Disclaimer: Views are my own and nobody else. And please to the band wagoners, Respect. This is a free country, everyone is entitled to freely express himself/herself in any means or form of communication so back off. This is one pissed blogger and football supporter.
“As long as Coach Dooley will lead the team, I won’t wear the jersey of Azkals again…” – Stephan Schrock
and shortly after, statements posted by Dennis Cagara on his twitter account:
Neil Etheridge too voiced his dismay on twitter then deleted it shortly after he posted this:
“I’ve never felt so disrespected my whole life… Kick a man when he’s down…”
If you are a true blue fan and lover of the sport and supporter of your very own National Team, you’ll be heart-broken needless to say. You will lose some sleep, lose a couple of pounds, and maybe refuse to eat, might go catatonic and just spiral down to the depths of depression… Yeah, you get my point? This is the worst that can happen to a team, a communication breakdown with management not being able to talk to players before making announcements, things not being clear to everyone, players being way too selfish and too full of themselves that they put themselves first before the team and the country… This is my worst nightmare happening right before my very eyes.
When rifts happen to your beloved national team, whether it’s Football or Rugby or can be Basketball, and it unfolds to your very eyes, you just can’t help but feel sad about it. It’s like you see your family falling apart and you can’t do anything about it but to watch it, watch while the players, the management, and the coaches throw shit at one another. There’s no resolution to it, nobody wins.
And as if fate wants to play the cruelest of games, I found out about it in the most excruciating way. Click and you find everything on social media. Stephan Schrock, one of the most celebrated players in the Philippine National Team, the guy whom most of us look up to coz he is such an amazing player, seems like a nice guy, always all smiles for fans and supporters, very approachable granting so many photo opts and signing autographs, and seems to flaunt and proud that he is Pinoy (so yeah what’s not to like about him), has just announced he resigned from national team duty because he doesn’t want to play for Coach Dooley. He apparently despised the newly appointed coach and no clear reason was given as to why. Ouch. My first thought was, I thought he’s one of us? I thought he loved us? Then why is he ditching us? Coz I don’t know but somehow his statement came to me just like that, he’s calling it quits and don’t want to play for the Philippines anymore for whatever reason. Masakit. It’s like getting stabbed a number of times with no apparent reason or getting punished for something that you didn’t do. Then as if to add insult to injury, another player followed suit, Dennis Cagara who said the same reason he’s quitting, it’s because of the Coach. Wow two announcements in a day. Then there’s our goal keeper who wanted to do just the same. Why? He’s not included in the line-up for the Peace Cup 2014 happening this September.
I can understand Etheridge coz he’s always been like that, thinking so highly of himself, living bigger than Hollywood. I was not surprised at all by his reaction and I actually saw this coming. You are as good as your last game, my Coach once said. Etheridge only played once during the Challenge Cup and he was benched throughout the tournament coz of an injury he had. He’s not 100% fit so do you think it’s proper to bring him in, play him, though he’s not fit and you have 3 other keepers who got season long exposure, 100% fit and can step up & man the post? It does make sense when Coach Thomas Dooley didn’t enlist him to be part of the Peace Cup. And to throw a fit like that, on social media nonetheless with thousands of eyes watching, saying you felt disrespected by the Coach, isn’t it a bit irrational and way too childish?
What hurts the most is what Schrock and Cagara did. To be honest, I didn’t expect this from this two. I have so much respect for them, I think highly of them and it never crossed my mind that they’ll be doing something like this. I expected it from anyone but not these two. I saw them as proud Filipinos and would do anything for this country, always putting country and team first more than anything else. But heck they proved me wrong. I was an idiot for idolizing people like these two, for looking up to them and making them role models. My heart was broken, twice and I felt like I was insulted and cheated. I was made believed in a façade of goodness & patriotism that turned out to be nothing but a farce. 😦 And the statement from PFF, Manager Dan Palami, and Coach Dooley confirmed it and it doubled the hurting.
But the biggest insult of all is that they ditched us, the country because they are not getting enough playing time in the NT. All of this mess happened just because you’re not fucking getting all the playing time that you want. All because of that fucking playing time! Damn it.
I am asking these players now, what do you actually get from this? Any gratification or satisfaction you get out of making your selfishness public trying to get our sympathy, saying shit about the Coach, disrespecting him and his decisions therefore putting the team and the federation into bad light. Then breaking the hearts of so many of your supporters because you’re not playing coz you can’t get enough of that damn playing time? Happy now that you are putting so much stress on the team, even claiming there are other players who’s feeling the same and would want to have a say? Happy now that by doing just that, by being so selfish, you are destroying the team that we’ve put together by blood, sweat, and tears all these years? Happy now? Ego fed and happily sated? 😦
Just a piece of unsolicited advice from a fan who was hurting from all this drama but got no say at all and was ruthlessly pulled to watch all this horror unfold; Football is a team sport, you win and lose as a team. You gain glory as team and not as an individual player. Like what Coach Dooley said we don’t need the best players, we need to have the best team. We always have to remember that there are 10 more players on the field with you and you have to work for and with each other towards a common goal to be on top of everyone else, to be the best there is. Now, these things – not getting a call up, not being lined up, getting a snub, Coach took you out of the game or subbed you, not getting enough playing time, criticisms from the Coach, these things are not meant to insult you or belittle you and your contributions to the team. You won’t feel hurt or disrespected if you understand perfectly the goals and direction of the team and if you really know what’s good for the team and not what can feed your ego. You always look at how you perform during the last game, your fitness, what you can bring on the plate now and not 5 years ago. You also have to look at the future coz for sure, you are not going to play in the national team till you are 80 years old and you’d want the youngsters to get proper training and exposure in every game, train & pass on your knowledge to an apprentice coz that is what will sustain the NT. Its legacy, you want to be remembered by the team and the fans as the selfless player who shares what he knows and put the welfare of the team first above everything else. Somebody who helped build the team from ground up. Be professional. If you have issues, go straight to the manager or the coach, sit down and talk it within and amongst yourselves and not go straight to Social Media and rant. We would have been spared of all this heartaches and sleepless nights if these players have the decency to just make a call and iron out the differences between them and the coach in private. Now they took it out there, damage has been done, some of it irreversible. Also, what do you do when after you rant in public and ensued an issue of statement from the Federation and the Coach? You stay silent, you keep mum and not go to social media again and post an answer to every statement. You don’t put more fuel to the already burning fire. Again what you can do is phone the people concerned and talk to them, sort it out in private. Lastly, to say that you won’t play for the country as long as he’s the coach, its absolute. No turning back. So now what if he gets to coach the team for 3 years? 4 years? Then it is a guarantee your fans won’t see you wear that jersey again. That’s just unfair and totally irresponsible comment to make.
So where does this leave us? Can our NT be the team to reckon with without the big guns? Yes, I’d like to think so. I would daresay I remain hopeful when I look into that Azkals bench. We have quality players, only lacking is the opportunity to showcase these talents. This is a call for challenge to those players, new and old, to step up and prove that we can make it without the supposedly best players of the team. That the fans can rally behind a team that won’t break even without the cream of the crop. To those left behind, this is your time to shine, take it, seize the opportunity, own it and make something good out of it. And as for the broken-hearted fan like me, I will always support our national teams regardless of the issues they’re tangled with. Coaches and players come and go but the team remains. My loyalty is to the team and the country, not to any coach or any player for that matter. Country and team comes first before anything else.
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change…” – Charles Darwin.
The Disgruntled and Extremely Disappointed Fan