Last week, after my birthday celebrations, Liverpool FC gave me a great gift - an away win at Marseille to seal a place in the quarter finals of the Champions League. It was a comfortable win. So, we went into last night's game at home to Manchester United with high hopes. Before the game, my friends who supported Man U began their SMS of attrition. But I was hoping for a win.
Alas, it was a night for Man U fans to savor. We were the better team but better teams don't win games without scoring. Argghhhhh!!!
Now we meet Chelsea in mid week for the Carling Cup game. I don't have much hope for that either.
I've been supporting Liverpool since I don't know when. I've always supported them. My brother Captain Arjunaidi on the other hand has always supported Arsenal. I've supported LFC since Steve Heighway's dazzling runs whilst my brother would go gaga over Charlie George's flowing locks.
In soccer or football, I was more of a spectator than a participant though I did play some. I was always a goalkeeper. In fact, I broke my wrist in school in Form 3 whilst playing goalie.
I was a decent goalie but not good enough to represent my school who had an excellent goalkeeper - my classmate Lee Wai Chong who I think even represented Selangor at one stage. My favourite goalkeepers were Gordon Banks (pic below),Ray Clemence, Peter Shilton, Dino Zoff (whom I met in Old Trafford)
and our own Chow Chee Keong. However, I did see some old video clips of the famous Russian goalkeeper Lev Yashin (pic below). and thought he was kinda fantastic too.
When I was in New Straits Times, I joined the hockey and cricket teams. In hockey, I played in goal too. Cricket? I was an all rounder.
My most memorable game in hockey was when NST played against the Police team in a friendly where I had to face national players. I think I let 4 or 5 goals slip through me that day.
I loved sports. Badminton, cricket, football, hockey - you name it. I used to be able to name every player in our national team and went to the stadium to see players like Syed Ahmad, Arumugam, the great Mokhtar Dahari,Kapitan Soh Chin Aun, James Wong, Hassan Sani, Namat Abdullah, Santokh Singh, Chow Chee Keong, Shaharuddin Abdullah and many others.
We screamed our heads off whenever Malaysia or Selangor met Singapore.
Now, I don't know any of our players - and last week we faced the ignominy of losing to Vietnam and not winning the Gold medal in the SEA Games in Korat. Our team is a bunch of ninnies. Nothing compared to the greats of the 70s and early 80s when we were as good as teams from Japan or South Korea. I wonder if any one remembered the great goal by the famous Japanese striker in Merdeka stadium - his name was Kamamoto.
Those were the good old days lah. I miss them and I think many Malaysians wish that the good old days of Malaysian soccer will return. Personally I don't think it will - at least in my lifetime. Not if we think Serbie Singh is the country's best football mind.