Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Shebby treatment

The actors – B. Sathianathan and Shebby Singh.

The director – Harian Metro.

The war of words between national team supremo Sathianathan and ex-international and football pundit Shebby is not doing the game any good.

In my humble opinion, Sathianathan should not waste his energy retaliating.

After all every Tom, Dick and Harry, or in our case, Ahmad, Ah Chong, Mutu and Shebby Singh has an opinion as to how we should play the game!

Shebby and I come from the same kampung, Kluang. We used to be close until one fine day in February 2007 I wrote an Open Letter to him in the Malay Mail. It's reproduced here

TO Serbegeth Singh Dher Singh AKA Shebby,

My friend, I hope this letter finds you in great health. Allow me to congratulate you on TMFC's 2-1 victory over bottom-placed Sarawak in the Super League clash on Wednesday.

It was great to see you, a respected football pundit, putting your money where your mouth is, even for a fleeting moment as a caretaker coach.

There is no doubt that you have innovative ideas on how the beautiful game should be played. I was even intrigued by your decision to field Nazzab Hidzan, the erstwhile playmaker of TMFC, as a sweeper during the encounter at Petaling Jaya Stadium.

However, the reason I'm compelled to share with you my thoughts stems from your outburst during the post-match comments shortly after TMFC's 2-0 defeat to Perlis in the opening group match of the Malaysia Cup last Saturday.

Your thinly-veiled broadside directed at former TMFC coach Irfan Bakti Abu Salim came as a surprise to many.

You mentioned that his training methods were outdated and that you have had to start from scratch during the two sessions ahead of the clash in Kangar.

I tend to agree with most of the coaches interviewed on national TV, especially RTM1, who believed that your outburst was unethical. You simply do not run down your contemporaries.

I'm sure you would agree with me if I say becoming a full-fledged coach is akin to an undergraduate pursuing his first degree. It could even be a life-long learning process.

Furthermore, as a respected pundit, I'm certain you also hold to the basic coaching principle that one coach's views may differ from another. One man's meat is another man's poison.

Remember how Frank Lord converted right-back Zainal Abidin Hassan into a much-vaunted striker in 1983?

There could have been backroom differences between you and Irfan but you chose the wrong platform to undermine his coaching credentials. Irfan, after all, has broken a barrier of sorts by becoming the first Malaysian football coach to ply his trade in Indonesia, helming Persipura Jayapura in West Papua, which happens to be nearer to Darwin than Jakarta.

True, Malaysian football coaches are far from world-class. But a majority of them possess the class not to undermine their fellow professionals in public.

I'm happy that a professional set-up like TMFC trust you implicitly to find the right successor to Irfan. I heard it's going to be our fellow Johorean, Wan Jamak Wan Hassan.

Irfan, if you may recall, happened to be Wan Jamak's assistant in the inaugural Tiger Cup in 1996. It is my sincere wish that whoever happens to replace Irfan has been keeping himself updated on the evolution of the game.

Whatever, Shebby, I hope you take the content of this letter in the right spirit. After all we come from the same town.

I look forward to discussing this further at the Kluang Railway Station over a plate of roti kahwin and a cup of freshly brewed home-made coffee.

Till next time.


Rizal Hashim,

Jalan Dahlia, Kampung Melayu, Kluang.

TV3 interviewed Shebby’s team mate in the 1980s, Razip Ismail, last night, and he supported the former’s suggestion for Sathianathan to do away with senior players for the AFF Cup in December.

I beg to differ. I think Malaysia must always be represented by the best players, regardless of age. I have always been consistent in this, having debated countless times with Claude Le Roy, Ron Smith, Allan Harris, Bertalan Bicskei and Sathianathan too on this issue because I believe we do not have a large talent pool at our disposal. Players should be picked based on talent and current form, regardless whether he's an 18-year old chap or a 32-year old workhorse.

If we were to field a young squad for the regional tournament, chances are we would not go far. And this would be a ready-made excuse for the coaches because they would be singing this tune "we have a young team, it was a good experience for them".

Harris, a former coach of Espanyol and long-time assistant to Terry Venables, was fond of utilising under-age players for senior tournaments, citing it as building blocks for the future. He had a good team in 2002 when we beat Singapore 4-0 and Thailand 3-1 in the Tiger Cup but faltered in the semi-finals to the Indonesians.

Bicskei by contrast picked his players on current form. In the end we got mixed results. We have never reached the AFF Cup final since our runners-up finish in the inaugural tourney in 1996.

If Sathianathan takes a battle-hardened bunch for AFF Cup, then he will have to deliver. His KPI ultimately is the AFF Cup. Let him decide what’s best for the team and himself. Shebby can do his stuff from the studio! Or he can always coach MyTeam 3!


wak arjun said...

Shebby oh Shebby. A loose cannon lagi sorang. Come on la Boss. Kalu jadi pundit tu, gu ingat gua pun boleh. I just say this coach is crap and that coach is BS. Bukannya susah. Then I back it up with more BS. Yes?

Managed TMFC pun berapa hari je and God knows how he got THAT special clearance. Ada tarik strings ke? I dunno. Enlighten us.

Sathia is definitely not in a position where we will envy him. The team's reputation is in the dumps pun. Ranked berapa? Not many cares.

So YM Shebby, I plea you. Put your money where your u-know-what is. Get your coaching badge. Form a formidable team that reflects your ability. So when you start b*tching about others, we can then appreciate what you actually babbled. BTW MyTeam is a farce la... Period.

Effie said...


I am wondering why Malaysia National Team tak banyak budak2 dari Kedah? Sedangkan they are the treble champion last year and Kedah dah defended 2 out of 3 trophies this year.


-Effie Amri-

Rockin' Chains said...

In this country, if one is above 25, it's high time for him to retire. Why so?

Anonymous said...

kita tengok apa satia and shebby boleh buat

jurulatih tak semestinya seorang pemain yg terkemuka sebelum ini

satia dah lama sebagai penolong. bagi saya pandangan orang lain perlu di ambil kira juga, tapi atas jurulatih berkenaan sama ada nak terima atau tidak.

zaman cikgu jan di fam semua jurulatih pasukan lain tak nak support dia sampai nak mintak player junior pun susah.

cakap sikit lebih baik dari cakap banyak

Anonymous said...




Arnaz M. Khairul said...

As far as I am concerned, Shebby is a person who dumped himself into the media spotlight and refuses to bide by the ethics, or maybe he forgot to learn about them first.
Same as a contractor, who doesn't criticise or evaluate another's work until after it is completed, media people do not publicise their feelings about the competition.
Shebby, in his first months as a pundit in 2005, in his show Malam Ini Bersama Shebby, which hosted the Proton T-Bikes Cycling Team, did just that.
All the newspapers had criticised and lambasted the management of that team, which seemed to be a scam, and eventually proved to be nothing but a scam. Proton were scammed, the riders were cheated.
Shebby, one Thursday night in February, 2005, brought the team and its shifty manager on air. It was okay to get the manager to speak out and clarify whatever questions were raised by the media.
What was not on was Shebby holding up copies of Utusan, Harian Metro and NST and telling viewers not to believe them. "Janganlah terpedaya dengan apa yang anda baca di dalam akhbar," were his exact words.
With that, I just lost every ounce of respect for this bloody rookie. We don't go around writing in our papers, telling people not to believe what Shebby says on air, although at least 90 percent of it, all of the time, is pure bullshit, which is said out of the need to fill airtime.
If he considered credibility a good virtue, he'd have been down and doing the dirty work, developing players like the credible coaches, who haven't raised the level of Malaysian football, but are there working towards it.
He should do that before he goes about commenting on what Alex Ferguson, Rafa Benitez or Arsene Wenger does wrong.
Come to think of it, it's better he stuck with EPL and just kept himself out when it comes to Malaysian football or Malaysian sport, for he's not gonna do any good.
Shebby's views are just heard, they're not respected.
Grow up Shebby, you're becoming very, very irritating.

Anonymous said...

I think shebby is a total fake. He is there with the mat salleh because can talk english a little better than most regional footballers...thats it. Other than that HE IS A TOTAL FAKE.

madihensem said...

pedulikan si serbegeth singh tu.... takde sape pun heran kat dia, kalau tergolek tepi jalan memang aku biarkan je....

ah chong sji87 said...

isn't he the one who always get walloped by Macca every week in BPL show? For what? For his stupid comments on everything connected to football and yet he still criticises his peers as if he knows everything. Constructive, yes but below the belt? Big no,no.
The cause of the problem with M'sian football is due to the imcompetence of bigwigs. Solution? Try David Fernandez...whaddya reckon?

theprofessor said...

Shebby tak layak jadi pundit pun...ada ker dia pilih Russia untuk kalahkah Sepanyol sebelum separuh akhir Euro 2008 baru-baru ini.
Tapi sebagai pemain bola dia kira ok ler juga...

muhammad hakimi said...

First of all tlg jawab utk Effie. Bukan tak de player Kedah, tapi few got thier chances, and blew it up. Now we have Helmi the GK, Shafizan the left back and Kyril. Badrol & Bunyamin..long way 2 go Bro. They will make it given ample time. Ok, back to the topic, better for Mr. Sathia to continue with his jobs. Pedulikan budak-budak Kluang ni. Come on Muarian!! Shebbi was given an opportunity with MyTeam 1 & 2. What's the result Mr. Shebbi? Digraceful ada la..So better 4 u to support rather than keep on criticizing. Where is your MyTeam players now Kluang-Man?? Problems with National team are due to people in State FA who like Kluang-Man know-it-all on how to run football in Malaya. BTW to Madihensem jgn buat cam tu, dia tergolek, tolong laa, tolong tengok..