Many had expected a lot from Bangladesh in the recently ended Bangabandhu Gold Cup Football. But questions remain on the expectations as to how they emerged following Bangladesh's poor outing in the South Asian (SA) Games last year.
A big sum was set to be handed to the players if the team reached the final – a temptation only. But you cannot get better performances overnight.
Spectators have been left repenting the failures at the Bangabandhu Gold Cup – but this repentance is undue as our standard of playing remained so consistently.
We are at the bottom of the barrel and the onus falls upon Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) and its current President Kazi Salahuddin. This downfall is not sudden, we have gradually arrived here.
The tournament itself was a messy one as unknown teams such as Seychelles featured. This led to the general crowd being absent from the stands but these could have been avoided if teams such as Malaysia, Indonesia or Thailand were invited.
BFF can defend themselves in this case as the teams have a fixed calendar unlike us. Thus, it is tough to get better teams, however, waiting was always an option. They did not because the BFF elections are due in April.
I was shocked by the audacity of the BFF secretary as he said that they would field the tournament only if four teams were fielded. But because of some intervention, they had to arrange it with six teams.
To look at the positives, the players have better stamina as they run more than ten kilometers per match. The players who played in the earlier days, like (Sheikh Mohammad) Aslam and Khurshid Babul, did not run as much.
But the current crop of players lacks in creativity, in doing something extraordinary. You cannot differentiate among the players based on who ran the most. Bangladesh had eight shots but could score none whereas Burundi scored three goals from six attempts. These are just the statistics, but this shows the Bangladeshi boys not being clinical.
Now there might be some autopsy regarding such performances but the main reason behind it is that they don't get proper nurturing from the grassroots level.
They show some spark of brilliance on an individual level, and they are brought into teams like Farashganj FC, Rahmantganj FC. After another season, they move to even bigger clubs even if they are not ready. And as they are not properly equipped, they fail to deliver.
Many have criticised Jamie Day for his frequent leaves but I am willing to keep faith in him as I have known from talking with the players that they respect and trust him. And what I have noticed from my coaching experience is that Jamie doesn't have a lot of problems that some other managers have.
If someone has a problem with his frequent leaves, they should notice that Bangladesh cricket team head coach Russell Domingo was not in Bangladesh during the Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League (BPL). The reason was that he did not need to as he would get everything from the statisticians. Big teams like Argentina also do not get their players for a long time. But they are well-equipped and the players can adjust because they are in continuous training at their clubs.
Jamie Day's tactics have served the side well too as he gave opportunities to the players. If the players cannot make use of the chances, that is not the coach's fault. He cannot go out and play for them, he provided the side with the tactics and those helped the side to create openings. Saad could not score from a one-on-one the other day, Rakib missed a sitter, this cannot be changed by the coach, it is not his job.
Bangladesh are at the bottom of the barrel and the team cannot sink any deeper. But that does not mean that we have to lose hope on the coach as the players have their faith in him. Changes are required from the grassroots level if a turnaround is intended.