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Milan Macala, a CEO Wannabe?
I will begin with a brief history of Mr. Milan Macala in football in our region since 1996 until now.
Macala, led Kuwait to victory in the Gulf Cup twice (1996, 1998). He then briefly led the United Arab Emirates in 1997 before being hired by the Saudi federation.
The Czech veteran was however sacked by Saudi Arabia’s football association in October 2000 following its defeat to Japan in the Asian Cup of Nations. He was eventually hired by the Oman Football Association to act as the head coach of the Oman national team. Let’s follow his journey to Oman and describe its advantages and pitfalls.
No one can deny the great and important role that Milan Macala has played over the years with our Omani national team. He has significantly improved our skills and tactics and as a result, we qualified for the 2004 Asian Cup finals for the first time under his rule. Although this may not seem like a huge achievement, it was an impressive one for us. Since then, Oman have become a formidable team in the region, if not the whole of Asia, and have climbed up the FIFA ranking system.
In 2004, we competed in the Gulf Cup, the most prestigious competition for GCC countries, hosted by Qatar. The teams in the cup were divided into 2 groups and Oman managed to put in a great performance that saw them face the host nation, Qatar, in a dream final for all Omanis.
But we lost, despite the fact that we had an incredible chance to win the cup on penalties. However, the players and coaching staff were greeted as winners and champions upon their arrival in their home soil of Oman.
“I’ve given everything I can and it’s time for me to move on.”
Yes, these were the words muttered by the veteran Macala. He then left to coach United Arab Emirates club Al Ain, where he was constantly under fire for producing results and never lived up to the club’s expectations. He was finally released shortly after.
Macala is back! yes, he came back again to coach Oman’s national team. Wait, but he said he has nothing to offer the team after giving everything he has!?
Well, 10,000 riyals/month a villa and car(s) can make an unproductive monkey become the CEO of Microsoft.
Long story short, Macala took over once again. His reigns and coaching skills materialized, but not his tactics; which I will discuss later in the article. We beat Pakistan 4-1 away and 5-0 at home. We then beat the United Arab Emirates 2-1 at home and finally lost to Jordan 0-3 away during the Asian Cup qualifiers in 2006. Okay 3 wins and 1 loss! which is impressive. Well impressive isn’t it! With all due respect to the Pakistan national team, beating them 4-1 and 5-0 is not an impossible task, nor beating the United Arab Emirates 2-1 when we should have won by at least 3 goals. Losing to Jordan 0-3, considering we had beaten them 3-0 at home earlier in the first leg, was a shock to most, if not all, of the home team! Come 3-0! Anyone who watched the game would tell you that the players were playing almost at a walking pace with zero interest and Macala was day dreaming. With this defeat we qualified for the 2007 Asian Football Cup, but our group ranking was second behind the United Arab Emirates. The latter fact will surely affect our group placement in the Asian Cup draw.
We then competed in the Asian Games in Doha, Qatar. Everyone who knows a little about football thought that Oman will compete with its second team or youth national team to give it more exposure, while not risking the reputation of the national team as most other countries have joined their youth line. -rise and second teams. But that didn’t happen. Milan went to Doha and took the national team with them, without some players.
The first game we beat Malaysia, unconvincingly, 3-1, although undoubtedly Malaysia played better for long periods of the match. Then we lost to Iraq 2-0. What ? Oman lost to a second Iraqi team? Then we lost to China 2-1. The summary of this competition was as follows: 2 defeats and a victory and 3 red cards! (for Bader Al Meimanin v. Iraq and Fawzi Basheer and Ahmed Hadeed v. China). Now tell me is it impressive or what?
I haven’t talked about Macala really, I’ve just summarized some of our meetings in 2006, but here’s the main point, Macala as a person might be the best coach around, he’s a father figure to all the players, but as a tactically, he’s probably a monkey hoping to become CEO of Microsoft.
“To be a monkey or not to be.”
Anyone who knows a thing or two about tactics will admit that Mr. Macala is lacking in this aspect; he could be an efficient master in training skills, but not in tactics. An average viewer can attest to this fact when watching him use his substitutions and use his mediocre tactics. Below I am listing some of its many pitfalls:
1. Khalifa Ayel is initially an excellent midfielder, but Milan insist on using him in the center of defence, ignoring his natural position at his club, Qatar’s Al Sudd.
2. Bader Al Maymani is not an out-and-out striker and he is more of a playmaker (refer to his position at his club Al Ahli of Qatar), also such a player at times, but Milan still insist on partnering with to. with Emad in attack.
3. Players who are not up to the task either physically or mentally should be kicked out of the team and no coach in the world relies on the same players for 4 years!! the personnel must change, but the objective must be adjusted. I personally believe that only a few players at this stage are effective and they are our captain Mohamed Rabia, Fawzi Basheer (with Sultan Al Tooqi being his natural sub), Hussain Modhafar and Imad Al Hosni. By no means am I against any of the players, but some have gone a long way and flown under the radar recently.
4. I’m not sure if Milan bother to explore new players and new talents. I personally don’t think he even watches the local league, otherwise what’s the excuse for ignoring players like top scorer and MVP of the season…etc. Where is Muhammad Ahmed Taqi? Why is Ibrahim Al Ghailani in the starting eleven? Why do we have to live with a goalkeeper and if he is not available we turn to a 40 year old goalkeeper that a Jordanian player scored a goal from the center of the field while falling to the ground as well!!
5. His tactics during the game can only be described as immature. Whether the team is winning or losing the lineups will look identical! Ok a simple question, if we play against a weak team, why don’t we play with 3 strikers? and if we play against a strong team why not play with a striker? why does it always have to be the same? The other trainers have already cracked Macala’s code and can easily read his OLD mind, just like the average viewer! You don’t have to have a degree in rocket science to conclude that Macala has no tactics. It depends on the same players all the time in all occasions and in all competitions and if one player gets injured or suspended then you are in for a festival of funny and sad events directed by our beloved coach.
As an example for the above point, against the United Arab Emirates, the Omani team was in full control of the ball and could have won by at least 3 goals if Macala had read the game like a professional coach. Why didn’t we play with three strikers?
I just remembered another example, in our match against KSA in the 2003 Gulf Cup in Kuwait, we took the lead through Emad (Imad) Al Hosni in the 61st minute. The brilliant tactic brought out the scorer immediately. Every coach in the world would know the fact that scoring a goal gives the attacker even more motivation and more power, but Mr. Milan thought differently. In case you’re wondering, we lost the game.
I have written a lot but I am not sure if I have successfully communicated my point. Well my point is that Macala has nothing to add to the well being of our national team and therefore he should bid farewell at the earliest opportunity, with thanks. To put it in perspective, the team assists and helps Macala and not the other way around. Wait, are those your views or his that he made clear after leaving for the UAE? Well, let’s just say we both said it.
“Room for improvement, or is it?”
The Oman national team needs a few things to improve:
1. A new coach who is a master tactician, no I’m not talking about Jose Mourinho. Okay, he doesn’t have to be a master tactician, but one who knows a thing or two about tactics.
2. More experienced talent scouts who would bring in and introduce new talent to the coach instead of the current ones raising the dead! (Instruction: Suleiman Khamis)
3. A better and organized football association, whose members are elected by public vote. At this stage, we don’t need a fishing expert, a farmer and some business men who have never seen a football game to be appointed as Omani team caretakers and future planners. No thanks. We need fresh blood, not a 70 year old goose. We need people who know what football is about, not people who think the players are just chasing the ball around the pitch without a goal.
4. We also need a reputable goalkeeping coach, fitness coaches (as was evident from our games that players lose their fitness significantly in the second half) and a better medical team.
5. The domestic league also needs to be taken care of and improved, but this is another topic that needs a separate topic.
This is shaping up to be a big, gigantic post and that’s why I’ve chosen to stop writing as I think I’ve made my point clearly, with evidence.
So to summarize this article, Macala has nothing to offer, he has zero tactics and knowledge of how to play mind games and therefore should be shown the door before the Omani team is shown the door in the Cup next Gulf in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (starting on January 17) in a manner similar to how he was shown the door at the Asian Games a few weeks ago.
So do you think monkeys can really become CEOs?
This article was published on SoccerBlaze.com
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