Saturday, December 20, 2008


It was such a delight to watch the game. The best of Europe pitted against the darling of Asia. The Gamba Osaka players matched every step of the way though at times overawed by the millionaires of Manchester United.

Still, they fought hard and fair. Committed, hard working, skilful and intelligent, the Gamba players worked as a team and never gave up till the final whistle.

I thought Endo was outstanding. Wouldn’t be wrong to say any EPL team would love to have him in their team. For that matter, many of the Gamba players like Hashimoto and Bando would easily make the grade in EPL or in Europe.

Gamba Osaka can pride itself being able to push Man U to the limit. A loss of 3-5 to a great team as Man U is nothing to be ashamed of. Gamba can be proud of their ‘achievement’. 

In the words of Sir Alex Ferguson, the Man U Manager,“The people got their money’s worth, that’s for sure. Their movement on the ball was very good and it shows you how much Japanese football has improved.’’

That leads me to the Malaysian soccer scene. Back then during the good old days of Merdeka tournaments, Malaysia used to beat Japan easily. Remember, we did qualify for 1972 and 1980 Olympics. Names like Syed Ahmad, Salleh Ibrahim, Wan Zawawi, Hamzah Hussien, Chow Chee Keong, Lim Fung Kee, Shaharudin Abdullah and his brother, Namat, keep rolling back.

When other Asian countries like Japan, Korea, Iran, Saudi Arabia and even Bahrain have made tremendous stride, where do we stand now?

The latest ranking released by FIFA placed us at 155!

Do we blame FAM?

 I don’t think so....The blame game is over. 

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