Have confidence in Sundram's ability to lift football standards

I was floored when Mr Bai Zhongkai called for national caretaker coach V. Sundramoorthy's resignation and suggested replacing him with a big-name foreign coach ("Start change in S'pore football with team management"; Dec 17).

Let us not forget that Singapore once had coach Jan Poulsen who resigned in 2002 after the Lions' capitulation in the Tiger Cup.

We need to remind ourselves that it was Sundram's defensive tactics that saw the Lions earn a precious draw against a physically strong Philippines, especially when Singapore was one man down, in the early stages of the match in the Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup tournament.

Apart from the outcomes of the matches against Thailand and Indonesia, we could see for ourselves that Sundram's counter-attack strategy was effective against attack-oriented opponents.

What is crucial now is to have confidence in the ability of a talented coach like Sundram to match Singapore's football quality to that of the Gulf and North Asian teams.

At the same time, the infusion of talent to the national team must be all-encompassing - done through platforms like islandwide trials, and not necessarily from the football academies or centres of excellence.

Irwan Jamil

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 20, 2016, with the headline 'Have confidence in Sundram's ability to lift football standards'. Print Edition | Subscribe