BY OOI KIN FAI Follow on Twitter
On Wedneday night after the conclusion of the first half of the Super League season, Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) increased their lead at the top of the league standings from three points to five points - but it did not stop criticism from their own fans following what was an insipid performance in that 2-1 win against Penang.
Fans of the Southern Tigers have repeatedly voiced out their dissatisfactions throughout this 2017 season, having already seen their all-conquering JDT side relinquish two trophies that they won in 2017. Kedah had earlier in the season took the Charity Shield away from JDT while last weekend's defeat to Pahang meant that the FA Cup will have a new winner this season.
To this, HRH Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim (TMJ) has released a statement calling on the fans to realise the privileged position they are in and expressed his shock at the uproar caused by the fans. TMJ in the statement calls on fans to be more thankful and appreciative of what the club has achieved thus far.
In many ways, it's similar to what fans of Arsenal have gone through and a famous Arsene Wenger quote comes to mind - "If you eat caviar every day, it's difficult to return to sausages".
JDT fans have enjoyed unparalleled success in recent years and it is with that high bar that everything is being measured right now. The reigning Super League champions has undertaken a more transformative move by using a comparatively lower quality of imports as well as giving the team a more youthful look.
It's not hard to see that budget increases by other teams also meant that they would have done good recruiting on their own - which when combining the points together make the league and cup competitions more difficult for JDT than what it was in previous years.
A more competitive league or competition is what the football fraternity always seek and that is what fans of JDT as well as fans of other teams are getting this season. Many other leagues around the world have suffered because of clear monopoly or duopoly by specific teams - which isn't good for the long term growth of the league.
There's still much for the fans to look out for, JDT are very much on course to lift the Super League title for a record-breaking fourth time and are favourites to reach the final of the AFC Cup despite hiccups in the group stage. Perhaps it's time to take the rose-tinted glass down.