From a lacklustre beginning
Penang had a dismal start to the Super League season earlier this year under head coach, ex-Man United trainee, Ashley Westwood.
Under Westwood, the northern club suffered 6 losses and managed only 2 draws since the league kicked off. At that point, Penang were perched at the bottom of the MSL table with only 2 points.
Penang fans were outraged by this and staged multiples protests, including wreaking havoc at the Batu Kawan stadium after matches.
The enraged fans demanded the resignation of Ashley Westwood as head coach and Zairil Khir Johari as Football Association of Penang (FAP)’s president.
Westwood out, Zainal in
In order to appease the fans, FAP decided to terminate the Englishman’s contract, and Zairil assured the fans that Penang will at least qualify for the Malaysia Cup by the halfway mark of the season.
And then came Zainal Abidin Hassan to the rescue, who stepped in as Westwood’s successor and led Penang to their first win of the season against FELDA United.
Unfortunately, that remains Penang’s only win of the season amongst other draws and losses.
Penang out of Malaysia Cup for the second year
Penang’s loss to Johor Darul Ta’zim last night sealed their fate, the Panthers are still placed at the bottom of the Super League table, with only 5 points after 11 matches played.
Despite minor improvements in the team’s performance against Johor Darul Ta’zim, Penang’s performance still lacked intensity and drive, and they failed to hit their only target this season, which is the Malaysia Cup.
The same thing happened to the Panthers last year. Penang crashed out of the Malaysia Cup after falling to beat FELDA United at home, and they succumbed to the bottom of the Super League standings.
11 other super league teams, led by Johor Darul Ta’zim, have successfully made it to the Malaysia Cup that will start in July, including five teams from the Premier League.
The eleven teams are JDT, Pahang, Kedah, Felda United, Sarawak, Perak, PKNS FC, Melaka United, Kelantan, Selangor and T-Team from the Super League, while Negeri Sembilan, Terengganu, PKNP FC, Kuala Lumpur and UiTM FC made it from the Premier League.
Penang fans, how do you feel about this? What’s next for Penang?