BY BONG PEDRALVEZ
SHOULD Mark Hartmann be included to the national football team for the 26th Indonesia Southeast Asian Games?
That’s the dilemma facing German coach Michael Weiss who has yet to decide the fate of the gifted yet temperamental midfielder with less than a month left before the SEA Games men’s football championships kick off in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta.
While acknowledging the skills of the 19-year-old Hartmann, Weiss is having second thoughts because of "attitude problems," according to a source close to the Weiss.
"He (Hartmann) thinks he is already a star," the source quoted the German mentor, who has put his foot down on the prima donna antics of his players in the past, preferring to leave them out of the squad even if they are talented.
The source said given the short preparation time, Weiss could ill afford to have a "disruptive influence" and would be willing to sacrifice Hartmann to maintain team harmony.
A case in point is Fil-Dutch midfielder Jason de Jong, who previously had problems with Weiss because of his ill-tempered behavior and was left out of the Azkals’ several international outings.
De Jong has learned to toe the line and has since mended fences with his coach, paving the way for his return with the nationals since the Long Teng Invitational Cup in Taiwan.
In fact, De Jong, 21, is tipped to be the team captain of the National Under-23 squad that will see action in the SEA Games.