10 June 2012

Limpag: Let’s stop babying the Azkals

By Mike T. Limpag
Fair Play
Sunday, June 10, 2012
IT SEEMS some interesting things are still happening online because of that 2-2 draw against Indonesia at the Rizal Memorial Stadium last week, and one of the talking points is the criticism the team got because it drew a match it was dominating.
I really don’t agree with most of the criticisms because it was a friendly and we just drew Indonesia but I don’t agree, too, with how the critics are being pictured as folks on high horses who heap added burden to the players with their unreasonable demands.

Now that’s pretty unfair because no matter what these critics say about the 2-2 draw, for those 90 minutes against Indonesia they were there screaming their hearts out for the Azkals.
While I was happy that the team that we once feared now fear us, and were contented to fight to a draw, I don’t think it was too much for some to expect that we beat them.
And besides, the Azkals are the national football team, not the national untouchable team, and we can’t keep on babying the players. The one-year honeymoon the team got after Vietnam was enough and if they make a mistake, they deserved to be told, bluntly.
The Azkals, too, have to learn there’s a difference between a cynic and a critic and that just because fans are criticizing a result doesn’t mean they’ll forever abandon the squad. They’ll be there, through thick and thin, supporting the squad, and hopefully, to criticize them when needed.
They are fans, not robots pre-programmed to talk about the positive when all they want is a chance to air their gripe.
This “let’s not be critical” approach has some negative repercussions on some players, particularly locals, who I’ve heard are starting to resent fans--why is it when locals make a mistake it’s open season for criticisms but when those based abroad do, there’s next to nothing?
While the writer of the article “Azkal fans need to stay positive” was unhappy with the criticisms, I am happy. Because for me, that’s a sign that we have reached a new level in the support for football—there’s a national discussion on the sport and like all great discussions, this one is not a one-way street.
Besides, did you know what happened the last time criticisms were hurled at the team during a series of friendlies? They got their first medal.
So guys—whether you agree with each or not—keep on talking. You all play a part.
The Azkals’ next match will be against Guam, and while Coach Michael Weiss has said he will still field his strongest lineup against the lowly-ranked team, I’m hoping he’d give the starting jobs to guys like Ian Araneta, Ed Sacapano and other locals who have stuck with the team.
It would be a while when these guys would get the chance to play for the flag in front of their kababayans against a team that is not relatively strong and making them start is for me, a just reward.
But, that’s just me.

Sun Star Cebu


  1. Shut up Limfag. We should give Araneta, Boogie Hoofs Margarse to the Guamanians to get them off our backs. They're shit. I'm sure Guam will cursing us for giving them crap players. Why Araneta is still with the team after years of 0 goals? Hi uncle! Get the message?

  2. Mr. Limpag, there's a contradiction when you wish for a stop to the babying of the Azkals and then endorse the use of a friendly match against a weaker team for sentimental reasons to allow older members of the team to play as a reward.

    If you wish to reward those old timers, arrange for a testimonial match upon the announcement of their retirement from international competition so they can give way to the development and rise of younger deserving players. Now if those old timers are still intent in trying to hold a place in the national team, then let them earn a spot to start or play in a match like everyone else.

    Ironic isn't it? Because letting older members of the team play as a reward for their long service sounds much like babying to me also.

  3. I agree a 100% to this article. Not easy to do, when the main Azkals page on Facebook are manned by incompetent Kaholero morons who like no better than to keep hugging the Azkals' nuts just because they have a "crush" on them. LOL.

  4. I have something to say but before this I would like to tell of the friendly match between Brazil and Argentina the other night. The score was 4-3, Argentina won. 3 goals score by the "great" Lionel Messi + 1 by Fernandez while the Brazilians 1-Romulo, 1-Oscar, 1-Hulk. Neymar was also there but he did not score a goal, but he was great as well.
    There was also a fight where one was ejected like what happened between our NT and Indon NT.
    They played in Metlife Stadium, New Jersey.
    It was a great game with an attendance of 80,000 plus fans both Agentinian, Brazilian, Amricans and others.
    I saw one of the greatest football match ever with great players. Their oldest player is 24.

    Now my point here as an example of this match is that Brazil and Argentina are not their level right now of football paly because they jumped from step 1 to step 200.

    They started from simple guys who played football and played with another group of guys and tried to be the best.

    To be the best is to work hard and practice and played against the best with your best. I emphasize the best of a person.

    The NT (aka Azkals) needs to be at their best form. The team and the team members should be the best and I emphasize "should be the best". Coach Weiss right now is in a situation where his NT will play against the best of a country, usually a NT, it might be Malaysia, Indonesia or Guam. I am not pointing low or higher ranked. He is thinking the best of a certain country.

    Therefore you have to field you best and he may or may not use his other best but he will definitely try to use his best to get a win. It is crazy you are only playing just to play, you have to win to gauge your team's improvement.

    Here we can see how and what is the character of our NT members. For me it is a great privilege to play for the flag and country and to wear the uniform. But they should not expect to play all the time because this is a team game managed by a coach. If they have complains then they have to speak to the coach about it, it is but human to gripe but it is not right to not say it to the face of the person in charge.
    To be part of an elite team you have to be at your best. It is our country's name on the line. before we fear them, now they are the one's who fears and talks about us. Isn't that improvement.
    I have nothing to say anymore.

  5. mike limpag glory hunter