Over half a season has gone by now, Perak FA has faced plenty of adversities and challenges in this campaign; it doesn’t seem to get easier at all. From inconsistency to complacency and misfiring forwards, the problems seem endless. Nevertheless, with all the international football action hogging the limelight, the Seladangs are in for a respite, for the moment at least.
With only eight wins out of their 18 league matches so far, Perak is currently ranked seventh in the league table. Perhaps it’s time we sit back and analyse what went wrong for the Seladangs.
No Hunger in Attack
This is one significant drawback of the home team. It has failed to produce enthusiasm when on the offensive, which translates into the fact that a mediocre midfielder, in the form of Michal Kubala, is currently leading their goal scoring charts with only 11 strikes. Lazar Popovic was a great disappointment during the first half of the season, failing to score a single goal. Experienced forward, Akhmal Rizal looked jaded as well. A lot of hope was placed on young forward Failee Ghazalee, especially after his impressive outing during Perak’s Malaysia Cup campaign last year. However, the former USM striker sustained a serious injury early on in the season and, in spite of recovery, has failed to regain his form.
Fans, however, seem to agree on one fact – Perak players are not on par with their counterparts in the Kelantan and Terengganu teams. Fans want Norizan Bakar’s men to be composed on the pitch and remain consistent in their build-up. Unfortunately, this is the key element that is missing in Perak this year. Its longest winning streak this season was during the early stages of the season, when the players were on a roll with four consecutive wins over Negeri Sembilan, Johor FC, Felda United and Sarawak. Since then, inconsistency has dogged the team all the way.
This is a worrying trend for Perak. There have simply been too many occasions this season when opposing teams are allowed to peg the team, despite dominating the matches on the whole. The Seladangs outplayed LionsXII at the Perak Stadium last February. After leading 1-0 scoreline for much of the way, complacency crept in and they ended up losing 2-1. Similarly, Norizan Bakar’s men were expected to steamroll past Sabah at home in April, after beating them a week before. The Sabahans fought hard and secured a 2-2 draw much to the dismay of diehard fans. Team manager, Khairul Azwan appeared to have had the last straw in their wasteful 2-2 draw with Terengganu in May.
With only seven games left in the season, there isn’t much Perak can do to save its downward spiral. With LionsXII, Terengganu and Kelantan leading the title charge, the only thing Perak can do right now is to salvage some pride. It’s time to have a good rest, recuperate and go for broke. A good ending to the Super League season would provide a timely boost for the Malaysia Cup campaign later this year.