Thursday, December 13, 2007

Vietnam football team flops, Coach Reidl resigns, will the betrayed fan want his kidney back?

When I clicked on Alfred Riedl's homepage this morning it appeared I was the first ever visitor. At least the counter was set at zero. It felt like an honour...

...and honour is what the Vietnam Football Federation wanted him to resign with -- after Vietnam flopped at the SEA games and grown men wept-- pleading with him to leave voluntarily so they didn't have to sack him (and shell out more dollars).

But he wasn't going easy -- claiming he wasn't to blame, entirely, and that's fair enough, as he certainly didn't take one of the penalties in the shoot out against the might of Myanmar and Vietnam missed three out of four. Anyway, eventually he settled for a pay out of less than 100 % and more than what the VFF first suggested and life goes on.

That was the third stint for Riedl as coach of the national team since 1998. He was hailed a hero after the 2007 Asia Cup when Vietnam reached the quarter finals and -- feel the love! -- when he required a new kidney earlier in the year more than 70 football fans offered to donate the vital organ to him! One was chosen and Riedl made a full recovery.

"I asked them why they wanted to do this, and they said: 'You did something good for us, and now we help you,'" Riedl later told reporters.

Can this 'kidney for a favour philosophy' be reversed and if so, will the irate fan now demand his kidney back? Worrying times indeed for the Austrian coach.

Anyway, we here at Pittstop Works salute the man who once answered the Timeout reporter's question 'if the goal posts were widened in football would there be more shots off the post?' with a cold and reasoned 'no'.

How can you fault this blunt, pragmatic, logic?

When asked in July if his side could ever be a major force in Asia he said, simply, no.

"We can do something in the Southeast Asian region and sometimes in the Asian region but generally we can't have success because we are too small," he said. "You saw this, their players are 1.85m (Iraqis) and ours are 1.70m-something."

A team of wee men -- you know like Maradona, Carlos Tevez... em, Terry Phelan ...

Your best Wee-Men Football XI on a postcard.

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