JDT's local domination is not good?

KUALA LUMPUR: Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) shocked Malaysian football yesterday by doing away with their coaching team and six players.

This has left fans wondering what game the Southern Tigers are playing now.

Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris Sports Science Associate Professor Dr Zulakbal Abdul Karim feels that the drastic changes could disrupt JDT's progress.

JDT, who achieved their second consecutive treble by sweeping this year's Super League, FA Cup and Malaysia Cup titles, announced that they had parted company with head coach Esteban Solari and his staff of Rodrigo Barrios, Antonio Mateos, Antonio Gavilan and Dr. Leandro Pinero after only one season.

Six JDT players: Aidil Zafuan Abdul Radzak, S. Kunanlan, Ahmad Hazwan Bakri, Adam Nor Azlin, Leandro Sebastian Velazquez, and Diogo Luis Santo were also let go.

Five other players — Oscar Arribas, Syafiq Ahmad, Safawi Rasid, Akhyar Rashid and Haziq Nadzli — will be loaned out to other clubs.

JDT said the club is undergoing financial restructuring that will see a 30-40 per cent reduction in spending.

However, Zulakbal said the drastic changes to the coaching line-up could disrupt the team's progress.

He felt that the Southern Tigers' lack of rivalry in domestic football — where JDT won the Super League for the past consecutive 10 seasons, does not help their team in excelling at Asian level.

JDT have been a regular in the Asian Champions League since 2019, and their best achievement came last year where they reached the round of 16 but were routed 5-0 by eventual champions Urawa Red Diamonds.

This season, their ACL campaign ended at the group stage, and this included an embarrassing 5-0 defeat to Kawasaki Frontale on Nov 28.

"I was surprised to see JDT losing by a big margin to the Japanese clubs," said Zulakbal.

"JDT were too strong in the M-League, they had no one to challenge them domestically. JDT could not push themselves further because there's no challenge.

"The Japanese players with the Japanese clubs were of a higher standard compared to JDT's local players. That is because the J-League is a competitive league and their players' quality went up.

"Some of the locals in JDT lacked playing minutes and experience compared to the Japanese.

"This caused a massive gulf between the players in quality.

"I'm quite sceptical with the decision to change the JDT coaching set-up.

"This could be disruptive to their progress at Asian level. Even coaches like Jose Mourinho need time to produce results with their clubs.

"Frequent coaching changes will cause instability to a team and affect performance. A coach needs to be given a proper time frame to produce results."

On the other hand, Zulakbal said the players leaving JDT next season could add value to other M-League sides and make the league more competitive.

"The players leaving JDT are set for a career reset. They could face a culture shock as the new clubs won't have the same facilities, match bonuses like JDT's. They could end up being frustrated," he said.

"These players will go through a psychological turmoil and their new clubs need to be careful and monitor these players' condition because the frustration can affect their performances."

Most Popular
Related Article
Says Stories