Some criticism is warranted, but Vingada deserves more time in Malaysia
The football world is still coming to terms with the fact that Italy will not be at the World Cup next year. It is going to be strange indeed not to see the four-time winners under the Russian sky.
Malaysian football does not really have to come to terms with the fact that the national team will not be at the 2019 Asian Cup.
While kicking Vingada back to Europe may be tempting, making a case for him to stay is more difficult ... but not impossible
It was always Mission Improbable, but the lack of a challenge has been as disappointing as the doubling last year of the price of the express train into downtown Kuala Lumpur from the city’s international airport.
For anyone that doesn’t know, the team has played five games in Group B and the figure in the points column is a solitary one.
This puts Malaysia among the Bhutans, Macaus and, dare one say it, Singapores of the region. Two 4-1 defeats at the hands of North Korea in the last few days have moods gloomier than a monsoon sky.
FourFourTwo’s Vijhay Vick argued eloquently and persuasively that it was time for the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) to make the change and get rid of coach Nelo Vingada.
The coach deserves plenty of criticism. Results have been poor and some of his decision-making a little strange.
For example, the reason given to leave out all players from Johor Darul Ta'zim – a team that has won almost everything there is to win in Malaysia and Asia in recent years – in the second game against North Korea this week because of social media criticism was bizarre.
Results are poor? Change the coach. Results are poor still? Change the coach again. The cycle continues and the issues don’t get addressed
While kicking Vingada back to Europe may be a quick and tempting option, making a case for allowing him to stay is a little more difficult.
But it’s not impossible.
Despite the results and the excuses, Vingada should be given more time for a number of reasons.
One is that changing a coach after just six months in a new country is a little too easy.
Results are poor? Change the coach. Results are poor still? Change the coach again. The cycle continues and the underlying issues don’t get addressed.
Indeed, it discourages any coach from thinking beyond the next game when they know it may be their last if it is lost.
It should also be mentioned that Malaysia qualifying for the 2019 Asian Cup would have been a major surprise.
Lebanon and North Korea can be inconsistent but are simply at a different level with the talent they can call upon.
Even with a full squad at Vingada’s disposal, which has often not been the case, it was always the toughest of tasks. Pep Guardiola would not have taken Malaysia to the United Arab Emirates.
Even so, the last few months may have gone differently with a little more luck in the opening game at home to Lebanon.