Oh... wait... that's Mexico. Yes, but that's Miguel Sabah, a player that we could have capped years ago when El Tri wasn't even aware of his existence. But no... why would we do that? That would actually constitute trying which Rajoub and Co. are vehemently opposed to. In essence, our trip to Iraq and the 3-0 and 4-0 losses are not the fault of the players. How could you fault a group of players who barely have any international experience. The majority of the squad came into today with 2 international caps or less. Most of us had no idea who they were this time last year. Yes, they held their own against minnows Nepal and Kyrgyzstan but how could you expect them to get a result against the reigning Asian Champs? Allow me to illustrate the number of official caps these players had headed into these games:
GK Mohammed Shbair (3)
GK Abdallah Saidawi (2)
GK Assam Abu Asi (0)
Compare that with Ramzi Saleh... remember him? The second most capped player in our history? The guy who tends the net for Al-Ahly one of the biggest clubs in the world. Yeah he has 62 caps.
Hisham Al-Salhi has never played for us before neither has Mustafa Abu Kweik, Husam Ziyadeh, Ahmad Abdullah, Asad Abu Asl, Yahya Barda, and Hussein Jawhar.
Mohammed Abdel-Jawad despite being 30 years of age, doesn't have 5 caps to his name, Ammar Abuseliesel has featured once. Ma'ly Kawre' and Maen Obeid have featured twice against Nepal and Kyrgyzstan. Husam Wadi has a couple of caps to his name Khadr Yousef has played 3 times for Palestine and Said Sobakhi 4 times. The only form of experience is in the form of Keshkesh who was forced onto the pitch short of fitness (25 caps), Fadi Lafi (33 caps), and Abdelatif Bahdari (who didn't feature) (7 caps).
So just to review:
8 uncapped players
9 players with less than 5 caps
1 player with 7 caps who didn't feature
2 players with 25+ caps 1 of whom was short of match fitness.
What kind of joke is this?!? Well I'll tell you who gained in the end, I'm sure Jibril Rajoub who took the opportunity to be interviewed by Al-Iraqiyya in the middle of the ass-whoopin' has lined his pockets with money from this deal. The only reason he is even near the team is to get his dirty hands on some FIFA money and now that he has Sepp Blatter duped I'm sure he is rolling in it. We could use that money to compensate players that have been injured for their expenses (we didn't have the money to do so for Emad Ayoub and he refused to play for us again), or cover our cost of travel for friendlies, or re-invest in the game locally. But where does this money go? Rajoub's pockets! If we were ever serious about winning a game our sqaud would look like this:
GK: Ramzi Saleh (Al-Ahly Egypt), Mohammed Shbair (Shabab Al-Amari', Palestine)
D: Majed Abusidu (LB, Kazma Kuwait), Abdelatif Bahdari (CB, Wehdat, Jordan), Roberto Bishara (CB, Palestino Chile), Omar Jarun (CB, Flota Swinoujscie, Poland div 1), Mohammed Abdel-Jawad (Al-Birah, Palestine), Shareef Adnan (LB, Al-Faisaly, Jordan), Ismail Amour (RB, Al-Dhariah, Palestine)
M: Imad Zatara (LM, Syrianska, Sweden div 1), Roberto Kettlun (RM, Brindisi, Italy Serie C2), Mohammed Samara (CM, Petrojet, Egypt), Edgardo Abdala (DM, Huachipato, Chile), Mohammed Shatrit (M, JA Drancy, France), +1 more defensive mid.
F: Fahed Attal (F, Al-Jazira, Jordan), Fadi Lafi (Shabab Al-Ordon, Jordan), Ahmad Keshkesh (Shabab Al-Amari', Palestine)
You see that? That's an 18-man squad capable of competing with Iraq, what we sent was the equivalent of sending lambs to the slaughter. I stress that this may only be a friendly but it is damn important to do something about our FIFA ranking. The revised format has not been kind to us, coupled with months of inactivity we dropped to 180 our lowest ranking since the early days. We need to boost that ranking to improve our seeding for FIFA World Cup Qualifiers and Asian Challenge Cup Qualifiers. Also if we are not a bottom feeder in the FIFA AFC rankings we can double-dip and play in the Challenge Cup AND Asian Cup Qualifiers. But what do we know, all hail Mighty all-knowing Rajoub! The best thing to happen to Palestinian Football.