Yesterday was not a good day for supporters of teams in Red, particularly Liverpool and Bahrain.
On the liverpool frontier, we've lost to the bloody Toffees for the first time in five years. What a load of bull; enough said.
On the Bahrain side, I doubt I need to tell anyone that we drew to Yemen, the lowest ranked team, 1-1.
Yes, we missed a lot of oppurtunities. Yes, the referee was way off, but we can only blame ourselves.
Some analysis is necessary. Firstly, like I've mentioned before, I am really worried about the effect of playing so many games on the players. Yes, the Gulf Cup is really important, and to be honest it is the most enjoyable championship in the Arabic world, if not in Asia (for us at least). However, Bahrain stands a real chance of qualifying to the world cup this time around, and that definitely is much more important. In the summer we've played the Asian cup, then the first round of the Asian World Cup qualifiers, a small four-side tournament in Bahrain, now we've got the Gulf cup, then the second round of the world-cup qualifiers, not to mention the domestic leagues.
That's a tonne of games.
Teams in Europe complain of overload in matches for their players, and they probably only play two thirds of what players in the Gulf play. I'm really worried about what this burden of games create.
The second point concerns the main weakness in the Bahraini team.
Without doubt, I think it is our defence. I cannot even remember the last game Bahrain has played without conceding a goal with a reasonable opponent (I think it was in the last Gulf Cup; and Kyrgyztan do not count). It seems we are depending heavily on the tactic of, "We've got an amazing attacking and midfield; You might score against us, but we will outscore you."
Yes, we have amazing forwards, and that shows in the depth we have up front (we have mohammed Ja3far and duaij nasser as substitutes, which are amazing forwards, and I'd even argue they should be give a chance to start instead of hussain ali), but our defence is weak, to say the least. Let us look at the last number of games against worthy opponents. Against Syria we drew 2-2, Japan we lost 4-3, Iran 4-2, Uzbekistan we drew 2-2, China 2-2. That's like an average of more than two goals a game!
Maybe I'm looking too much into the future here, but what if we do qualify to the world cup and line up against opponents with serious attacking and defending elements. If Iran and japan can smack us with 4 goals, how many will Brazil put past us? It's all good that we can score 2 against China, but how will we fare agaisnt the Italian defence?
Let's look more closely at our defence. The usual line-up is: Mahmood Jalal, Hussain Baba, Abdulla El Marzoogi, and mohammed hubail. The other available options are playing faisal abdulaziz, sayed mohammed, or salman isa. What do you guys think is our best option? We definitely need at least one bulky and tall defender that is able to bully the opponents and win balls in the air. The two that provide these options are faisal abdulaziz and al marzoogi. However, both of them are past their prime, and are well into their thirties (me, however, being a muharraq fan and a riffa hater, would naturally prefer to see faisal abdulaziz). Hussain Baba and Mahmood jalal often fall in the trap of going forward too much, and although they do help in the attack, they often leave our defense vulnerable. I'm wondering what would be our ideal formation.