MSL Talking Points: The middle finger caught on film and TMJ’s bid to turn pro

Pahang midfielder Ahmad Syamim Yahya courted controversy when he was caught on television flashing his middle finger, while Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) owner Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim wants to be a player, all in this week’s Malaysia Super League (MSL) talking points.

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Syamim’s ‘friendly’ middle finger

Syamim, who joined the Elephants at the start of the season, thought he’d exchange pleasantries with former teammates Isma Alif and Ahmad Ezrie Shafizie by flashing his middle finger during their victory away to Malacca on Saturday.

The act was caught on a live broadcast to the entire country, forcing Syamim to later post an apology on his Instagram account (@syam1myahya), saying he meant no malice.

“I am sorry to all the fans. I showed it as a joke to my ex-teammate ... nothing serious. I forgot the game was live. Sorry and it won't happen again,” read the post.

Though Syamim has expressed his regret over the incident, he could face sanctions in the coming weeks.

Pahang won the match, but Yahya stole the spotlight

Guerra scores another hat-trick

Gabi Guerra’s move to the Southern Tigers brought with it some controversy, but it has been nothing short of a revelation thus far.

The Argentine’s move to JDT under surprise circumstances really needed to happen for the club to look potent again. His impact since the switch makes one wonder why he was initially placed at JDT II.

His hat-trick against T-Team in the club’s 3-0 win over the weekend made him the first player to pull off the feat in both top divisions of Malaysian football in a single season. He also scored three against Perlis in the Malaysia Premier League (MPL) in January.

Having also scored for JDT in the AFC Cup and FA Cup, Guerra is also the first player to score in four competitions this season.

Guerra is finding his groove with the champions

TMJ the player?

As comical as it may sound, JDT owner Tunku Ismail Sultan is getting himself into shape so he could be registered as a player in the mid-season transfer window.

The club posted a picture of Tunku Ismail on a treadmill stating he was working his way into coach Benjamin Mora’s side.

It would make the Crown Prince of Johor, who is likely to be Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) president by then, the first owner/player in Malaysia.

Will this become a more regular sight? Photo: JDT

It’s hard to figure out what Tunku Ismail or JDT’s intentions were and they can be a little mischievous with their social media accounts. He would be 33 in June, an age where retirement flashes through the thoughts of many.

Will Tunku Ismail actually merit a place in the team, will he be included on the grounds that he runs the club, or is this all just a bit of fun?

Kelantan’s worrying third straight loss at home

Three straight home defeats in the league is a reason for concern. The Red Warriors, once mighty in their own backyard, are struggling to get their act going.

Kelantan have not won at home in all competitions since August last year and the 2-0 defeat to Selangor on the weekend exposed their weaknesses.

The 2012 treble winners have experience in their squad but they are lacking overall quality. The departures of Wan Zack Haikal Wan Nor and Wan Zaharulnizam Zakaria have left a void on the flanks while the central midfield is missing the combative Brendan Gan.

Like in previous seasons, the poor state of the club’s management is not helping either. Kelantan have already faced salary issues barely two months into the season.

Fighters find their bite in Satiananthan

Last year’s runners-up Felda United need a revival, something B. Satiananthan saw in his first match in charge of the club.

Perak, who had Mehmet Durakovic in the dugout for the first time, took a 2-0 lead at the Tun Abdul Razak Stadium and it looked like the former Malaysia and ATM coach was going to start his tenure on a negative note.

Two experienced coaches faced off on Saturday

A quick double by Norshahrul Idlan Talaha and Lucas Cano saved the day, however, as the teams shared the spoils in Jengka.

Satiananthan has been itching for a return since he was relieved of duties at ATM midway through the 2015 campaign. He was appointed as FAM Coaching Director at the start of the year but the appeal to return to the ground was one he couldn’t resist.

Photos: unless stated