Monday, June 19, 2017
Sriwijaya Sack Lessa After One Win In Five
There were a number of coaching appointments pre season that left me and perhaps others scratching heads in wonder. The biggest cranium scratcher for me was when Sriwijaya allowed Widodo Cahyono Putro was allowed to leave the club and Osvaldo Lessa appointed in his place.
It's not that Lessa is a stranger to Indonesia. Far from it. He worked with Persipura as fitness coach while the Black Pearls were hoovering up trophies. Then, when Jacksen F Thiago stepped down, Lessa was perhaps surprisingly, promoted to the hot seat. It didn't work out and he was soon replaced, perhaps another coach he found it difficult from being the buffer between coach and players to being the man with the final say.
Sriwijaya see themselves as an ambitious club but not this particular season. The appointment of Lessa underwhelmed when perhaps a bigger name was needed to get the best out of a squad that mixed age (Hilton and Beto) with youthful promise (Teja Paku Alam and Ichsan Kurniawan). And the marquee player, Tunisian Tijani Belaid, has struggled to make an impact in a side that has struggled for consistency,
Laskar Wong Kito have managed just four wins all season with just one of them on their travels. To stick the knife in further that came away to Persiba in Malang. Since then they have lost three games straight on their travels.
Remove the aging Brazilian strikers from the line up and you wonder where the goals will come from. Beto and Hilton have contributed nine of the 12 Sriwijaya have scored this season.
With football taking a two week break for the end of the fasting month Sriwijaya know they have some breathing space to appoint a new coach and give him some time to bed in. But they will need to move quickly. In the meantime Hartono Ruslan takes over as caretaker while the club from South Sumatra ponder their next move.