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Milan Macala, a CEO Wannabe?

Milan Macala, a CEO Wannabe?

I will start with a brief history about Mr. Milan Macala’s impact on football in our region since 1996 to present.

Macala, took Kuwait to victory in the Gulf Cup twice(1996, 1998).He then briefly coached the United Arab Emirates in 1997 before being hired by the Saudi federation.

The Czech veteran however was sacked by Saudi’s football association in October 2000 following its defeat to Japan in the Asian Nations Cup. He was finally hired by the Omani Football Association to act as the head coach of the Omani national side. Let us follow his journey in Oman and outline his advantages and pitfalls.

No one can deny the great and important role Milan Macala has played over the years with our Omani national team. He has improved our skills and tactics significantly and as a result, we qualified for the Asian Cup finals in 2004 for the first time under his reign. Although this might not appear to be a great achievement but to us it was an impressive one. Since then, Oman has become a fearful team in the region if not in all of Asia and has climbed up in the FIFA ranking system.

In 2004, we competed in the Gulf Cup, the most prestigious competition for the GCC countries, organized by Qatar. The teams in the cup were divided into 2 groups and Oman managed to put an excellent performance that saw her face the host country, Qatar, in a dream final for all Omanis,

But we lost in spite of the fact having had an incredible chance to win the cup in the penalty shootouts. Nonetheless the players and the technical staff were greeted like victors and champions upon their arrival to their home land, Oman.

“I have given all that I can and it is time for me to move on.”

Yes these were the words that the veteran Macala muttered. He then left to coach UAE club Al Ain where he was constantly under fire to produce results and never rose up to the club’s expectations. He was finally released short after.

Macala came back! yes he did come back to coach the Omani national team again. Wait, but he said that he has nothing to offer the team since he has offered them all that he has!?

Well 10,000 rials/month a villa and car(s) could make an unproductive monkey become the CEO of Microsoft.

Long story made short, Macala took over once more. The reigns and his coaching skills materialized, but not his tactics; which I will discuss about later in the article. We beat Pakistan 4-1 away and 5-0 at home. We then beat UAE 2-1 at home and finally lost to Jordan 0-3 away during the Asian Cup qualifications in 2006. Alright 3 wins and 1 defeat! that is impressive. Well impressive it is not! With all due respect to the Pakistani national team, beating them 4-1 and 5-0 is not an impossible task neither is beating UAE 2-1 when we should have, at least, won by a margin of 3 goals. Losing to Jordan 0-3, keeping in mind that we had beaten them 3-0 at home earlier in the first leg, was a shock to most, if not all, the locals! Come’on 3-0! Anyone who has seen the match would tell you that the players were playing at almost a walking pace with zero interest and Macala was day dreaming I guess. With this defeat, we qualified for the Asian football cup, 2007, but our standing in the group was second behind UAE. The latter fact will surely have an impact on our group placement the Asian Cup draw.

Then we competed in the Asian Games in Doha, Qatar. Everyone who knows the least bit of football thought that Oman will compete with its second line-up or the youth national team to give them more exposure while simultaneously not risking the reputation of the national team as most of the other countries joined with their youth line-ups and second squads. But that did not happen. Milan went to Doha and took with him the national side, minus a few players.

First match we beat Malaysia, unconvincingly, 3-1 although arguably, Malaysia played better at long periods of the match. Then we lost to Iraq 2-0. What ? Oman lost to a second side Iraqi team ? Then we lost to China 2-1. The summary of this competition was as follows: 2 defeats and one win and 3 red cards! (to Bader Al Maymani against Iraq and Fawzi Basheer and Ahmed Hadeed against China). Now tell me is that impressive or what?

I haven’t been talking about Macala really, I have just summarized some of our encounters in 2006 but here is the focal point, Macala as a person might be the best coach around, he is a father figure to all the players but as a tactician, he is probably a monkey hoping to become the CEO of Microsoft.

“To be a Monkey or not to be.”

Anyone who knows one or two things about tactics will acknowledge that Mr. Macala is lacking behind in this respect; he could be an efficient master in coaching skills but not in tactics. An average viewer can establish this fact at watching him using his substitutions and employing his mediocre tactics. I list below a few, out of many, of his pitfalls:

1. Khalifa Ayel is originally a superb holding midfielder but Milan insists on using him in the center of the defense, ignoring his natural position at his club side, Al Sudd of Qatar.

2. Bader Al Maymani is not an out and out striker and he is more of a play maker (refer back to his position at his club, Al Ahli of Qatar), a quite one at times too, but Milan again insists on partnering him up with Emad in the attack.

3. Players who are not up to the task either physically or mentally should be excluded from the team and no coach in the world relies on the same players for 4 years!! the personnel have to change but the objective has to be fixed. I personally believe only few players at this stage are effective and those are our captain Mohamed Rabia, Fawzi Basheer (with Sultan Al Tooqi being his natural sub), Hussain Modhafar and Imad Al Hosni. By no means I am against any of the players but some have gone quite and have been flying under the radar as of recently.

4. I am not sure if Milan even bothers to explore new players and new talents. I personally don’t think that he even watches the domestic league otherwise what is the excuse of ignoring players like the top goal scorer and the MVP of the season…etc. Where is Mohammed Ahmed Taqi? Why is Ibraheem Al Ghailani in the first eleven? Why do we have to live with one goalkeeper and if he is not available we resort to a 40 years old goalkeeper that a Jordan player scored a goal on from the center of the pitch, while falling to the ground that is too!!

5. His tactics during the game can only be described as immature. Whether the team is winning or losing the formations would look identical! Okay a simple question, if we are playing against a weak team, why don’t we play with 3 strikers ? and if we are playing against a strong team why don’t we play with one striker ? why does it always have to be the same? Other coaches have already deciphered Macala’s code and can easily read his OLD mind as can the average viewer! You don’t have to have a degree in rocket science to conclude that Macala has no tactics what so ever. He depends on the same players all the time on all occasions and in all competitions and if one player gets injured or suspended then you will be in for a festival of funny and sad events directed by our beloved coach.

As an example to the abovementioned point, against UAE, the Omani team was in total control of the ball and could have won with a margin of at least 3 goals had Macala read the game like a professional coach. Why didn’t we play with three strikers ?

I just remembered another example, in our match against KSA in the 2003 Gulf Cup in Kuwait we got the lead through Emad (Imad) Al Hosni in the 61st minute. The brilliant tactician immediately took the goal scorer out. Any coach in the world would know the fact that scoring a goal gives the striker even more motivation and more power but Mr Milan thought otherwise. In case you are wondering, yes we lost the match.

I have written a lot but I am not quite sure if I have successfully communicated my point. Well my point is that Macala has nothing to add to the well being of our national team and consequently he is to bid farewell at an earliest opportunity, with thanks. To put it into prospective, the team assists and helps Macala and not the other way around. Wait, are those your views or his that he made clear upon leaving to UAE? Well let us just say that we both said it.

“Room for Improvement, or is it?”

The Omani national team needs a few things to improve:

1. A new coach who is a master tactician, no I am not talking about Jose Murinho. Alright, he doesn’t have to be a master tactician but one who knows one or two things about tactics.

2. More experienced talent scouts that would bring in and introduce new talents to the coach instead of the current ones who resurrect the dead! (Hint: Suleiman Khamis)

3. A better and well organized football association, the members of which are elected by public voting. At this stage we do not need a fishing expert, a farmer and a few business men who have never ever watched a football game until appointed as the Omani team care takers and future planners. No thanks. We need fresh blood, not a 70 years old Goose. We need people who know what football is all about not people who think that the players are only chasing the ball on the field without a purpose.

4. We also need a reputable goalkeeper trainer, fitness trainers (as it was apparent from our games that the players lose their fitness considerably in the second half) and a better medical team.

5. The domestic league has to also be taken care of and improved upon but that is a different subject matter that needs a separate topic of its own.

This is shaping up to become an enormous and a gigantic post and therefore I have elected to stop writing as I think that I have made my point quite clear, with evidence.

So to summarize this article, Macala has nothing to offer, he has zero tactics and knowledge in how to play mind games and therefore has to be shown the door before the Omani team gets shown the door in the upcoming Gulf Cup in Abu Dhabi, UAE (commencing on the 17th of Jan) in a similar fashion to the way they were shown the door in the Asian Games a few weeks ago.

So do you think monkeys can really become CEOs?

This article was published at SoccerBlaze.com