By Zulhilmi Zainal
Kelantan’s Lebanese striker Mohammed Ghaddar’s dip in form has been a sore point in the otherwise consistent East Coast outfit. In Saturday’s match against Terengganu, he was brought on as a substitute in the final 10 minutes, perhaps an opportunity to recover his form.
He was fouled in the penalty box almost immediately, and was presented with the chance to regain his confidence by scoring from the following penalty kick. His kick was saved by Sharbinee Alwi, and as Terengganu mounted a last minute fight back, he faded into the background as Kelantan held on to emerge the winner with a 2-1 scoreline.
Peter Butler, when quizzed on Ghaddar’s failure to find the back of the net more often in an exclusive post-match interview with Goal.com, cryptically said, “It is only natural for players such as him to be disappointed at not scoring, but he’s a good lad and whichever team he plays for he will surely give his best”.
When pressed furthermore regarding Ghaddar’s future in the team, Butler revealed, “I have no say regarding the selection of foreign players as that said decision is solely the management and FA’s decision.”
Butler’s ambiguous response to the question on Ghaddar will surely make fans wonder about Ghaddar’s place in the team, especially with the opening match of the 2012 AFC Cup drawing near in less than a month.
A bigger question however is how a coach of Butler’s calibre has been essentially left out of a significant part of the team management with his frank statement that he has no authority over his team’s import players’ selection.
Kelantan will be playing away to misfiring Selangor this Tuesday and although Ghaddar may not feature in the starting eleven, Butler may take comfort in the fact that his local striker partnership of Norshahrul Idlan and Indra Putra are shouldering the responsibilities nicely.