Those words expressed in the papers by defender Shakir Hamzah after Singapore's 2-1 defeat to Syria last month came as a shock to me.
"I didn't expect ... was that fast, or that ... was that good." were those key words tersely summarized by the 23-year-old on both Mahmoud Almawas and Alaa Al Shibbli who rugged him that night at Kallang.
|Shakir Hamzah (right) got it pass Japan's Keisuke Honda (4)|
To be honest, I would never anticipate thoughts like "didn't expect ... was that fast ... was that good" to be said after an international competitive match by a player representing his country when adequate preparation should be in place for that kind of intensity.
And when those words were uttered, what could it be interpreted as? To say the lack of adequate preparation for the recent World Cup Qualifiers could be something hard to accept when there were not much shuffling in recent selections that gelling up shouldn't be much an issue.
THE INVISIBLE GAP ...
Yet, I am more inclined to the suggestion by some that lack of sparring matches against quality opponents is one of the factors that triggered those thoughts from Shakir.
It is widely acknowledged the huge gap between domestic and international football that many players who may thrived domestically had found the transition hard when earning their caps on a bigger stage (just think hard to recall who were those called up to play a few games before diminished from the radar).
|Jamil Ali (left) has been consistency at a point being overlooked, why?|
Just when the cornerstone of the Sports Hub is ready to their arms open, several well documented controversies surrounded the playing surface which hogged the sending out those invitations.
|Imaging the tourist dollars revenue if we often versus teams like Japan|
QUESTIONS ... QUESTIONS ...
If that breakdown eventually see the Merlion Cup to be shifted out of Singapore, as reported, some questions in regards to the partnership inked between FAS and MP & Silva (MPS) in February would have to be asked.
- If that agreement had granted MP & Silva any exclusive right to negotiate on behalf of FAS on staging the Merlion Cup, which took its name from the uniquely Singapore icon?
- If so, does that meant FAS do not have any say in that negotiation between MPS and Sports Hub over the staging of the said tournament which prompted the shift of tournament venue outside Singapore in deadlock can't be resolved, as mentioned?
|MPS-FAS linked up in February 2015|
|There must be somewhere things can work it out|
After all, isn't not the time to make up for the lost time?