Vietnam fail at Asian Cup as the successors need more time

By Quoc Tuan   January 22, 2024 | 04:00 pm PT
Vietnam fail at Asian Cup as the successors need more time
Coach Philippe Troussier and Vietnamese players after their 0-1 defeat against Indonesia at the Asian Cup group stage on Jan. 19, 2024. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa
The old generation of players were injured or have lost their form, while the young players have not had enough opportunities to develop, so it's understandable that Vietnam are not a strong football team right now.

Vietnam suffered their second consecutive defeat at the 2023 Asian Cup to familiar Southeast Asian rival Indonesia on Friday. The 0-1 defeat destroyed their chance of advancing and led to a groundswell of disappointment among fans, some clamoring for the ousting of coach Philippe Troussier.

Yet, it's a precipitous judgment to lay the blame squarely at the feet of any coach.

The golden generation is grappling with injuries and dwindling form, while the emergent talents remain underdeveloped due to limited exposure and experience. This dichotomy has created a void where continuity should be.

Comparisons with the past glories under coach Park might stir nostalgic sentiments but are unhelpful critiques of Troussier's current regime, which has inherited a squad facing significant deficiencies. Despite Indonesia's shaky start, their recent investments and player naturalizations are starting to bear fruit—a fact that must be acknowledged rather than used against our national team's performance.

The criticism leveled at Troussier for fielding inexperienced youth over seasoned veterans ignores the reality of injuries and the irreversible ebb of time affecting player performance. Moreover, coach Park's reluctance to rotate his squad in the past has left us with a dearth of seasoned youngsters ready to step up.

It's imperative to recognize that the recruitment and nurturing of talent in Vietnam lag behind. The V-League's stagnation and the scarcity of opportunities at the club level for young players are substantial roadblocks to their development. How can we expect polished performances on the grand stage without a foundation of regular, competitive play?

Lambasting Coach Troussier for the defeat to Indonesia is a myopic view of the situation. His strategy of blending experience with youth is not just reasonable; it's necessary for fostering a competitive environment and ensuring the longevity of our football heritage.

Victory and defeat are two sides of the same coin in sports. The latter often serves as a catalyst for growth and a reality check, allowing players to gauge their capabilities and kindle their ambitions. The ascendancy of Japan and Korea to the zenith of Asian football was neither swift nor frugal; it was a journey marked by patience and sustained investment.

The future of Vietnamese football requires a collective commitment to development, requiring time, investment, and unwavering support from the fans. The road to resurgence is long and winding, and no coach possesses the alchemy to transform a team instantaneously. Our current level of play, while not yet lofty, is no cause for disillusionment. It's the resilience in the face of setbacks and the judicious use of resources at our disposal that will pave the path to success.

Vietnamese football deserves our faith, not our frustration. Let us rally behind our team and look forward to the day when our patience pays off in the form of triumphs that we can all celebrate together.

The opinions expressed here are personal and do not necessarily match VnExpress's viewpoints. Send your opinions here.
go to top