IF the head of the Philippine Football Federation will be asked to rate the performance of Azkals coach Michael Weiss, the German will surely get a failing mark.
PFF president Mariano 'Nonong' Araneta on Wednesday hit out at "weaknesses" in Weiss’ coaching style which he said impede the progress of the Philippine football team in the international scene.
The former national booter and two-sport star also pointed out "flaws" in the Azkals' game under the German mentor, whose contract as national coach expires on January 15 and is up for renewal.
“Itatanong ko lang kay (Azkals team manager) Dan (Palami) dyan, ‘Is Weiss the coach that could bring us to a higher level (in world football)’,” Araneta told Spin.ph in his most scathing criticism yet of the Azkals coach.
When asked to elaborate, Araneta declared: “Mahina pa rin hanggang ngayon yung ball handling natin, and walang improvement sa cohesion. Wala tayong system of play (under Weiss)," Araneta said.
Araneta also expressed displeasure over the Azkals' failure to keep possession for long periods against quality opposition as well as the team's penchant for resorting to long balls.
“Balik tayo ulit sa long balls eh, from the defense laging diretso ang bola sa strikers,” said the Ilonggo sports official. “Kaya madalas makikita mo si Phil (Younghusband) mag-isa lang umaatake sa front. Swerte na kung dalawa sila.
“Yung ibang teams like Singapore and Thailand, pag umaatake, they have at least four people in front," he continued.
Araneta also rued the lack of cohesion of the Philippine eleven, whose regulars are mostly based overseas.
“Cohesion, dapat andyan 'yan sa team. Pag titignan mo yung mga players natin kasi iba iba ang posisyon nila,” said the PFF head. “Dapat kung midfielder ka, midfield ka lang. Iba yung right wing sa left wing.
“Kaya madalas may misccomunication."
The PFF technical team is currently evaluating the status of Weiss, who is currently on vacation in Germany and unavailable for comment. He is not expected back until Sunday.
Although the Philippines went from No. 159 in the world rankings to an all-time high of 147th during Weiss' first two years in charge, Araneta said it could have been better.
“We have the players now who have the experience,” he said, rattling off the names of new recruits like Dennis Cagara, Jerry Lucena and Stephan Schrock.
However, Araneta gave Weiss credit for the discipline he has instilled in the Azkals as well as the team's conditioning.
“In fairness, maganda ang conditioning ngayon ng mga bata. Kita mo parang mga diesel, pag second half duon bumabanat,” said Araneta while praising the Azkals third-place finish under Weiss in the last Challenge Cup.