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Milan Macala, a CEO Wannabe?
I mr. Let me begin with a brief history of Milan Makala’s impact on football in our region from 1996 to date.
Makla, led Kuwait to two Gulf Cup victories (1996, 1998). He then briefly coached the United Arab Emirates in 1997 before being appointed by the Saudi Federation.
The Czech legend was expelled by the Saudi Football Association in October 2000 after losing to Japan in the Asian Nations Cup. He was eventually appointed as the head coach of the Omani national team by the Omani Football Association. We will follow his journey in Oman and outline his pros and cons.
No one can deny the huge and important role Milan Makala has played with our Omani national team over the years. He improved our skills and tactics significantly and as a result we qualified for the Asian Cup finals in 2004 for the first time in his career. Although this may not seem like a huge achievement, it was an impressive one for us. Since then, Oman has become a formidable team in the region, if not the whole of Asia, and has climbed up the FIFA rankings.
In 2004, we participated in the Gulf Cup, the most prestigious competition for GCC countries, organized by Qatar. The teams in the cup were divided into 2 groups and Oman put up a great performance that saw them face host country Qatar in a dream final for all Omanis.
But despite having an incredible chance to win the cup in a penalty shootout, we lost. Yet the players and technical staff were greeted like winners and champions upon their arrival in their homeland, Oman.
“I’ve given everything I’ve got and it’s time for me to move on.”
Yes were the words that the veteran McCalla muttered. He then left to coach UAE club Al Ain where he was constantly under fire for results and never lived up to the club’s expectations. He was finally released after some time.
Makala is back! Yes he is back again as coach of Omani national team. Wait, but he said he had nothing to offer the team because he offered them everything they had!?
10,000 riyals/month a villa and a car can make an unproductive monkey the CEO of Microsoft.
Long story short, Macala took over once again. Reigns and his coaching skills came through, but not his tactics; Which I will discuss later in the article. We beat Pakistan 4-1 and 5-0 at home. We then beat the UAE 2-1 at home and eventually lost 0-3 to Jordan in an Asian Cup qualifier in 2006. Well 3 wins and 1 loss! It is impressive. Well effective isn’t it! With all due respect to the Pakistan national team, beating them 4-1 and 5-0 is not an impossible task, nor is UAE 2-1, when we should win by at least 3 goals. Losing 0-3 to Jordan, considering we beat them 3-0 at home in the first leg, was a shock to the locals, if not all! Let’s go 3-0! Anyone who watched the match will tell you that the players were playing at almost walking pace with zero interest and I guess Makala was day dreaming. With this defeat, we qualified for the Asian Football Cup, 2007, but our position in the group was second behind UAE. The latter fact will certainly affect our group placement for the Asian Cup draw.
We then participated in the Asian Games held in Doha, Qatar. Anyone with the least knowledge of football thought that Oman would compete with its second tier or youth national team and give them more exposure and at the same time not risk the reputation of the national team as most other countries have joined their youth team. -up and second squads. But it didn’t happen. Milan went to Doha and took the national team minus a few players.
In the first match we beat Malaysia 3-1. Then we lost 2-0 to Iraq. what Oman lose to Iraqi team on the other side? We then lost to China 2-1. The summary of this tournament was as follows: 2 losses and one win and 3 red cards! (Iraq vs. Badr Al Maimani and China vs. Fauzi Bashir and Ahmed Hadid). Now tell me is he impressive or what?
I’m not really talking about Makala, I just summarized some of our encounters in 2006 but here’s the gist, Makala as a person might be the best coach around, he’s a father figure to all the players but as a technician, he might hope to become the CEO of Microsoft. The bearer is a monkey.
“To be or not to be a monkey.”
Anyone who knows a thing or two about strategy will admit that Mr. McCalla is behind on this; He may be a master of coaching skills but not of tactics. An average viewer can establish this fact by watching him play his options and try his mediocre strategies. I list some of its many flaws below:
1. Khalifa Ail is inherently a great holding midfielder but Milan insist on using him in the center of defense despite his club side, Qatar’s Al Sud’s natural position.
2. Badr Al Maimani is not an out-and-out striker and is a playmaker (refer to his position at his club, Qatar’s Al Ahly), at times too, but Milan insist on partnering him again. With Imad on the attack.
3. Players who are not physically or mentally capable should be dropped from the team and no coach in the world depends on the same players for 4 years!! Personnel should be changed but objectives should be fixed. I personally believe that only a few players are effective at this stage and that is our captain Mohammed Rabia, Fawzi Bashir (Sultan Al Touki is his natural partner), Hussain Modhafar and Imad Al Hosni. I’m not against any players, but some have gone under the radar quite a bit lately.
4. I’m not sure if Milan bothers to look for new players and new talent. I personally don’t think he even watches the domestic league otherwise what’s the reason to ignore players like top goal scorer and MVP of the season…etc. Where is Mohammad Ahmed Taqi? Why Ibrahim Al Ghailani in the starting eleven? Why would we want to stay with a goalkeeper and if he is not available we will resort to a 40 year old goalkeeper who was scored by a Jordan player in the middle of the pitch, while he was also falling to the ground!!
5. His tactics during the game can only be described as immature. The formation will look the same whether the team is winning or losing! Ok, a simple question, if we are playing against a weak team, why don’t we play with 3 strikers? And if we are playing against a strong team, why don’t we play with a striker? Why is it always the same? The other coaches have already cracked McCalla’s code and can read his old mind as easily as the average viewer! You don’t have to have a degree in rocket science to conclude that Macala is up to no tricks by now. He relies on the same players all the time on all occasions and in all competitions, and if a player gets injured or suspended, you’ll be in for a festivity of funny and tragic events directed by our beloved coach.
As an example of the above mentioned point, against UAE, the Omani team had complete control of the ball and could have won by at least 3 goals if McCalla had read the game like a professional coach. Why didn’t we play with three strikers?
I remember another instance, in our match against KSA in the Gulf Cup in Kuwait in 2003 when Imad (Imad) Al Hosni gave us the lead in the 61st minute. This brilliant tactic immediately knocked out the goal scorer. Any coach in the world would know that scoring goals gives a striker more motivation and more power but Mr Milan thought otherwise. In case you are wondering, yes we lost the match.
I have written a lot but I am not sure if I have made my point successfully. Well, my point is that Makala has nothing to add to the welfare of our national team and as a result, he needs to be thanked and bid farewell as soon as possible. To put this in perspective, the team aids and abets Makala and not the other way around. Wait, are those your opinions or did he explain when he went to the UAE? Well, let’s just say we both said it.
“Room for improvement, or is there?”
The Omani national team needs a few things to improve:
1. A new coach who is a master tactician, no I’m not talking about Jose Mourinho. Well, he doesn’t have to be a master strategist, but one who knows a thing or two about tactics.
2. More experienced talent scouts who will bring in and introduce new talent to coaches instead of current ones resurrecting the dead! (Note: Sulaiman Khamis)
3. A good and well-organized football association, whose members are elected by public vote. At this point we don’t need fishing experts, farmers and some business men who have never seen a football game until appointed as caretakers and future planners of the Omani team. no thank you We need fresh blood, not 70-year-old swans. We need people who know what football is all about not people who think that players just chase the ball around the field for no reason.
4. We also need a reputable goalkeeper trainer, fitness trainer (from our game it is clear that players lose a lot of fitness in the second half) and a good medical team.
5. Domestic leagues also need to be taken care of and improved but this is a separate topic which needs its own separate topic.
This is becoming a huge and gigantic post and so I have chosen to stop writing as I feel I have made my point very clear with evidence.
So to sum up this article, McCall has nothing to offer, zero tactics and knowledge on how to play mind games and will have to show the Omani team the door before they are shown the door in the upcoming Gulf Cup in Abu Dhabi, UAE. (starting on January 17) in the same way they were shown the door at the Asian Games a few weeks ago.
So do you think monkeys can really become CEOs?
This article was originally published on SoccerBlaze.com
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