Wild East Football failed to carry a match report on the China-Thailand game on Saturday, in part it’s due to some issues we were having with the website, in part it’s because it would be virtually impossible to write a straight, non-emotional piece on that match. As the Chinese Football Association (CFA) is spending the week mulling over what to do with national team manager Jose Antonio Camacho, we at have a very simple answer, fire him.
China reached an all-time low on Saturday night when they lost 5-1 to Thailand in Hefei, while there are a number of issues that need to be addressed, firing failing manager, Jose Antonio Camacho, is a must.
Having supported China since the heady days of 2000, when there was legitimate reasons to be hopeful China could get into the World Cup, I cannot remember a time worse than the present. The national team had three tough matches over the last fortnight, nothing was expected against Holland, but the team was supposed to be able to shine against Uzbekistan and Thailand, especially considering both matches were played in China. In the end, China lost all three matches, the Thai match, against what was virtually that nation’s U-23 side, was the ultimate disaster.
It’s easy to talk about the absolutely horrible performance put in by many of the players against Thailand, especially defenders Zhao Peng and Feng Xiaoting, whose mistakes and ball watching gifted Thailand goals. It’s also easy to criticize the players’ lack of professionalism for outright quitting in the match (it seems as a tactic to get the hated Camacho fired) and of a few of the Guangzhou Evergrande players who were out drinking late the night before the Thailand match. While this sort of behavior, especially when representing your country, brings up serious questions about the mentality of the players, these are far more complex to address.
What isn’t is that Camacho’s reign has been an unparalleled disaster from the start. A popular, successful manager was fired, the CFA had to go far down their list to find his replacement, the translator brought in was unfit to do the job, and China was very quickly eliminated in World Cup qualifying. Camacho’s experience at Real Madrid and Spain were used to sell him as an excellent choice, most fans didn’t buy it. Now, with the news that is leaking out of the CFA, it seems nobody in the CFA believed in him either, instead he was forced on them by Wanda.
Camacho’s player selection has always been an issue of contention, using players who aren’t even getting regular playing time at their club in the national team doesn’t make a lot of sense. He also seems, despite two years in the position, to have failed to build any kind of relationship with the players. His strategies and decision making haven’t worked and yet he’s failed to try much of anything new.
While he should have already been fired, it seems that financial considerations have prevented the CFA from pulling the trigger. At this point, financial considerations be damned, China needs a new manager. The East Asian Cup, a tournament the three other participants are likely to place little importance on, is a good time to bring in someone new, giving them enough time to build a rapport with the players and be prepared for the three important Asian Cup qualifying matches in the fall.
CFA, it’s time, fire Camacho.
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