Tanjong Pagar United coach Patrick Vallee has started the mind games ahead of the Singapore Cup final showdown on Friday as he questioned Home United talisman, Lee Kwan Woo's contribution, stating the ex-Korean international does not deserve to be awarded Player of the Year.
The vocal coach feels that Lee has not done enough to justify being nominated for the award.
“Everyone says Lee Kwan Woo is player of the year, no need to vote, it's finished,“ the Frenchman said in a post match interview in the wake of Tanjong Pagar’s 1-0 defeat to Balestier Khalsa on Monday evening at Jalan Besar Stadium.
“I never said he's not a very good player. He's a very, very good player. When he plays he's very good technically, he can score fantastic goals, sure, I'm ok with that.
“But how has he helped the team to win something? Do you think he helped the team to win the title by scoring 12 or 13 goals? Who helped the team to reach RHB cup final? Is it Lee Kwan Woo? I tell you, Firdaus Idros, Hafiz Rahim, and Masrezwan Masturi. These three players [helped the team].”
Vallee then further pointed out that Lee has yet to score in the Singapore Cup, and also criticised his lack of playing time in the league this season, especially given that Lee was a marquee signing.
“He is marquee player,” Vallee explained.
“[What did] FAS (Football Association of Singapore) bring a marquee player for? To sit on the bench? Play only one half?
“Hopefully for Home United, Lee Kwan Woo will help them win the RHB cup, but I don’t’ know if he should be player of the year [because of that].”
Instead of Lee, Vallee feels the forwards from Woodlands Wellington, Moon Soon Ho, Chang Jo Yoon, deserve the award more than the Korean.
“The players from Woodlands are very good,” he said.
“They performed very good this year. They scored 42 or 44 goals. To do that they must perform all season, and the squad is same as Tanjong Pagar.”
Still, despite his outburst, Vallee insists Home United are the favourites for the Singapore Cup on Friday and that the Protectors should have challenged for the title
"The squad of Home United is very good, I dont know why Home United didnt play for title this year,” the former Etoile coach admitted but with a tinge of mischief.
“Tanjong Pagar are underdogs, sure. But I prefer to be in my position. Maybe I will lose, but we'll see.”