Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Two Games Away

Bahrain just drew with Uzbekistan 0-0 at the national stadium in Isa Town (not Manama, as all the worldwide news agencies would have you believe), meaning that our away goal in Tashkent on Wedensday has given us the edge over the Uzbeks. I tried streaming both games on the internet using some dodgy Chinese channels but had no joy. Ended up sitting in front of the website scoreboard and frantically hitting the refresh button every 30 seconds.

So we've qualified out of Asia! By tommorow morning we should know if we're going to be facing Trinidad & Tobago or Guatemala in another two-legged playoff in November.

Bahrain in the World Cup. So close you can almost touch it. Come on boys, get your act together over the next month. We've come (sprinting at first, crawling near the end) this far, we might as well do it. Although I've lost faith in the team since their performance levels dropped so steeply after the Asian Cup, I still hold a fragile belief that we can truly do this.

Just two more games between us and the biggest of world stages. Two more games.


Blogger Q said...

Congrats Mo and BahrainiRants and to all of u other Bahrainis!

ALL of Kuwait is with u for this run!

But u mentioned a very interesting point -
"Although I've lost faith in the team since their performance levels dropped so steeply after the Asian Cup"

Everybody noticed that, but why did that happen?! Change of coaches? players overconfident?! WHAT?
I miss watching all the great quick passing on the ground during the Asian Cup and even the Gulf Cup!

5:34 AM  
Blogger Mo said...

Q, I'd say it was due mostly to the change in coaches. Screcko had his faults, but he believed in slick passing and attacking football. Sidka came back after we didn't give the Croatian the money he deserved (he's coaching Oman now) and shored up our porous defense but at the expense of our attacking players' creativity and license to roam.

In all fairness, Luca hasn't had much time with the players.. but he managed to get us past Uzbekistan with two strong showings. We created a load of chances last night and we defended alright overall. Now that our star striker Hubail is back he'll hopefully be fully fit in time for Trinidad next month and he'll give us that cutting edge in front of goal.

I'm quitely confident we can make it, but all will unfold on the 12th and the 16th of November. We appreciate our Kuwaiti brethern's backing and we hope to fly the flag for the Arab world alongside of Saudi Arabia next June.

il7amar yil3ab wi7na lah sanad.

7:46 AM  
Blogger Bahraini Rants said...

I like Luka.. he's brought some interesting changes to the squad.. along with some management errors, injuries to players contributed to our dip in form. Let's face it, Bahrain has a really good first team, but our subs still need some time to mature. Srecko gave some youngsters a chance, and they performed.. Sidka came back to fill the role vacated by the Croatian, and didn't recognize the team he initially established as a force leading up to the 2002 world cup.. Luka shows up from out of nowhere and everyone's thinking: Who is this guy? He looks like a Hippie..

Bahrain's performance last night was filled with crafty runs from Mohammed Hubail, Unbelievable saves from Ali Hassan, wonderful linking play from Talalee and Salmeen, and the defence threw themselves infront of every ball that came their way. Our passing wasn't crisp, and I enjoyed watching Graham Poll not having any of the grassrolling from some of the Bahraini Players. When they brought Alaa into the game, he lit up the pitch - i can't wait to see him playing in Europe.

I liked Luka's tactics.. he's taken Hussain Ali Baba back to a holding midfielder, which works out nicely because he's got a great shot on him. Sayed Mohammed Adnan now in defence, and let me tell you, he is the shit.. He won Aerial Challeges, scrambled the ball out of the box, came in with the tackle: fully committed.. Talalee's playing as a second striker, and i like watching him drift in and out of the wings and then take that thunderous shot... When the camera cut to Luka, I felt that he wasn't screaming all over the place - but he was definitely getting through to the team.. He's gotten to them and they trust him.. his mid-game management was effective and I liked what i saw..

Trinidad & Tobago (T&T) are not a team to take lightly.. That said, i definitely think we can take them on...

We just need to keep our focus ..

11:16 AM  
Blogger Q said...

What do u guys think about Mohammed Salmeen's role??

Personally, I think shifting him back to midfield or as a supporting striker is part of the reason the flare is out from the attack!

Mohammed Ali (is that his name? the Pele guy) is good, but not as good as Salmeen! I think Salmeen and Hubail upfront with Talal doing his thing behind them on the left is a killer combo!

I dont know if i was just imagining seeing Salmeen play a more direct role in the past, am I right?

1:03 PM  
Blogger Mo said...

Actually, Salmeen has always been an attacking midfielder who occasionally plays in the hole behind the strikers.

His dip in recent form could be due to the assignment of tactical defensive marking roles to him, as he's usually a player who likes to roam around in an almost zidane-esque manner.

Hussain "Pele" Ali is a pure out and out striker and is the preferred partner for Ala'a Hubail.

3:02 PM  
Blogger Q said...

Aaah yes, Hussain Ali, not Mohammed Ali!

Anyway, how well do u rate him?

And when talking about Salmeen, I keep remember him shredding defences and inside the box! Something I have rarely seen nowadays!

Am I going crazy or is my memory failing me?

6:21 PM  
Blogger Sir Matt said...

Salmeen is a great dribbler of the ball, but he is too inconsistent for my liking. His MAJOR fault for me is his lack of goals. His temper is extremely suspect as well.

It's a shame because on his day he is can go past players like they're not there.

5:35 PM  
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11:56 PM  

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