PETALING JAYA: Table-toppers Petaling Jaya Municipal Council (MPPJ) have in a surprise move relieved Michael Feichtenbeiner of his duties as chief coach of the Super League leaders with immediate effect.
The German said yesterday that it was stated in a memo he received from the team management on Tuesday that he was out of the team indefinitely but no reason was given for the action.
Feichtenbeiner: ‘When I took
charge of MPPJ they were
struggling and facing relegation’
I am surprised by it, said Feichtenbeiner.
MPPJ are on top of the eight-team league on 16 points from five wins, a draw and two defeats.
It was learnt that the management were unhappy with the two defeats suffered by the team at the end of the first-round fixtures. MPPJ lost to Pahang (0-2) and Malacca Telekom (0-1).
Feichtenbeiner said that he hoped to settle the matter with the management and felt that MPPJ were championship material and it was still early in the season to take such a drastic action against him.
We are the leaders after eight games. I have a good record. When I took charge of the team in April last year, they were struggling and facing relegation. But we survived the drop (to the Premier League), said Feichtenbeiner.
MPPJ, who finished fifth last season, have certainly emerged as the team to watch.
With an estimated budget of RM15mil, the 2003 Malaysia Cup champions are looking for a top-three finish this time.
For their challenge this season, they have signed up several notable local players, among them national players Yusri Che Lah, Kaironissam Sahabuddin, Tengku Hazman Raja Hassan (Perlis); K. Nanthakumar, Chan Wing Hoong (Perak); Liew Kit Kong (Kedah); Lim Chan Yew, Amir Shahreen Mubin (Public Bank); and Azmin Azram Abdul Aziz (Pahang).
They have also regained the services of prolific goal-getter Juan Manuel Arostegui.
The Argentinian scored 50 goals for MPPJ in 2003 and all the goals in the 3-0 win over Sabah in the Malaysia Cup final.
But Arostegui is nursing an injury after featuring in just one match against Selangor on Dec 17. He scored the goals in the 2-1 victory.
MPPJ have suffered a drop in performance after the good start to the season following injuries to other key players, including Yusri, Kit Kong and Azmin.
The team are now under the charge of B. Sathianathan and their next match is against Negri Sembilan in Paroi on Feb 4.