Newin piles pressure on Thailand coach Polking after 'unpalatable' performances
Newin Chidchob, chairman of Buriram United, has weighed in on the Thai national team’s disappointing form, saying responsibility for results lies with the head coach.
On Sunday, hosts Thailand finished a lowly third out of four teams in the 2022 King's Cup, sparking criticism of the Football Association (FA), head coach Alexandre Polking and the players.
Although the home team beat Trinidad and Tobago 2-1 in the third-place play-off, Thai fans were dismayed by the penalty shootout loss to Malaysia in the semi-final.
Speaking to The Nation in an exclusive interview, Newin said fans should not criticise players or the FA, as only one person was responsible for the national team’s performance.
“Actually, I don’t think we should blame footballers. I cannot lay the blame with footballers or the [football] association. For me, we must blame the coach.”
Newin compared the head coach to a chef who selects the ingredients to make a tasty and well balanced meal. “You should know what ingredients to choose from the moment you go to the market,” he said, adding that a coach’s role is to pick footballers and then blend them into a winning combination.
“If you are a chef but you cook the food badly, it is not the fault of the vegetables, pork, chicken, or seafood [that you selected].”
Neither is it the fault of the FA, which organises international competitions like the King’s Cup, he said. Instead, it is the role of the head coach to select players for internationals “but if you select or cook terribly, the results will be bad because players will not play according to your plans.
“If asked what the problem is, I would say the problem is the chef or the coach in football. It is the same answer anywhere in the world.
“The coach is automatically responsible for results. There’s no point saying that only 45 minutes was bad and the rest of the match was good. Every second on the field as a professional coach and player is meaningful and valuable.”
Newin pointed out that the Thailand team coach carries the hopes of all Thai fans on their shoulders.
“If he was Buriram United’s coach, I don’t want to say what would happen.”
When asked if he wanted to become the president of the association to "choose the chef", Newin said definitely not.
“I do not have the right or the desire. See how I ‘cook’ Buriram United for the answer on how I act and think and the results achieved,”, Newin explained.
Asked how he would respond if the association asks for his cooperation or wants to use Buriram United’s model, he said:
“I always cooperate with everything. I give everything for FIFA internationals as these are international rules. As fans nowadays, are we misunderstanding something? I will not protect the association or its president as I view that it is the role of every association to organise competitions and prepare the team."
He added, “If the dish is inedible, it is down to how the chef cooks.”