4-3-3…? Are You Sure Mr. Kolev?
After series of training on several cities in Indonesia, the national team finally faced real challenge of friendly matches against Hong Kong and Singapore. Ivan Kolev used the 4-3-3 system of play on both matches. Indonesia won 3-0 against Hong Kong but lost 1-0 against Singapore. This is the first time ever for Indonesia to play in a 4-3-3 style. My question is, have Mr. Kolev chosen the right players for the system of play?
Based on the first match against Hong Kong, Ivan Kolev put Boaz Sollosa on the left wing and Budi Sudarsono on the right wing. Bambang Pamungkas was plotted as target man at the center of opponent’s defense. Firman Utina was a game maker in the midfield assisted by two energetic workers, Mahyadi Pangabean and Ponaryo Astaman. I will not discuss the defense line since the four flat defender system is no longer a strange system for Indonesian players.
Boaz Sollosa turned the game alive with his dribbling and skill until he was tackled and should be hospitalized for the next seven months. Budi Sudarsono on the other hand could not bring the game alive. He was actually a left wing attacker, and I did not know why Ivan Kolev set him on the right wing. He only played for thirty minutes and replaced by Rahmat Rivai. This was also a strange substitution strategy. Rahmat Rivai is known as a rapid striker at the penalty box, not a wing attacker.
I must say that Firman Utina could not play role as the play maker for the team. His role is a forward player in most clubs he ever played with. He and Agus Indra Kurniawan plays behind two strikers, but many coaches always consider these two players as playmaker for the team….such a way to waste talented players
It seems that many people expect to see another brilliant play maker in the field like Fachry Husaini who has retired years a go. Ponaryo Astaman, Syamsul Bachri, and Eka Ramdani are worker style midfielder with better skill in defensive system of play. Erol FX Iba, Atep, Ismed Sofyan, and Mahyadi Pangabean, are pure winger with good long passing skill and powerful long shots.
After Boaz Sollosa injured, Ivan Kolev may find no alternative on wing attacker than Budi Sudarsono on the left and Ellie Aiboy on the right. The friendly match against Singapore showed how Kolev found no alternative to replace stagnant wing attackers to penetrate Singapore defense line.
Rahmat Rivai and Saktiawan “The Dragon” Sinaga are both rapid striker in penalty box. Pure opportunistic killers. I personally will not put any of them as wing attacker. It wastes their real capability as goal scorer. Bambang Pamungkas and Zaenal Arief are powerful forward with good heading ability and controlled shooting. Kolev made the right decision in assigning Bambang or Zaenal Arif as the central striker under 4-3-3 system of play. They may give nightmare to opponent’s defense line on long ball plays.
So the question is, will Ivan Kolev keep his 4-3-3 system of play? I believe we have to wait until the next friendly match against United Arab Emirates on 16 June 2007. It seems Kolev will apply the 4-3-3 system of play against Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. Teams from middle east usually play stylish and systemic game of play, not like South Korea that play rapid attacking style.
The lost friendly match against Singapore was actually clear signal for Kolev to forget the 4-3-3 system of play, unless he finds wing attackers and a game maker to support his strategy.