22 February 2013

Limpag: Not the full picture

By Mike T. Limpag
Fair Play
Friday, February 22, 2013
WHEN coach Michael Weiss picked his team for the Myanmar friendly, I was pretty surprised with some of the names in there considering that a few weeks before that, we read about how the was batting for local talent to be in the team.
Sure there were locals in the team, but they weren’t exactly local talents, and I’m not talking about the Filipino-Europeans who are already based here. Guys in their mid-30s still in the squad and guys who said they were getting ready to retire from the international game still in there?
That lineup got fans to think and question whether the national coaching staff is scouting locals.
It turns out they were, at least that’s what I got from my interview with Coach Michael Weiss. The final lineup for the Myanmar game was just half the story, the other half was that of local players who get invited to the pool but didn’t show up. Coach Weiss told me about one player and his name stood out because it seems I had the same reaction with coach Weiss when I learned of his complaint.
The player said that he’d just go back to his club because he wasn’t going to get fielded in the national team.
Dude, there are players who work their butt off for a year and you expect a starting spot handed to you after just one training camp?
He also mentioned a few players who left camp without bothering to inform the staff. Coach Weiss said he was in the bus when he asked about the whereabouts of the three and he was told that they left, without bothering to inform the staff.
Now that’s a bit of a concern and I won’t readily dismiss them, since we only have half the story. Whatever the rest of the story is, it’s interesting—do these players have issues against the coaching staff? Or do they simply not have the heart for a camp?
Player selection is always a testy subject, as unless everybody makes the pool, there’s always that one guy who we think should be in there over that guy who shouldn’t be.
Back when Aries Caslib took over the squad in 2004, I remember hearing a few complaints from former members who said the San Beda guys have taken over as the former coach, who also handled San Beda, took some of his players.
In a way, coaches are allowed that. If they take over a squad, they’d have to work with players whom they are comfortable with, whom they know will work hard. Case in point—Smart Gilas and Chot Reyes.
The only difference between Caslib’s case and that of coach Weiss is that when Coach Aries started winning, the complaints regarding the San Beda presence died down.
Coach Weiss is operating under a different atmosphere and is under the microscope and anything he does is gets dissected over social media.
And I like to take that in a positive note as it shows fans are concerned with what’s happening in the team. Constructive criticisms are a good thing, and criticizing the national team isn’t a crime. It’s just unfortunate that in a time when there are blogs and websites about the Azkals sprouting almost every other minute, we still get half the picture.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 23, 2013.


  1. Those guys doesn't deserve to be part of the NT. our foreign based players are more committed to the NT compared to our homegrown. This should end the issue.

  2. Typical mentality of players in the Philippines. It doesnt surprise me, but Limpag still needs to stop defending all the coaches who puts their own players first in line, specially when the coaches players are crap and not the best. Thats also a mentality of the filipino coaches. They have their own golden boys, even if they are way below average.

    But then again, i dont think we know the full story regarding this issue. Weiss is a NT coach, he needs to start watching the games in the UFL, and he needs to start talking to the clubs and the players and convince them that they can make it. I dont think theyve done enough.

    As to the comment regarding the foreign based players. Well, of course theyre committed when they get treated as stars, celebrities and get a certain different treatment. While the locals dont get that kind of treatment.

    1. "he needs to start talking to the clubs and the players and convince them that they can make it"

      So you're saying that the NT coach should bend over backwards just to go around the league telling players that "they can make it"?!? lol. That's just retarded!! If a player has ambitions to play for the national team, then it's up to them to prove themselves at their club. They need to show that they're good enough while having the right mentality! If they can't, all the more it is the right decision that these players aren't considered! Although I do agree that perhaps the coach should be keeping more tabs on the league.

      "when they get treated as stars, celebrities and get a certain different treatment."

      Like what?! How can the locals get noticed and get "special treatment" when it's just been said that they're lazy and don't have the right attitude! Don't try to make it seem like the foreign based and/or foreign born players are the bad guys when they're not. It's cheap and very stupid of you!

    2. Some of the guys who are invited are better than the three stooges, and we all know that. A good coach can make wonders with new prospects if he wanted too and tried hard enough. A good coach knows how to talk to players and give them ideas. Maybe coach Weiss isnt doing enough to convince these guys that they can really make it if theyre willing to try hard enough. Some players need a push in the right direction before they finally can understand it.

      Confidence can do wonders with a player. And it doesnt look like that the players that are leaving have enough confidence yet.

      Its cheap of you to say that all locals are lazy and doesnt have what it takes to make it. Many of them have moved to Manila coz they want to play football. That shows dedication.

      How many of the locals are invited to talkshows and whatnot, except of course the azkal boys. Where are the other good local players? The filipinos dont give a f*** about the rest coz theyre not playing for the azkals. Filipino football is all about the azkals, and nothing else. Filipinos in general have a love for foreign based filipinos, and thats not a joke. Look at showbiz, look at the PBA.

      In the end, if the UFL dont do anything. The UFL will have teams with 80% of the squad are non-filipinos. One example is Global, if they keep up with their buying policy. And this is not good for Philippine football in general.

      What Weiss should do, or shouldve done, is bring a bunch of new prospect and field them in a friendly match. He would rather bring the three stooges instead. And thats a shame.

      I also think some of the players are looking back to the past, when players have been in a training camp for 2 months, and suddenly being replaced just a few days before a tournament starts because the PFF started a manhunt for foreign based players, and some of them werent even better than the local guys. Fair? Some may say yes, some might say no. Those players, have given everything, giving up school and work just to play football and not getting anything in return than a boot, and youre out.