To coach B.Sathianathan, it's time to say goodbye to Wisma FA of Malaysia.
The 3-0 defeat to Thailand last night should serve as the final curtains to Sathia and possibly a few seniors who have had their moments in the sun.
Sathianathan has the dubious distinction of having failed to bring the national team to the AFF Cup semifinals and the SEA Games last four in a matter of 12 months.
Consider this; in 1996 Wan Jamak Hassan guided Zainal Abidin Hassan and Co to the runners-up spot, Hatem Souissi's mixed team of old and new fumbled in the group stages, Abdul Rahman Ibrahim led his charges to third place in 2000 and Allan Harris' handpicked squad emerged fourth despite having thrashed Singapore 4-0 and Thailand 3-1 in the 2002 edition.
Bertalan Bicskei' babes beat Thailand 2-1 and Indonesia through a similar scoreline, the country's first win in Jakarta since 1979, en route to a third place finish in 2004.Sathianathan for the record was one of Bicskei's fiercest critics. Norizan Bakar's quest for a place in the 2006 final was only denied by a penalty miss by Khyril Muhymeen Zambri in the shootout. So in the previous six tournaments, Malaysia missed a semifinal berth on only one occasion!
I suspect either K. Rajagopal or a foreign coach will be charting the team's fortunes in the pre-Asian Cup in February.