Football: Sundram says no to parking the bus against Arsenal

Singapore Selection goalkeeper Izwan Mahbud (left) and team manager V. Sundramoorthy speaking at a press conference ahead of the Barclays Asia Trophy match.
Singapore Selection goalkeeper Izwan Mahbud (left) and team manager V. Sundramoorthy speaking at a press conference ahead of the Barclays Asia Trophy match. PHOTO: EPA

SINGAPORE - Facing the mighty firepower of Arsenal, Singapore Select XI coach V. Sundramoorthy has a plan to stop the Gunners in the Barclays Asia Trophy match on Wednesday evening and it does not involve all-out defending.

The Singaporean tactician made it clear that he will not be adopting any negative tactics against the English Premier League giants at the National Stadium, intoning at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon: "We are not going to park the bus. But we also have to be clever and limit the space and time on the ball (against Arsenal).

"We will try not to concede early and that will give us a chance to win."

The Gunners have brought along a dazzling array of international attacking talent, from Welsh goalscoring midfielder Aaron Ramsey to Spanish playmaker Santi Cazorla to French battering ram Olivier Giroud to English speed demon Theo Walcott but for Singapore striker Sundram is relishing the challenge to stop them in their tracks.

He said: "We are facing a tough opponent like Arsenal but morale in the team is great. Every player is looking forward to play against these great players. What more motivation do they need?"

To take on Arsenal, Sundram has assembled a squad of 23, which includes the cream of the national team and the best S-League players. Lions like Shahril Ishak, Khairul Amri, Izwan Mahbud and Safuwam Baharudin will take their places alongside Rodrigo Tosi (Tampines Rovers), Nicholas Velez (Warriors FC) and Sirina Camara (Home United).

"It will be great to pit my wits against Arsene Wenger. This will be something to cherish."

meng@sph.com.sg