NELO Vingada resigned saying that he had to “take responsibility” after Harimau Malaya fell out of contention for qualification for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.
But was he really to blame?
Malaysian football joined the ‘‘professional era’’ more than two decades ago and yet we’re still not there.
Many of Malaysia’s professional players are seen as jaguh kampung (village heroes) but none are on par with the ‘‘real professionals’’.
To be capable, one has to start from the bottom.
One cannot pick a player who is not even the best at the regional or continental level and expect him to meet standards of a club in the professional leagues.
One thing for sure is our local professionals lack the physical fitness to compete at the highest levels.
To play in competitive leagues, one has to have the potential and be nurtured through football academies.
Many of our players have been frustrated at the professional stage.
Many of them have not had the opportunity to go through professionally run soccer academies, depriving them of the chance to pick up the fundamental skills of a footballer.
Speed, physical condition and skill determine the quality of any professional footballer.
Without one of the above qualities, a player still has the chance of progressing in his football career. But that would not be the case if he lacks two of those important qualities.