* Miserable start to the season ends Satianathan’s stint as head coach
* In football ‘rested’ means my services are terminated, saus Sathia
* Assistant Shahrin Majid takes over the hot seat
B. Satianathan became the second coach of a Super League team to be “rested” when the Gladiators named his assistant Shahrin Majid – a former international as his replacement – yesterday.
A few weeks earlier, Kelantan had also ‘rested” Dutchman George Boateng from active duty with the Red Warriors when they named former Kedah honcho, Mohd Azraai Khor Abdullah as their new man at the helm.
It is not a surprise that Satianathan has been rested when the 2013 Premier League champions are languishing second from the bottom in the 12-team league after seven matches. The Gladiators have garnered only four points from one win (beat Pahang 1-0) and one draw (2-2 with Terengganu) – ahead of winless Sime Darby who have one point from one draw.
Satianathan was informed by the management after Tuesday’s training session that he is being “rested” and was quoted as saying that he respects the decision of the management.
“In football when you are ‘rested’ it simply means that your services are terminated,” said Satianathan who took over the reins at Armed Forces in 2012 and led the Gladiators to the Premier League title which came with a promotion to the 2013 Super League.
The same year (2012) Armed Forces reached the Malaysia Cup final but lost to treble winners Kelantan.
Shahrin will face his baptism of fire when Armed Forces travel to Kuching this Saturday to face Sarawak at the State Stadium. In their last home match last week Sarawak defeated Sime Darby 2-1 despite playing the second-half with 10 players after Ramesh Lai was red carded.
It is a sad end to Satianathan’s stint.
But is he to be blamed for his predicament when he had started the season with new signing – Nigerian defender Obinna Nwaneiri – being more involved in off field bickering with his former team Kelantan.
His “running battle” with the Kelantan management over payment affected his game and the team’s overall performance.
Another new signing Abdulafees Abdulsalam was also non-effective. Another big disappointment was national striker Norshahrul Idlan Talaha who has “quit” the team during the April transfer window and asked to be released to join his homestate Terengganu.
It is left to be seen if Armed Forces can get out of the rot and inch their way out of the relegation zone.
In the FA Cup, the Gladiators were first round casualties against Terengganu outfit T-team.