|The next V.League 1 fixture is in April. Photo: bondgaplus.vn
The phrase “I hate to say I told you so” has never really resonated with me.
One of my many flaws is I love being right and have no hesitation when it comes to letting others know that, and it’s happened again.
My last column sang the praises of the Viet Nam Football Federation (VFF) for hiring Philippe Troussier as the new head coach of the national team, though I also mentioned he’ll need to be backed to the hilt to succeed.
Surprise surprise, one of the things he said he needs to build a strong national team is a strong domestic league which if you read these pages regularly, is something I’ve been banging on about forever.
“I think it is necessary to improve the competitiveness and rhythm of the game for the Vietnamese team by maintaining the V.League, the Frenchman said last week according to thethao247.vn.
“I hope in the future, Vietnamese players can play 45-50 V.League matches a season and the domestic league can last up to 10 months,”
He went on to lament the fact that V.League 1 players will have played only four matches in a period of four months, as the domestic season has taken a 45-day break.
Ostensibly this break is meant to allow the various national teams time to train together for competitions, but there are no fixtures planned for the senior team.
Indeed, the closest thing to a high profile international competition in this break is the AFC U20 Championship, which Viet Nam have already crashed out of.
So if the man hired to develop the national team into a continental force is against a long mid-season break, if fans are against it and the coaches of several V.League 1 teams are against it, who is in favour of this nonsense?
Coach Park Hang-seo certainly was in favour of extending national team training camps, but he’s no longer in charge, Troussier is, so those in power over the domestic game should start taking his opinion into consideration.
Moving from a stop-start and not very strenuous league season to playing 40-50 matches a year might initially be tough for local players, but the results in the long term would be worth it.
And of course if we had a normal league schedule, those of us who write a weekly column about domestic football would have a much easier time picking what to write about each week! VNS