham at Newcastle. and it was fun. West Ham featured a starting 11 reminiscent of another era with evey player, including Lucas Neill, a native English speaker. Bowyer continues to shine back under Curbishley while Mark Noble shows there are still some diamonds on clubs doorsteps to be found. Up front Dean Ashton put in a good performance and scored in the first half. Not so sure about the Barcodes. Viduka's first goal was escellent, quick cross, quick reactions.

If you don't want to struggle, don't wear white shirts! The bottom 4 all wear white: Derby, Bolton, Spurs and Fulham.

After saying nice things recently about Blackburn and Everton they both went and lost. I did however say that Blackburn are always up for it against big teams, against others they seem less motivated and yesterday they fell at home to Portsmouth. Likewise Liverpool. Consistency has been their problem over the last couple of years and they have no dropped 4 points out of the last 6 failing to score. Birmingham at home?

Wigan must have filled a tuk tuk with their away support on Saturday at Reading.

Cracking North East Derby between Middlesbro and Sunderland with a late goal from Miller earning the Mackems a point.

Oh yeah. Chelsea began the post Jose era losing 2-0 at Manchester United. They lie 6th, five points behind Arsenal who have played a game less and with a negative goal difference. Three games without a goal as well. The fabled strength in depth is being shown up as just that and even the owners' golden boy Shevchenko was taken off.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


Football magazines and nonbars

Here in Indonesia keeping up with the game worldwide is as easy as falling off a bike even if the coverage of the English football is limited to just one provider at the moment though I understand negotiations are underway to allow free TV one live game a week.

There is also a daily newspaper called Top Skor devoted primarily to football though other sports are covered. They cover the major European leagues in some depth.

A couple of tabloids are also popular. Bola comes out twice a week and probably has the best coverage of the Indonesian game while Soccer is less popular. Both appeal to the younger end of the market.

Bolavaganza is a glossy monthly from the same people as Bola and oddly enough they interviewed me briefly a couple of editions back. Well, we sat in the pub!

Four Four Two have an Indonesian edition that I find once in a while. It features articles from the English one as well as some local stuff.

No doubt local newspapers also give some coverage to the game here but I don't buy them.

Because many people don't have access to cable TV, and because Indonesians are very social people, they have what is known as nonbar here (Nonton bareng). Fans gather together in bars and cafes to watch the game usually with dancers or music in the background. Tonight for example sees nonbars at CJ's and the ever awful Front Row for the Manchester United Chelsea game



Got some more stuff over there...old columns, new one .

Friday, September 21, 2007


Jakmania today

Those vicious football hooligans the Jakmania are today gathering at their club offices in Lebuk Bulus Stadium to break the fast together with the club manager.


Home United blinked

10 man Gombak equalised in the last minute to dash Home United's chances of climbing to second.

They have a game in hand on leaders SAF and remain 3 points nehind. Both SAF and Tampines are on AFC Cup duty.

Thursday, September 20, 2007


Mourinho leaves Chelsea!

Jose has left Chelsea after 3 games without a win! Maybe Martin Jol is being lined up as a replacement!!!

Rumours he left after finding out Chelsea are not a big club have yet to be conformed...

If this is Russion style management then sorry but I don't want that Russkie taking over my club. I didn't anyway but you know what I mean.

Jose to Tottenham? You'd think not; you'd think Jose would have had enough of outside interference and Directors or Football telling him who to play and buying players for him but managers are wierd. There's always someone who wants to buy Titus Bramble or El Haj-Diouf.

In the fog of egos that cloud and influence the decision making in the Bridge boardroom you wonder whether such a high profile club can allow their manager to leave and have no one lined up. But Chelsea don’t do forward planning. They dig deep into Abramovich’s wallet and throw money at the problem. Money will make it go away temporarily at least. Money suspends all reason and rational thought. Money will smooth the way for Mourinho’s successor and wipe away potentially awkward questions an applicant may have. Like will I be allowed to run this club my way? And will the likes of Drogba and Terry stick around in the post JM era?

Meanwhile Arsenal and Manchester United with a settled management in place allow their managers the luxury of managing and pick up wins with almost contempt.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


PSM tour Jakarta

During the ramadhan break PSM Makassar will be visiting the capital for a few friendlies.

2 Oct - Afrika Select
4 Oct - Persitara
6 Oct - Persita

No game against Persija; they play in the next round of the Copa Indonesia later in the month.


Asian Cup Under 16's

Jakarta is hosting the Group F Qualifying Games for the Under 16's this October.

Games will be held at Lebuk Bulus and Bung Karno and features squads from Japan, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Hong Kong as well as Indonesia.

Games kick off 24th October and end 5th November.


Persebaya fans open a shop

Persebaya Supporter's Club B-Fazters have opened a shop selling Persebaya Surabaya merchandise.

The shop, located at the 10th November Stadium in Surabaya will sell the usual bits and pieces you expect from such an outlet, all of it carrying the Greenshop logo.

Hundreds of shirts have already been sold.

I have no idea if sales benefit the club in any way but good luck to the guys behind the operation.


Where now for the FA?

Last week he was in KL visiting AFC House mouthing meaningless platitudes. On Wednesday he was appointed to the Indonesian Parliament and on Thursday he was sentenced to 2 years porridge. After lying low for a few days the gentleman concerned is now serving his sentence.

Little enough seems to come from the FA anyway, it's difficult to see how the big cheese doing time will make any difference to its operations.

There is an AFC sponsored initiative called Vision Indonesia...
There is a plan somewhere to have Indonesia a major player in world football by 2020...
There is a plan somewhere to have Indonesia in FIFA's top 100 ranked nation's next year without a ball being kicked in anger...
Maybe there were games against Valencia, Uruguay and UAE being arranged...

Meanwhile week in week out games are held up by fans throwing water bottles on the pitch...
Referees are abused and assaulted on the pitch...
No one can buy an Indonesian national team shirt...
A Liga Super is due to start next season...
Local government funding for clubs is going to dry up...
The day is not far off when tobacco advertising will be banned...

You might think the game here needs leadership. From where?

UPDATE from Jakarta Post. You gotta read the last paragraph!

Soccer authority happy to keep jailed boss
Matheos Messakh, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta
The Indonesian Soccer Association (PSSI) has no plan to replace chairman Nurdin Halid, who has been sentenced to two years in jail for corruption, an executive in the organization said Tuesday.
"There is no problem with the organization (with Nurdin's arrest). We do not rely on an individual chairman, but members of the executive committee," PSSI secretary-general Nugraha Besoes said, while referring to a newly established committee overseeing the day-to-day running of the organization.
"Until now we have no plan to substitute Pak Nurdin, and maybe there will be no replacement," he added.
Besoes added that even objections from soccer fans would not be enough reason to replace the PSSI chairman.if the 449 chapters of PSSI file objections, we might consider replace him," he said.
Nurdin, who took the PSSI's helm in 2003, was reelected for his second four-year term during the PSSI's annual meeting in April.
Besoes compared PSSI's situation to that of the Indonesian Amateur Athletics Association (PASI) when chairman Bob Hassan served almost three years in Nusakambangan Prison for graft, from March 2001 to February 2004, adding that PASI had continued to exist and perform its duties while its chairman was in jail.
Asked whether the incarceration of the chairman would ruin the image of the PSSI, Besoes said: "There is no need to worry about it. The image of the state is already bad, after all."


Indonesia v UAE ???

Is it or isn't it?

Initially I reported this fixture would go ahead in Dubai. Then, nothing. The AFC mentioned it on their site also in Dubai. But nothing coming from the Indonesian FA.

Local reports Monday had the game being played in Jakarta this Friday but again silence from those that should know these things.

You could argue that the FA are busy enough here with various shenanigans, I could tell you all about that but I would have to kill you after, but their job is to build on the Asian Cup and prepare for the World Cup Qualifiers.

It makes sense to play the UAE who are after all floating round the region and there was a friendly lined up before the Asian Cup which was cancelled. But sense isn't always applied.

Will it happen? And if it does will anyone know about it? If they know will anybody be motivated enough to see an unpromoted game against some unknowns? And by then will anyone even care? People here are more interested in a possible deal that could see one live match a week from England being shown on free TV.

Update - Now the FIFA website is reporting UAE play Oman. Odd how they can arrange friendlies so quickly and the FA here ... oh, forget it!


Bad night for South East Asia

Both Singapore's representatives, SAF and Tampines as well as Hong Kong side Sun Hei fell to Jordanian opposition in last nights AFC Cup Quarter Final First Legs.

SAF got tonked 5-0 in Amman while Tampines fell at home 2-1.

Umm, I reckon a Jordanian team will be in the least one.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


The AFC Cup

International football hogs the stage this week with Singapore's two representatives, Tampines and SAF both in quarter final action. Al Faisaly visit Tampines Stadium tonight in the first leg while SAF head west to play Shabab Al Ordun in Jordan with the match kicking off at 9.30 local time because of the fasting month.

Sunday, September 16, 2007


Casual Lite

This is supposed to be a blog about Indonesian football but you may have noticed how I get the (very) odd rant in about the game in England.

Well, now I have my very own spot to rant to my heart's content about Arsenal, Chelsea, the price of season tickets and the rest over at ESPN Star.

In my first column I try to be neutral and look at Tottenham. Does it work? Check it out here and let me know!

Go easy on me John!


An interesting day in the premiership

I've been a secret admirer of Everton for a while, thinking David Moyes is not that far from forging a side that can seriously threaten the Big 3 + Chelsea. Lescott has looked impressive in defence while a finely balanced midfield offers Arteta's guile and Carsley's grim determination. Up top Yakubu looks to be the final piece in the jigsaw providing a battering ram to supplement Johnson's pace. Moyes is developing a fine spine and I was hopeful Everton could do some damage to a slow starting Manchester United.

Oh well. Everton started brightly enough but United took control with Ronaldo effortlessly slipping into panto bad guy mode with his diving, needless stepovers and oh so wasted free kicks. Scholes showed his reputation as possibly the worst tackling midfielder in the history of the world is well deserved with a couple of clumsy challenges within moments of each other. He deserved red and people get sent off for less but it is refreshing when a ref shows common sense and feels a stern word is better than a card.

Vidic won the game for United from a corner and they deserved it. Everton all but disappeared, I forget what role Yakubu had second half, and their keeper looks like a bit part player in a 70's porno flick - so a friend commented last night. 1-0 to Man U again, grinding out results gets you just as many points as free flowing football. Fergie will look at the table and feel satisfied. Not so Moyes. Missing Carsley, Cahill and Gravesen meant they were light in midfield thus depriving the forwards of meaningful supply. Next weekend sees United play Chelsea. 0-0 please!

Next up was the biggie. Arsenal away to the nearly men of English and what do you know? They nearly beat us! One nil down at half time and I swear not a single Gooner was worried. Be serious, it's Spurs! They blow leads like 5 year olds blow out candles on a birthday cake. Of concern to Wenger perhaps might be the positioning of the wall and Almunia getting beaten on the near post. Shades of the Champions League Final? 75% of goals conceded this season are down to goal keeping errors, the other was Kanu's wierd looking affair which was more luck than judgement. Yeap, they all count but after having doubts about our defense this season it seems things may not be so bad. Certainly Gilberto and Toure both played well in the centre while Sagna continues to impress. Clichy, nothing to add. Mr Consistency on the left.

Second half and Tottenham had the chances to finish us off. I'd like to say a big thank you to D. Bent esq, formerly of Charlton Athletic, for proving that transfer fees do not match a players ability. 16.5 million pound and that finish would have you dropped from my Sunday League team. For a player with international ambitions Bent put his cause back a few months, especially with Owen and Heskey gelling recently. I rate Defoe so was delighted he didn't play.

Cracking goals from Adebayor and Fabregas but inevitable. Spurs were 1-0 up but the noise was coming from the Arsenal fans. They have, of course seen it all before. Like many an Arsenal fan, stick at it Martin, you're doing a grand job sir! Oh, and we are top of the league. Nice to see but I'd rather be there in May but a good start was important for us this season. Just as important was getting golas from midfield and Fabregas is doing so for fun. Next up Derby. I predict a 1-0 to the Arsenal with the Derby keeper playing a blinder and Toure scrambling the winner 7 minutes from the end.

Blackburn are going to have a major say in this years' title race. They're not going to win it but they are going to be up for every game against the Big 3 + Chelsea. Witness the game against Arsenal. Yesterday they went to the Bridge and held Chelsea 0-0, two consecutive shut outs for Jose's mercenaries. With grizzlies like Samba and Nelson at the back and Savage and Dunn in the middle they are not going to bottle many challenges. They are also not going to challenge for the big silverware until they can take those fighting qualities and face teams like Reading and West Ham like they would Arsenal and Chelsea but they are heading in the right direction and I do fancy they could do something in one of the cups.

Liverpool and their legion of fans have been flying high since rattling 8 goals past the likes of new boys Derby and Sunderland but yesterday came back to earth at Pompey. But it's all right 'cos it's all a conspiracy by the Premier League against Rafa and his merry band and he has a heap of evidence to prove it. I'm tired of Rafa and his continual habit (can there be any over sort?) of getting his excuses in early and I hope they win nothing under him. Liverpool's failings last season were inconsistency: could the same happen this season? Beating Derby at home is a given for the Big 3 + Chelsea I'm afraid. The acid test of their Championship credentials will come against the likes of Blackburn and Everton, not some newly promoted team 'doing' the 19 before relegation. Still, expect more hype from the passionately pro Liverpool media as their next three games are against Wigan, Birmingham and Tottenham.


ASEAN Football Championship 2008

Indonesia, along with Myanmar, Malaysia and Vietnam are bidding to host the next AFF. Singapore won the last one in 2007.


Tampines hit 7

Tampines went mad last night and scored 7 against Young Lions to move second behind SAF with a game in hand.

Wednesday sees third place Home United visit Gombak. No pressure, they just need 3 points.

Saturday, September 15, 2007


Home United win

Home kept the pressure on at the top of the SLeague by winning 2-0 at Lioaning. The Home United blog may have details later, it hasn't as I type this.

Can Tampines win tonight?


Indonesia Under 23s

Indonesia are to tour Argentina as preparation for the SEA Games in Thailand, the logic of which escapes me. After the shambolic performance at last years Asian Games in Doha after preparing in Holland you would think the FA might have been more careful with their planning.

Friendlies have been arranged against Quiulme U-20, Independiente U-20, Boca Junior U-20 Argentina U-20 and games will be shown live here.


Friday, September 14, 2007


SAF win, Duric doesn't score

Warriors fans celebrated the return to the top of the SLeague last night with a 1-0 win over Albirex but will be concerned that Alexander Duric, the league's leading scorer failed to hit the back of the net!

Sell him I say, sell him...


Woodlands punishment

For walking off the pitch because they didn't like the ref and some of his decisions, Woodlands Wellington last night received their punishment. They were docked 6 points and various bods were fined a few bob!!!

For openly flouting the rules and conventions of a professional sport, for mocking the paying customer and treating with contempt the man charged with enforcing the rules and laws of the game Woodlands Wellington Football Club get a slap on the wrist!

Can they appeal and get it reduced I wonder?

At least we can put this story to bed but does the punishment fit the crime? What message does it send out about professionalism?

Thursday, September 13, 2007


SLeague title race

Three more crucial games this week in this exciting race. Click here for the latest table.

13/9 - SAF v Albirex Niigata
14/9 - Liaoning v Home United
15/9 - Tampines v Young Lions

Today also sees the SLeague meet to decide what to do about Woodlands Wellington and their walk off the other night against Tampines Rovers. Personally I hope they find a bloody great heavy book and throw it at them while they're not looking. Singapore is the place where you get your goolies mangled just for chewing gum or not flushing the toilet. To allow a team to show such disrespect to the match officials, whatever their personal opinion, is the slipway to chaos in professional sport and will have the rest of the football world wondering how serious Singapore is about its football.

Hopefully the Rams will get harshly punished, relegated would send the right signal, then we can go back to talking about an exciting title run in and the goals of Duric as well as Singapore's chances in the AFC Cup.


Copa Indonesia

Last 16

27 Aug - Persijap v PJ Purwakarta 1-0 5,000
28 Aug - Persis v Persita 0-0 15,000
4 Sept - PSMS Medan v Gresik Utd 4-0 10,000
4 Sept - Perseman v Sriwjaya 1-2 10,000
8 Sept - Persipura v Persemalra Tual 4-0 5,000
12 Sept - Gresik United v PSMS 0-1 6,000
12 Sept - Persemalra Tual v Persipura 1-1 7,000
24 Oct - PJ Purwakarta v Persijap
24 Oct - PSAP Sligi v Persekabpas
25 Oct - Persija v PSM Makassar
25 Oct - PKT Bontang v Sidoarjo Deltras
27 Oct - Persekabpas v PSAP Sligi
27 Oct - Sriwjaya v Perseman
28 Oct - PSM Makassar v Persija
28 Oct - Sidoarjo v PKT Bontang
29 Oct - Persita v Persis Solo


Midweek Liga Indonesia

Srwijaya v PJ Purwakarta 1-0 10,000
Persitara v Persita 2-2 5,000
PSIS Semarang v PSDS 1-0 17,000
Persela v Persiraja 3-0
Persik v Persija 1-1 15,000
Persema v S Padang 1-0 5,000

Aliyudin equalised for Persija 5 minutes from the end of their game at Persik Kediri to leave them second in Group A as the season breaks for Ramadhan.

Persigi Bali v Persis Solo 1-4 4,000
Persebaya v Persijap 3-1 5,000
Arema v PSIM Yogya 3-2 20,000
PKT Bontang v Persma 1-0 5,000
Persiba v Persibom 1-0 9,000
Persekabpas v Delras 0-0 5,000

Goals galore in Group 2. Mbamba led the way with a second consecutive brace for Arema as they sneaked past PSIM and climbed upto 6th spot with games in hand on the top 4. But impressive as they are at home they must start winning on the road. Both Deltras and Persijap decided again they didn't want to be top of the table and dropped valuable points. Solo's first win of the season and not bad was it? Seator and Nwokolo among the goals again.

Full tables can, usually, be found here...


Persik v Persija 1-1

Didn't see the bastard game because bastard local TV was on the bastard blink.

Gonzales opened the scoring for Persik, his 20th of the season, before Aliyudin equalised. A useful point for Persija as the Liga Indonesia goes into hibernation for the fasting month.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Persibo Bojonegoro are champions!

Of the First Division. They beat Persikad Depok 1-0 in the final in Solo.

Past winners include:

2007 Persibo Bojonegoro
2006 Persebaya Surabaya
2005 PSIM Jogjakarta
2004 Arema Malang
2003 Persebaya Surabaya
2002 Persik Kediri
2001 PSIS Semarang
2000 Persita Tangerang
1999 PSPS Pekanbaru
1997 Persikota Tangerang
1996 PSP Padang
1995 Persikab Kab Bandung


Persitara North Jakarta v Persita Tangerang 2-2

Not a bad first half up at Kamal Muara.

Benson gave the vistors the lead after about 18 minutes when half the Persitara defence posed for a photograph. Two minutes later Kurniawan DY beat the offside trap, something I don't think I've written many times before, and finished cooly.

Ilham Jayakusuma scored a second for Persita while the defence made like trees and didn't move for a moment or 6.

Second half and someone who aybe called Swakely took advantage of the slack defending that has marred this game to make it 2-2.

Itmi Dickson went close for Persitara and his later cross was missed by Yaso when it was easier to order a pizza, read War and Peace and score.

On 60 minutes a water bottle thrown from the Persita fans struck a linesman and play was held up for a few minutes. The linesman seemed most reluctant to resume his position and only did so when Persita coach Benny Dolly joined him on the touch line in front of his own teams fans.

The Copa Indonesia tie earlier in the season between these sides was marred by trouble also. Looking at the home fans already manning the fences you sense this isn't over yet.

Ernest, the giant Persita striker, is brought down in front of the Persitara support and even before he has hit the ground the water bottles are being thrown by the morons in the crowd. It's all getting a bit scrappy now.

With 10 minutes to go Kerry of Persita was sent off for a couple of rash challenges. Not sure it was worth a straight red though. Just to even things up the ref red cards home striker Pascal on 86 minutes.

A game that started brightly degenerated in the last 25 minutes into a nothing spectacle. Persitara captain Kurniawan DY spent some time playing in Italy. He must have wondered what the hell was going on.


SLeague goal bonanza

Last night Geylang tonked Senggal 4-0 but of course SAF went one better whipping Young Lions 5-0 at Warriors Stadium with that man Duric netting another hat trick.

If you had a team on your doorstep who were top of the league, netted 74 goals in 25 games, had the leagues leading scorer who has 32 goals in the same 25 games and have been champions i5 times in the last 11 years and are in the Quarter Finals of the AFC Cup would you:

a) - just ignore them and carry on supporting Manchester United
b) - just ignore them and carry on supporting Liverpool
c) - just ignore them and carry on supporting Chelsea
d) - just ignore them and carry on supporting another foreign team
Daft question! European football is 'cewell', Asian football isn't!
Of course there are those who would suggest having three foreign teams plus a team that represents the police, Home United, the military, SAF and the national Under 23 squad makes for an ungainly, unrepresentative league. But mere name changes won't push SAF's attendances up over 3,000.
Singaporeans are experts at taking very little and making it profitable and vital. Can they do the same with their football?

Monday, September 10, 2007


New stadium for Persik Kediri?

Following on from recent stories about Depok and Malang now it appears Kediri are to develop a new 30,000 seat stadium.

I've got a lot of time for Kediri even though I've never been there. They seem a well run club who do things the right way both on and off the pitch. It's not their fault they are a provincial town miles from the nearest airport, they show what can be done with a professional mindset. They're a bit like Nottingham Forest I guess, circa mid to late 70's

The only I thing I have against them is their awful purple shirts...

Meanwhile in Jakarta it remains to be seen whether the new governor goes ahead with a new stadium for Persija or whether he seeks to prioritise in other areas.


Liga Indonesia weekend

Sriwijaya v Persita 2-0 10,000
Persitara v Pelita Jaya 1-0 3,000
Persik v S Padang 2-1 10,000
Persema v Persija 0-1 6,000
PSIS v Persiraja 5-0
Persela v PSDS 2-0 8,000

Persija moved joint top with Persib after somehow getting three points in Malang. Wednesday sees them play Persik Kediri who are menacingly 4 points behind with 3 games in hand. 2 goals from Gonzalez saw them come from behind at home to Padang. PSIS continued their fine form with a 5 goal bonanza against Persiraja but they remain 12th, 10 points off 4th spot. Persema's slide continued. They now lie 13th and seem unable to score since Franco Hitta left during the mid season break

1. Persib 13 7 5 35-19 46
2. Persija 14 4 8 36-28 46
3. Sriwijaya 13 6 5 40-21 45
4. PSMS 13 4 7 32-17 43
5. Persik 13 3 7 39-31 42

Deltras v Persiba 2-1 10,000
PSIM v Bontang 1-0
Bali v Persijap 1-0 4,000
Persebaya v Solo 1-1 15,000
Arema v Deltras 3-0 20,000 (!)
PKT Bontang v Persibom 1-0 5,000
Persiba v Persma Manado 1-3 9,000
Persekabpas v PSIM 2-1 7,000

With the Papuan teams not playing this weekend both Deltras and Persijap Jepara could have gone top. But didn't. Arema climb to 8th after their convincing display at home to Deltras and must be hopeful of carrying that form into Wednesday when they host away losers PSIM. Form says they should win but this is Indonesia...

1. Persipura 12 7 6 40-21 43
2. Persiwa 13 4 8 37-23 43
3. Deltras 12 6 8 33-24 42
4. Persijap 12 6 7 26-21 42
5. PSM 12 4 8 28-21 40

Top scorer:
19 - Gonzalez (Persik)
13 - Solassa (Persipura)
- Seah (Persiwa)
12 - Bambang (Persija)
- Pedro Javier (Persibom)
- Julio Lopez (PSIS)


Tampines back on top

In a ding dong affair at Queenstown Stadium Tampines finally came out on top thanks to a lst gasp goal from Nor Alam Shah.

Victory puts them back on top in the private 3 horse race for the SLeague that looks like it really will go down to the wire...2 point separate the top 3.

Tonight sees SAF play Young Lions and victory would see them go top. Again!


Malaysia Cup Final

In front of 77,000 fans at Bukit Jalil Stadium Kedah won their first Malaysia Cup since 1993 beating Perak 3-0. That gives Kedah the triple for the season.

Sunday, September 09, 2007


Other scores today

PSIS v Persiraja Banda Aceh 3-0
Persik Kediri v S Padang 2-1
Persela v PSDS 2-0 (or was it 3-0?)

Champions Kediri came from behind to beat Padang at Brawijya Stadium. Them Yellow Tractors lost away again! PSIS turned in a good score against Persiraja to floow their impressive showing at Jakarta last time out. The time is now for both them and Arema to put a run together if they want to get in to the top 4.


Persema Malang v Persija Jakarta 0-1

Wish I lived in Malang!

500 Jakmania have travelled to Malang to see if their team can change their luck on the road and keep the pressure on the likes of Sriwijaya and Persib...catch half time and full time reports here, exclusive.

Banicino had the first effort on goal with a nicely taken free kick that exposed the poorly placed Persija wall and had the keeper scambling but luckily twas only the side netting that billowed.

Persija's first meaningful effort on goal came after 19 minutes when Bambang intelligently nodded the ball down for Agus who proceeded to forget the first rule of shooting. Keep you knee over the ball!

Coach Dub rovin must be concerned at the number of free kicks being given away around the penalty area while at the other end his team look disjointed and insipid. New signing Rueben Ceko holds the ball up well but the midfield has been slow in support.

On 25 minutes Bambang was brought down on the edge of the box but the free was high and wasted. With Abanda and Bambang lurking they need to do better at dead ball situations because on their performance so far they don't look like scoring from open play.

On the half hour better delivery from Ismed Sofyan on the right saw Robertinho head goal ward only for a Persema defender to clear off the line. Minutes later Frenandez attacked down the Persija right and his cross was put nehind. From the corner the Persema captain, Reyes, sent his free header a mile wide.

From another Ismed free kick the Persema defence struggled to clear and Abanda's header was defected into the net by Ceko who celebrated like he'd won the world cup.

In the last minute of the first alf Persija broke and Bambang played Ceko in but as the new signing cut inside the defender recovered and his effort was easily blocked.

Persema had a fine chance to equalise in injury time but with time and space the forward whose name I didn't catch headed straight at the keeper.

Half time 0-1

The Persema coach gave his players a right bollocking at half time. Part of the coverage here includes cameras inside the dressing rooms at half time and these are normally staid events where the coach draws pretty lines on a white board. Not this time. The Persema guy was giving his lads the hairdryer treatment. When the camera returned to the studio there was an embarrassed silence.

Quiet second half. Nice work by Ismed down the right but his cross was in the side netting.

With 25 minutes left the noise is coming from the Persija fans but can the players hold on for a crucial win? They're not offering much up front while Persema keep pressing.

On 71 Ismed struck a free kick which the goalie did well to palm away> Ceko responded quickly but his cross was feeble and Persema soon cleared.

A couple of minutes later a nice through ball released Bambang wide left. He cut in field and with Ceko in support decided to do it himself. Wrong choice as the keeper did well.

Persema keep getting free kicks in threatening positions but their delivery is dreadful. If their coach wasn't happy at half time he'll go ape when he sees a video of this game. Mind you he probably won't bother.

On 80 miinutes this time Robertinho broke and instead of passing to Bambang who was better placed the Argentinian screwed his shot across the face of goal. Bambang lookd frustrated as he stood with his arms outstretched but he couldn't complain too much. It was the last thing he did as he was taken off on 82 to be replaced by Wayan.

The number of free kicks being conceded must be of concern to the Persija management as must the confusion that appears between keeper and defensive wall

With 4 minutes to go Wayan could have made the game safe for Persija but instead from 6 yards put the ball into orbit when all he had to do was keep the bloody thing down and it was job done.

Final score 1-0 Persija but they did their best to blow it!


Arema Malang v Sidoarjo Deltras 3-0

This East Javan Derby simmered for the first 15 minutes before exploding in a flurry of yellow cards and missed chances. In a 20 minute spell Arema ran riot as they tore Sidoarjo apart, especially down the right hand side. But all too often the final ball was poor or the fininshing woeful. It could have been game over but Arema weren't able to score until the 37th minute when Mbamba sent the Sidoarjo keeper the wrong way with a penalty.

The goal jolted the visitors, known as the Lobster, and twice in two minutes Arema had cause to thank the offside rule. Within seconds of falling behind Sidoarjo had the ball in the net. Seconds later and Sasa sliding in saw his effort beat Hendro in the Arema goal only to agonisingly scrape the far post. Both chances came from free kicks whipped into the danger area. Both times Arema got lucky.

In the last minute of injury time it was Deltras turn to thank lady luck. Ortizan broke down the right and his delicious cross found Mbamba in enough space to build an oil tanker. Unfortunately he was less accurate from open play than the spot kick and his head sailed harmlessly over the bar.

Half time 1-1

Second half and Arema double their lead. Slack defending at a corner saw Suroso have a free poke and Arema had the cushion their play deserved.

Sidoarjo, with their own galaxy of foreign legionnaires, were strangely quiet. Pranetto had moments and Sebastion threatened from set pieces but there was little of the cutting edge that had seen them score all but two of Deltras goals this season.

For Arema Mbamba was imperious driving from midfield at the heart of all their good work. He fully deserved his second, fortuitous though it was, as he found space in the box and his stab trickled beneath the visiting keeper.

Hendro Kartiko was replaced midway during the second half as he took a nasty knock while smothering a soft shot. Later TV shots showed him looking decidely grogging receiving treatment pitch side. Achmed Kurniawan took his place seamlessly between the sticks and soon saved well from a free kick. Arema are lucky indeed to have two of the best keepers in the country on their books.

Mbamba had a chance of a hat trick but finished wildly, lacking the subtlety and guile to beat the keeper from 8 yards.

Following on from the Persija v PSIS this was Indonesian football at its best. A large, fanatical crowd, two committed teams playing attacking football I really can't wait to visit Arema and drink the experience for my self. TV here doesn't come close to relaying the experience fully.


First Division

Monday's First Division final in Solo sees Persikad Depok take on Persibo Bojonegoro. Depok is a satelitte of Jakarta while Bojonegoro is in East Java


Persijap get vertigo

Persijap Jepara spurned the opportunity to go top of Group 2 losing 1-0 at struggling Bali. Elsewhere Solo got a point at Perseabaya and Sriwijaya beat Persita Tangerang.


Coca Cola Cup Schools Football

I popped along to the police stadium in Blok M to catch some of this yesterday. There is so little in the way of organised schools football here, the least I could do was to take in some of what there was. As ever with Indonesian football the crowds took centre stage. It was like a normal Liga Indonesia game with fans singing and dancing as they supported their team. There was a lovely moment when one song featured an expletive and a policeman came over and asked them to stop using bad words!

The games were played on pint sized pitches by pint sized boys and the ones I saw were a lot of fun. Some good touches, a couple of good goals and plenty of woeful defending. Oh, and you get the impression these guys have been perhaps practising their goal celebration technique...

The finals are today but I've got a hangover so not going. They have a website here if you would like to know more and can read Indonesian.

Pix from yesterday can be found here.

Fair play to the sponsors and the police for organising this. Does it work? Yesterday I met a player from Barito Putra, a second division team, who had played in the cup way back when. He was over watching the games and keeping an eye out for local talent. Kudos to his club for taking this approach and looking to the future of the game here and not just regurgitating mediocre foreign players.


Friday, September 07, 2007


Packaging Football

Every Monday we get a TV programme that highlights the previous weekends Premier League fixtures with some interviews and stats that is put together and marketed by a private company. This is on top of the similar coverage provided by ESPN. It's also probably the one time the other 16 clubs get equal exposure as the big 3 + Chelsea.

Interest in Asian football has never been higher after a successful Asian Cup. The Champions League resumes soon with live coverage available on satellite TV and we also have a couple of programmes devoted to Asian football. Top Corner focuses on the game in South East Asia while Football Asia looks at the whole region. There is interest and there is a market.

Surely it's time for local broadcasters to get in on the act and package their highlights and flog them. What happenes to the film of a game after it has gone out live? Does it sit on a shelf and gather dust or just binned? What a waste! Surely the cost involved in putting together a highlights magazine show is peanuts in the big scheme of things. By utislising existing film then that original broadcast has a value that goes above and beyond the live experience. Throw in a couple of hours, well maybe more, in the editing room and add some graphics and surely you're on your way to packaging local football to a far wider audience. Awareness increases blah blah blah.

Two obvious contenders would be the SLeague and the Liga Indonesia. A weekly magazine aired round the region with participation encouraged from viewers and you have Persija and Tampines reaching the homes of millions on a regular basis. It seems a no brainer to this non media type I'm convinced someone has already thought of it and decided it was a non starter for some reason.


Woodlands Wellington v Tampines Rovers - update

Original here

Following the abandonment of the NTUC Income-YEO’S S.League match between Woodlands Wellington and Tampines Rovers on 5 September 2007, the S.League Competitions Division has ruled that the match will be awarded to Tampines Rovers with a scoreline of 2-0.

The match was abandoned in the 60th minute after Woodlands Wellington staged a walk out and failed to resume play. Woodlands Wellington are thus deemed to have contravened Rule 8.3.4 (b) of Section A of the S.League Rules of failing to fulfil an engagement or play its fixture on the appointed date.

The S.League takes a very serious view of this incident and is currently awaiting the submission of reports from all relevant parties before the Disciplinary Committee convenes to decide on the next course of action.

6 September 2007

Related story:
Woodlands - Tampines match abandoned


Crowd trouble

It’s very easy for me to type and pontificate to an audience of dozens about just what Indonesia should be doing to make it’s game a more attractive product but I’m an outsider and no one is going to listen to me. More telling is what Indonesians themselves think about the hooliganism that affects the game and how to stop it.

A recent survey carried out by a sports tabloid made interesting reading. 410 people responded to the question ‘What should be done about violence from fans towards players and officials?’

More than a third were happy with the status quo. 34% said the Indonesian FA should sanction offenders. This happens at the moment of course and that fact that incidents carry on despite games being played behind closed doors, despite fines, shows the effectiveness of this measure. Nearly 15% think the supporters clubs should be banned. Prostitution is illegal here but still goes on!

It is telling that most of the options given in the survey related to punishment, not to prevention. Just over 8 % said more needed to be done to engage the supporter while less than 5 % believed the security officials should be proactive.

People don’t like the police here. That is a view shared by all the Indonesians I know be they business people or kampong folk. The police are seen as working with outstretched arms, one to beat and one to collect money. At football matches police are dressed up like budget robocops but this is less fro intimidation and more protection as any disturbance is liable to turn against them. So when fans climb the fences that surround the pitch the police offer little more than ‘would you please not do that’ before running away. When they get active with their riot sticks you can be sure they have numbers on their side.

Perhaps the media could be doing more? Instead of debating punishments perhaps they could talk more about prevention. At the end of the day it’s going to take a lot of will from parties involved, which will necessarily include an arm of the security apparatus. It will also take money.

Thursday, September 06, 2007


PSIM Yogyakarta v PKT Bontang

After crowd trouble, this is getting boring, where PSIM fans attacked the ref in the recent Persiba Balikpapan game, this game is being played without fans.

Half time and PSIM are 1-0 up.

Finished 1-0


Super Liga 2008

We haven't finished this season yet but already those forward thinking chaps at the FA are turning their attention to next season when the league sees another revamp.

In comes an 18 team Liga Super which will be made up of the teams that finish in the top 9 in both Group 1 and 2. Based on todays standings that would mean the following teams next season in the new league:

Persib, PSMS, Sriwijaya, Persija, Persik, Persita, PJ Purwakarta, PSDS, PSS, Persipura, Persiwa, Persijap, PSM, Sidoarjo, Persiter, Persmin, Persiba Balikpapan, Persibom.

Arema, PSIS, Persebaya and Persis Solo are among those clubs who will be anxious to climb the table in the second of the season.

Beneath the Liga Super comes and 18 team Premier Division comprising the 18 clubs who don't make the cut. The bottom 4 in each Group this season are slated to be relegated to Division One which next season will have 40 clubs. And it could be these guys:

Persikota Tangerang City, S Padang, PSSB Bireuen, Persiraja Banda Aceh, Perseman Manokwari, PSIM Yogyakarta, Bali and Persekabpas.


Midweek wrap

Persib Bandung v Persikabo Bogor 1-1 25,000
PSS Sleman v Persikota Tangerang C 2-0 10,000
S Padang v Persela Lamongan 0-1 1,000
Persija Jakarta v PSIS 2-2 12,000

Persekabpas v Arema 1-1 15,000
Persipura v Persmin 0-0 17,000
Persiwa v Persiter 3-0 7,000

1. Persib 25 13 7 5 35-19 46
2. Medan 24 13 4 7 32-17 43
3. Persija 25 13 4 8 35-28 43
4. Sriwijaya 23 12 6 5 39-21 42

1. Persipura 25 12 7 6 40-21 43
2. Persiwa 25 13 4 8 37-23 43
3. Persijap 24 12 6 6 26-20 42
4. PSM 24 12 4 8 28-21 40


Indonesia to play UAE?

Gulf News is reporting the UAE have lined up a friendly against Indonesia on 23 September in UAE.

This game, if confirmed, is sandwiched between friendlies in Singapore and Bangkok and comes during the fasting season.

Whatever the status of this game, I do know the Indonesian FA are looking at sending the Under 23 team to Argentina during Ramadhan to help prepare for the South East Asian Games in Bangkok (?) it's worth checking the Gulf News link and see how much they have lined up for the UAE national team.

If only Indonesia had such vision...


Stadiums in Jakarta

Persija Jakarta are a big club with a giant fan base. Approximately 40,000 people are members of their supporters’ club, The Jakmania. It may not be on a par with teams like Manchester United or Real Madrid but it is still pretty substantial. The crowds milling round the stadium at half time during yesterday’s game against PSIS represent revenue wasted as the club count the costs of various fines imposed because of crowd behaviour plus of course the not unsubstantial costs in hiring foreign players. Lebuk Bulus, with an official capacity of 12,500 is plainly insufficient to meet the needs of the capital city’s premier club.

There are plans to develop the South Jakarta stadium and increase the capacity to 30,000 but again one can’t help but wonder if that is big enough. Persija fans often made up about one third of the support during the recent Asian Cup and at the Liga Indonesia final back in 2005 some 80,000 fans were cheering on the home team. Of course as the stadium increases in capacity so the crowd control measures increase and as Lebuk Bulus has shown even small crowds present difficulties. Any increase in capacity needs to be in tandem with improved security and crowd control measures.

Gelora Bung Karno is Indonesia’s national stadium but with a capacity of 88,000 is probably too much for regular Liga games. Its location, right in the heart of Jakarta’s CBD, isn’t conducive to regular large crowds and the 5 * hotels would soon be up in arms with thousands of football fans roaming the streets every match day. Likewise, Lebuk Bulus, while located next to a freeway and near to the projected Jakarta mass transit system, is well served for transport ( a relative term in Jakarta) but being in well to do South Jakarta it’s surprising the NIMBYs haven’t made more noise.

The old Menteng Stadium also suffered from its location. Slap bang in the heart of old money Jakarta, minutes from the swanky malls of Thamrin and Embassy land, this heritage site is no more. Nearby is a stadium in Kuningan but again the area is oh so middle class and the facilities are worse than Lebuk Bulus. The nomadic Persitara North Jakarta have had a couple of homes recently but neither would suit for Persija. Tugu is far too small while Muara Kamal, their present home, has problems with access.

It would perhaps make economic sense were Persija to get involved with the University Indonesia in developing their new40,000 capacity stadium but economic sense doesn’t equal political sense as Depok, a Jakartan overspill, is a city of it’s own right in a different province.

Probably renovating Lebuk Bulus is the best of a meager bunch of options. There is little enough space in Jakarta for anything other than a mall and moving out of town is probably not a serious option though it has happened before. (Both Sriwijaya and Pelita Jaya originally started life in Jakarta). Places like Sleman, home of PSS, and Soerang, where Persikab Bandung District play, have shown the way forward. It’s a nonsense the country’s capital city can’t provide an adequate venue for it’s biggest team.


Woodlands walk off in crucial SLeague game

A few weeks back as I was sat on the stone terraces at an SLeague game I was mulling over to what extent football is a mirror of society. Indonesia. Colourful, passionate, ill disciplined yet raw and energetic. Germany. Efficient, reliable. England. Commerce driven. Everything has its price. Singapore. Organized, polite. There was the makings of an article.

Instead I will refer you to this post!

An eventful evening in SLeague football saw SAF return to the top beating Senggal Punggol 3-0 with Alexander Duric scoring just one goal. The real headlines came at Woodlands where Tampines were leading 2-0 when the home players walked off en masse! I can imagine that in Indonesia, after all Persita coach Benny Dollo is a master of the walk off but at least he returns when his dummy has been returned. Last night there was no such encore.

I saw Woodlands a few weeks back, at SAF oddly enough, and I remarked at the time their German coach was spitting Teutonic vitriol at the officials in that game. Obviously I don’t know the circumstances behind last nights action and this post isn’t really about that, more an exciting night of SLeague action with a dash of unSingaporean indiscipline ( a couple of overweight negatives!!) thrown in for good measure.

It’s a shame we don’t get the games live! It would have made for a great evenings entertainment seeing first Persija in a ding dong battle with PSIS then Tampines at Woodlands not forgetting of course the lethal Singapore Armed Forces arsenal.

Asian football at its best, yesterdays’ events have washed away the bad taste left by the East Java Derby on Tuesday.


Wednesday, September 05, 2007


Persija Jakarta v PSIS Semarang 2-2

This crucial game saw its kick off delayed by some 20 minutes because of crowd congestion outside the the stadium but when it got under way PSIS started brightly with Julio Lopez instrumental.

Indeed JLo as he is known played a vital role when PSIS took the lead, passing on a give and go and allowing Abdurahman to finish neatly. A well worked goal, it sent the travelling fans into blue heaven.

Robertinho equalised on the half hour mark, a free header from a corner beating the defender on the near post. It was the Argentinian's first goal since arriving at the club during the mid season break

1-1 half time with hundreds of fans locked outside

Two minutes into the second half and Bambang scores a sumptious second for Persija. Aliyudin played the ball square and BP allowed the ball to run across the front of him, wrongfooting the hapless PSIS defender, finishing well from 18 yards. Bambang's 12th of the season. A minute later and Ilham was through but stumbled at the last moment. PSIS are looking ragged early second half.

PSIS did fight their way back into the game and on 78 minutes equalised when someone broke the offside trap and beat the keeper with a low drive across him, nestling in the far corner.

2-2 final score


Moving office

Not too long ago I moved office. Not very far, just from the first floor down to the ground. But in that short move everything has changed. The door is in a different place. The air conditioner doesn't have a remote control meaning I have to climb on a chair to turn it on and off. My desk top faces a wall, in my old office I could look out the window while I contemplated the absurdities of Indonesian football.

The chairs aren't as comfortable now though I'm assured they will be replaced soon. The ceiling lights are at funny angles. The neighbours are noisier. Between the office and the corridor is a waiting area but I can never find the light switch. The cleaners don't seem to have been told I have moved so I have a large pile of unread Jakarta Posts collecting dust in a corner.

Golly, I sound like a professional footballer...


Malaysia Cup Final

This Saturday sees the showpiece of the Malaysian season when Kedah take on Perak, coached by Englishman Steve Darby, in the final of the Malaysian Cup at Bukit Jalil Stadium.

Perak have won the cup 7 times, the last time being in 2000. Kedah have just a couple of wins under their belt, the last being in 1993 when they beat Singapore.

Perlis, another northern state, have appeared in the last three finals, winning twice but this season couldn't get past Perak in the quarter finals, loing 5-3 on aggregate.

I was in KL on the day of the 2004 Final when Perlis beat Kedah 1-0 to record their first ever win the Cup but I didn't go. Went to the Green Man instead!

You'd think after going to all the trouble of getting my Malaysian satelitte dish installed they might at least show the game but oh no...



SLeague latest

Two thirds of the way through the season and the SLeague three horse race shows no sign of lagging. Last night Home United beat the Super Reds 2-1 at Bishan Stadium to leapfrong SAF FC back to the top spot.

Tonight sees Tampines travel to Woodlands hoping for three points of their own to keep hanging on. At the same time SAF travel to struggling Sengkang hoping for a win of their own.
With games on an almost daily basis the SLeague is dishing up some quality entertainment and the 3 pace setters show no sign of slacking as they enter the final third of the season. Picking a winner at the moment is for the brave as each side has its own qualities that will stand them in good stead.

Singapore Armed Forces, led by Duric who has scored a phenomenal 28 goals this season, score goals for fun, averaging nearly 3 a game. Home United are a resiliant bunch as their display against Geylang recently showed when they came from behind with 2 late goals in injury time. Tampines have been there and done that and of course they have the Noh Alam Shah factor.

It's an exciting season for football in Singapore and the climax looks to be a real nail biter. It's a shame more fans don't get out and attend some games.

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