Hans Michael Weiss has so far escaped criticism from the local media about some of his decisions about the game. This is probably due to the fact that the guy has been with the Azkals for only seven months, and because we are quite grateful of the extensive financial support his German government has given the Azkals.
For me personally, I do not usually don’t want to second-guess a Coach of any sport, primarily because I am just an ordinary fan, and they have more technical knowledge and experience about how to do their job than I will ever have.
But then again, sometimes you see glaringly obvious mistakes that is just really hard to pass up, and during these times, it really has to be pointed out. We cannot always assume that they are better than us, especially if the mistakes are that obvious, and favorable results are not realized.
‘The Sri Lankan Yellow Cards’
In the home game of the match against Sri Lanka, after Guirado scored the team’s third goal in the 50th minute, a good coach would probably say, “Gee, I wonder if I could rest some of my players, and give exposure to some of the younger players? After all, this has been a relatively easy game for us”.
An even better coach would think, “which players have yellow cards? I should rest them, to keep them from picking up their second one.” And yet Weiss made no such move. And true enough, Borromeo was booked for his second yellow card in the 68th minute.
After the match, when he was promptly interviewed, I was disappointed when he said he did not know if Borromeo and Schrock will be suspended even after they got their second yellow cards, because he thought the cards would be written out in the next level. He is the Coach, he should’ve known, because every Football fan knows that if you get two yellow cards in between matches, you get suspended, unless it is clear at what point the cards would be wiped off during a tournament.
‘The Kuwait Substitutions’
Our boys played the game of their lives against Kuwait. You could see that by the way they battled with intensity and fought for every possession. However, they are only human, and could only sustain that kind of intensity level for so long. I figured that the Azkals were able to keep in step with the Kuwaitis up to the 60th minute of the match.
After that, you could see the Kuwaitis starting to threaten in succession inside the penalty area. Our boys were simply T-I-R-E-D.
Everybody expected Weiss to use up all of his substitutions in the game, but to the horror of horrors, he absolutely did N-O-T-H-I-N-G. As a result, the Kuwaitis scored their next two goals starting from the 67th minute.
When Weiss finally did make substitutions, it was already in injury time, not even enough for Misagh Bahadoran and Simon Greatwich to warm up. In contrast, the Kuwaitis made around three substitutions in the game, starting I think early in the second half.
‘Why, O Why’
The big question now is, what the hell is going on inside Weiss’ head out there? Why would he miss out on what seems to be obvious decisions? We can only guess.
My guess is that Weiss was afraid of making things worst if he made substitutions, that Sri Lanka could come back, or that the Kuwaitis would score more goals. Which, to me, shows two things: First, he doesn’t really know his men very well; And second, he has doubts about being able to motivate them.
For example, we do know for a fact that Weiss wanted to win in that second game against the U23 of Bahrain in the interviews he gave out. The result? A 3-1 thrashing. I think because of that it entered his mind that some of his boys are not just good enough to play at a higher level, and he couldn’t do something about it.
Which shows he is not really a “people-person”, meaning in terms of motivating and knowing his people, he is not that good. Coaching is not just technical, it also involves other aspects like knowing about the Psychology of his people, and how to motivate them. It is in this aspect that he is defficient.
Technically, his inability to foresee and anticipate things like the yellow card accummulation shows that he is also somewhat defficient in that area. He is used to coaching kids (U19 teams), but he is coaching men now. This is supposed to be a promotion for him.
Would the Kuwaitis not have scored those other two goals if he used up his substitutions midway in the second half? Maybe, maybe not. But as Coach, it is his job to do everything in his power to help the team win, especially during the flow of the game. And clearly, in this case, he has not.
With this defeat, Weiss’ record with team goes down to 3 wins, 3 draws and 2 losses. His winning percentage of 37% is better than McMenemy’s 27%, but what bothers me about his record, is the fact that in his eight games with the Azkals, seven were against teams ranked lower than us. That loss to Mongolia, and those three draws should’ve been wins, but they were not.
Granting that the team has “unique” problems (i.e., constant changes in lineup), his job to adjust to them, and make the best out of it.
I don’t think Weiss has the experience or skill to take this team to the next level. Good luck with the PFF in finding a suitable replacement for him, if we want to progress farther in our FIFA rankings.