KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 11 – Selangor were fittingly known as the Red Giants in the 1980s because they used to imperiously trample their rivals.
The Selangor of today hope to regain some of their lost glories but the Red Giants have got off on the wrong footing.
In their first two Super League matches, Selangor failed to beat mediocre sides Felda (a week ago) and PJ City (Saturday), and had to settle for 1-1 draws.
In comparison, Selangor started off better in the Super League last year where they beat Kuala Lumpur 2-0 and Melaka United 4-1 in their first two matches.
Selangor legend Datuk Santokh Singh turned up at MBPJ Stadium to watch the Red Giants huff and puff against newcomers PJ City.
The 66-year-old, hailed in his heyday as a fantastic fullback, wasn’t impressed with Selangor’s foreign signings on that day.
The Selangor imports listed to play against PJ City were Taylor Regan (Australia), Antonio German (Grenada), Rufino Segovia (Spain), Endrick Dos Santos Parafita (Brazil) and Michal Nguyen (Vietnam).
Santokh, who made 104 appearances for Malaysia (1972-1980),
was in no mood to give the thumbs up to the foreign show.
“I think the foreigners are not living up to expectations but the draw is a good result for both teams,” he said.
Santokh, however, praised a
local midfielder in the Selangor side. “While I think the Selangor
back-line was also not up to expectation, they got a good buy in former Terengganu player Mohd Faiz (Mohd Nasir).”
He stressed that the Red Giants will need time to develop to be a giant again in the M-League.
Santokh, who played for 33-time Malaysia Cup champions Selangor 365 times between 1972 and 1985, urged fans to be patient as fast results are not possible.
“I can’t really judge them after only one or two games. We have to be patient.
“I think Selangor could have done better (against Petaling Jaya City).
“I hope Selangor can get back to their glory days.”
Off the field, the Red Giants are also trying to get back on their feet after the FA of Selangor (FAS) were embroiled in a struggle for power between two camps of council members.
FAS president Tengku Amir Shah Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah and his team have made efforts to put their house in order.
The last period Selangor walked tall in Malaysian football was in 2009-2010 where they won the Charity Shield and the Super League title for two consecutive years as well as the FA Cup.
Now with coach B. Sathianathan helming Selangor, there are great expectations that the Red Giants will rise again.
The wily 60-year-old Sathianathan has started his season in the same manner before — when he was with Felda United.
Despite a poor start with Felda in 2017, Sathianathan managed to turn things around as unfashionable Felda finished a commendable third in the Super League behind JDT and Pahang.