And so it’s official former Singapore national team coach V. Sundramoorthy has signed a three-year deal to become the head coach of the Laos national team.
I think we can all agree that since his last appointment as head coach of the Lions, the ‘dazzler’s’ stock has taken a hit. When in charge of Singapore, the former LionsXII coach was criticised heavily for his team’s drab and dour display in matches.
Sundram bore the brunt of the press and fans as he earned an infamous reputation as a defensive minded coach. Indeed the statistics were telling as his Singapore side won just three out of 23 games played under his guidance and it eventually paved the way for his departure. Also, Singapore scored a meagre 14 goals and conceded 39 under Sundram’s watch.
But Sundram’s doomed Singapore spell mustn’t define his coaching career. It must be said that 53-year-old was at the wrong place at the wrong time. Singapore at that time were undergoing a period of upheaval and transition, while the players Sundram had at his disposal deserved to shoulder some of the blame.
On the other hand, taking charge of Laos represents a golden opportunity for him to rebrand himself as a manager. We know he isn’t a bad coach, after all this is a man who won the 2013 MSL (Malaysia Super League) with the LionsXII and has a vast experience in management taking charge of clubs in Singapore and Malaysia.
As they say in football, the ball is round and don’t bet against him springing a surprise as he leads Laos in the AFF Suzuki Cup this year. This is because Laos have a coach who knows the regional well opponents and that can be a crucial advantage.
Knowing Sundram, he will be more than determined to prove his critics wrong especially those in Singapore, after the debacle he experienced with the Lions. In fact we may end up with a situation where Singapore’s loss may be Laos’ gain.