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Milan Macala, a CEO Wannabe?
I begin with a brief history of Mr. Milan Macala on football in our region since 1996 until today.
Macala took Kuwait to victory in the Gulf Cup twice (1996, 1998).
However, the Czech veteran was sacked by the Saudi football association in October 2000 after defeating Japan in the Asian Nations Cup. He was finally hired by the Omani Football Association to act as the head coach of the Omani national team. Let us follow its journey in Oman and outline its benefits 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 improved our skills and tactics significantly and as a result, we qualified for the finals of the Asia Cup in 2004 for the first time under his reign. Although this may not seem like a big achievement but for us it was an impressive one. Since then, Oman have become a feared team in the region if not in the whole of Asia and have climbed up in the FIFA ranking system.
In 2004, we competed in the Gulf Cup, the most prestigious competition for the GCC countries, organized by Qatar. The teams in the cup were divided into 2 groups and Oman managed to give an excellent performance which saw them face the host country, Qatar, in a dream final for all Omanis,
But we lost despite the fact that we had an incredible chance to win the cup in the penalty shootout. Nevertheless, the players and technical staff were greeted as winners and champions when they arrived in their homeland, Oman.
“I’ve given everything I can and it’s time for me to move on.”
Yes, these are the words that veteran Macala expressed. He then left to coach United Arab Emirates club Al Ain where he was constantly under fire to produce results and never rise to the club’s expectations. He was finally released soon after.
Macala came back! yes he came back to train the Omani national team again. Wait, but he said he has nothing to offer the team as he has offered them all he has!?
Well 10,000 riyals/month villa and car(s) could make an unproductive monkey become the CEO of Microsoft.
Long story short, Macala took over once again. The reins and his coaching skills came into play, but not his tactics; which I will discuss later in the article. We beat Pakistan 4-1 away and 5-0 at home. Then we beat 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 defeat! that is impressive. Well it’s not impressive! With all due respect to the Pakistani national team, beating them 4-1 and 5-0 is not an impossible task and beating UAE 2-1 when we should, at least, have won at least 3 goals is not. Losing to Jordan 0-3, bearing in mind we had beaten them 3-0 at home earlier in the first leg, was a shock to most, if not all, of the locals! Go ahead 3-0! Anyone who has seen the game would tell you that the players are playing at almost a walking pace with no interest and that Macala is probably day dreaming. With this defeat, we qualified for the Asian football cup, 2007, but our position in the group was second behind United Arab Emirates. The latter fact will certainly have an impact on our group placement, the Asia Cup draw.
We then competed in the Asian Games in Doha, Qatar. Everyone who knows the slightest bit of football thought that Oman would compete with their second line or the youth national team to give them more exposure without jeopardizing the reputation of the national team at the same time for most of the other countries to join their youth line. -ups and second squads. But that didn’t happen. Milan went to Doha and took the national side with him, without a few players.
First match they beat Malaysia, unconvincingly, 3-1 although it can be argued that Malaysia played better for long periods of the game. Then we lost to Iraq 2-0. What? Oman lost to the Iraqi second side team ? Then we lost to China 2-1. The summary of this competition was as follows: 2 losses and one win and 3 red cards! (for Bader Al Maymani against Iraq and Fawzi Basheer and Ahmed Hadeed against China). Now tell me is that impressive or what?
I haven’t been talking about Macala to be honest, I’ve just summarized some of our encounters in 2006 but here’s the gist, Macala as a person is perhaps the best coach around, he’s a father figure to’ r all the players but as a tactician, he is probably a monkey who hopes to become the CEO of Microsoft.
“To be a Monkey or not to be.”
Anyone who knows a thing or two about tactics will recognize that Mr Macala is lacking in this; he might be an efficient master in coaching skills but not in tactics. An average viewer can establish this fact by watching him use his substitutes and use his ordinary tactics. I list below some, out of many, of its dangers:
1. Originally, Khalifa Ayel is an excellent midfielder but Milan insist on using him in the center of defence, ignoring his natural position in the side of his club, Qatar’s Al Sudd.
2. Bader Al Maymani is not an out and out striker and is more of a playmaker (refer back to his position at his club, Qatar’s Al Ahli), quite one too at times, but Milan are again demanding to be partnered up with Emad in the 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 set. Personally, I believe there are only a few players who are effective at the moment and those are our captain Mohamed Rabia, Fawzi Basheer (with Sultan Al Tooqi as his natural subordinate), Hussain Modhafar and Imad Al Hosni . I am not against any of the players by any means but some have gone quite far and have been flying under the radar recently.
4. I’m not sure if Milan even bothers to explore new players and new talents. Personally I don’t think he even watches the domestic league otherwise what’s the excuse to ignore players like the top goalscorer and MVP of the season…etc. Where is Mohammed Ahmed Taqi? Why is Ibraheem Al Ghailani in the first eleven? Why do we have to live with one goalkeeper and if he is not available we turn to a 40 year old goalkeeper that Jordan player scored a goal on from the middle of the field, while falling to the ground that too!!
5. His tactics during the game can only be described as immature. Whether the team wins or loses the formations would look exactly the same! Ok simple question, if we play against a weak team, why don’t we play with 3 attackers? and if we play against a strong team why don’t we play with one striker? why does it always have to be the same? Other coaches have already deciphered Macala’s code and can easily read his OLD mind as can the average viewer! You don’t have to have a degree in rocket science to conclude that Macala has absolutely no tactics. It depends on the same players all the time on every occasion and in every competition and if one player is injured or suspended, then you will be in for a festival of funny and sad events directed by our beloved coach.
As an example to the point above, against United Arab Emirates, the Omani team was in complete control of the ball and could have won with a margin of at least 3 goals if Macala had read the game like a professional coach. Why didn’t we play with three strikers?
I remembered another example, in our game against KSA in the 2003 Gulf Cup in Kuwait we got the lead through Emad (Imad) Al Hosni in the 61st minute. The brilliant tactician immediately took out the goal scorer. Any coach in the world would know the fact that scoring a goal gives even more motivation and more power to the striker but Mr Milan thought otherwise. In case you are wondering, yes we lost the match.
I have written a lot but I am not sure if I have successfully conveyed my point. Well my point is that Macala has nothing to add to the well being of our national team and as such he should say goodbye as soon as possible, with thanks. To put it in perspective, the team assists and helps Macala and not the other way around. Wait, is that your opinion or his that he made clear when he left for UAE? Well let’s say we’ve both said it.
“Where to Heal, or is it?”
The Omani 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 new talents and introduce them to the coach instead of the current ones who are resurrecting the dead! (Hint: Suleiman Khamis)
3. A better and organized football association, whose members are elected by public vote. Right now we don’t need a fishing expert, a farmer and a few businessmen who have never watched a football game until they were appointed as caretakers of the Omani team and future planners. No thank you. We need fresh blood, not a 70 year old Goose. We need people who know what football is all about not people who think the players are just chasing the ball on the pitch without a purpose.
4. We also need a reputable goalkeeper coach, fitness coaches (as it was clear from our games that the players lose their fitness significantly in the second half) and a better medical team.
5. The domestic league must also be taken care of and improved upon but that is a different topic that needs its own separate topic.
This is shaping up to be a huge and huge post and so I have chosen to stop writing as I think I have made my point quite clearly, with evidence.
So to sum up this article, Macala has nothing to offer, he has no tactics and knowledge on how to play mind games and therefore must be shown the door before the Omani team can see the door in The upcoming Gulf Cup in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (starting on the 17th of Jan) in a manner similar to the way they were shown the door at the Asian Games a few weeks ago.
So do you think monkeys can really become CEOs?
This article was published in SoccerBlaze.com
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