30 July 2011

Janeo: Azkals need long-term preparation

By Jerome S. Galunan Jr.

THE 2-1 setback suffered by the Philippine Men’s Football National Team-Azkals last Thursday night and the 3-nil upset on an away game last Saturday in the hands of the much stronger Kuwait-Al Azraq squad only justified that the nationals are less prepared in the bid for the 2014 World Cup.

For a team with players playing together in less than a year, expectation should not be that high, compared to a squad that has bonded for several years. This was clearly seen during the match between the Azkals and Azraq.

The lack of familiarization among the Azkals has caused the squad’s numerous unsuccessful run during the match.

These were the observations of PFF-Suzuki U23 National Cup champion Negros-Ceres Team assistant coach Ramon Janeo.

He said that the Azkals lacked communication during the match.

“Hindi nila masyado kilala ang isa’t isa. Ito marahil ay dahil sa maiksing panahon sa pagbuo ng team,” Janeo theorized.

“So dapat ang gawin ng Philippine Football Federation is to plan a long term team preparation. Hindi ‘yong isang buwan na lang ang game o tournament, doon pa lang tayo mag-start sa pagbuo ng team,” Janeo stressed.

But Janeo commended the efforts of the Azkals during the Thursday match. “With regard to the team’s performance, ok naman kahit natalo because they played hard together,” he said.

On the other hand, Azkals media officer Rick Olivares disclosed that national team head coach Michael Weiss admitted during the post-game press conference that they have given Kuwait lots of space to score. Likewise, they were also concerned with Kuwait’s speed all series long.

Olivares further shared Weiss’ notes that if Phil Younghusband scored early and if Angel Guirado nailed that header, that would have been a very big boost. But they were unable to finish properly.

However, if Weiss was sparing in his praise, Kuwait was more effusive, Olivares said.

He reiterated that Kuwati forward Hamad Al-Enezi said that if the Azkals keep what they are doing, the Filipinos will be an Asian power in two or maybe four years. He said that the Azkals have the skills and the players and only need to keep them together.

The media officer also added that Kuwait coach Goran Tefugdzic admitted that it was a challenge playing the Philippines, adding, that the nationals gave them trouble in both Legs but their experience brought them to victory.

As of the moment, the focus of the national team will be the Under-23 squad which will compete in the Southeast Asian Games this coming November in Indonesia and the next phase of the AFC Challenge Cup.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on July 30, 2011.


  1. Its impossible to let a team play together for more than 1 month.Does assistant coach Ramon Janeo knows what he is saying? He suppose to be a coach. Now tell me if you can find a National football team in this globe that plays together for more than 2months before a tournament. The national team is a temporary team for a football player, its like a weekend team for them, the club is their priority. You cant change that, unless you can convince a whole team not to play for a club and pay them enough just to play for the national team. DORK

  2. ^^Agreed! It's as if he wants the PFF to create an equivalent to Smart Gilas of basketball.... a club team that acts as a national team. It's just really stupid to say the least!

  3. Azkals = Philippine football. As of now, the local grassrots and leagues are nowhere near any SEA standards. Even Brunei have pro leagues that are far better than the leagues in the Philippines. Azkals might have developed alot the past couple of years, but the state of the sport is moving very slowly. We are lucky to have a manager with a big pocket, otherwise we would still be the whipping boys of Asia. Kuwaits coach may be right that the azkals might improve to be in the top 10 in Asia within a decade or even before that, but its not with the help of local players.