Troy Deeney: From a Swag Boy, Captain and Legend from Watford

There are many unique stories regarding footballer’s life have been written or told for us. One of the stories is about Troy Deeney. Foremost, have you seen Deeney plays on the pitch or even just heard about his name? Surely, not so many football fans around the world know how exactly Deeney is. But, assuming if the English Premier League represent your weekly agenda, so at least you once heard his name in the football news or highlight.

Troy Deeney isn’t a prolific goal-scorer or modern type of nowadays striker. Has not enough pace or wonder dribbling skills either. Like common old style English striker, Deeney is a player who has powerful advantages aerial duels and physical contact.

The Career

Troy Deeney was born on 29th June 1988 in Birmingham, West Midlands and he raised up in Chelmsley Wood. Then his football life began with Chelmsley Town, an amateur club in 2004 until 2006 as a youth player.

When Deeney played for local team Chelmsley Town, he was scouted by the league two clubs, Walsall and joined them in late 2006. Deeney then was 16 years old and finding himself in tough circumstances in an earlier professional career. However, he ended up with good performances and several goals in Walsall and earned a move to Championship club, Watford in 2010.

Troy Deeney has had a good early career at Watford. But, he usually deployed as a winger at the time, so he only scored few goals. However, since Sean Dyche took the manager role in the 2011/2012 season, Deeney had been positioned as forward and scored more goals than before.

Troy Deeney has relatively massive contributions since he joined the Hornets. After the retirement of Manuel Almunia since 2014/15, Troy Deeney was selected by manager Giuseppe Sannino to be the Hornets captain. Also in the first season under Deeney captaincy, Watford success to earned promotion into Premier League.

Deeney was the first Watford player who had scored more than 20 goals in three consecutive seasons (2012/13, 2013/14, and 2014/15). Moreover, he became the fifth player to reach 100 goals in Watford. The milestone happened in Boxing Day 2016 after the match against Crystal Palace.

Almost in every season, there was managerially changed in Watford, but Deeney remains as the first option in forwarding area and captains as well. Besides that, technically, he always matched with every forward partner in Watford. From Matej Vydra, Odion Ighalo, Richarlison, and currently Andy Gray.

Troy Deeney

A Swag Boy

Troy Deeney included in category what so-called “swag” by his attitudes. He grows up in the broken home family since he was 11. Might that childhood experience was affected Deeney’s attitude onward.

Deeney kicked out from school when he was 14, back it again at 15 and out again at 16. He was not so serious in education at all. He had stopped educational life until he reached 22 years old.

Troy Deeney nearly to joined Aston Villa youth rank when he 15, if he wasn’t deliberately missed out at the first three days of trial. The reason was just that he upbringing in Birmingham and hasn’t really interested to sign for the rival. He said better chasing a girl in park area rather than joined The Villans. Another his unreal story as a young man, once Deeney drunk while playing in a match, when accidentally Walsall scout was watching the game as well.

His swag attitude came out again when he rampaged against Walsall board in summer 2010. He wanted to move to the bigger club at the time, then he eventually joined Watford. However, the swagest thing did by Deeney was happened in June 2012, when he kicked a man in a brawl and later sentenced to three months in jail.

After that brawl, literally, Deeney almost never showed his swag attitude again unless two accidents. First was about “lack of cojones“ commented against Arsenal, and that famous double middle finger gesture after scoring a goal versus Chelsea in 2017/18 season.

In Watford current squad, Troy Deeney is the longest serving player (since 2010).

The captain on and off the pitch

Troy Deeney grow up in the relatively poor family, his parents divorced and their environment near with criminal and gangster life. He might be dragged into that bad life series, but fortunately, his family and also football always there to help him out. Besides that, Deeney maturity also grows up gradually after he suffered the series of bad experiences in his life.

Deeney suffered the very hard times such as father died from cancer, his former Walsall teammate died in the ground, his grandparent died when he was at the jail. Not to mention for having a second child at the proceedings time. All those incidents had changed his life’s perspective. Now, he is a man of better personality.

That’s why Deeney took GCSE certification (at 22 years old, normally at 15 or 16 years old) just after being released from jail because he wants to be a good example for his kids educationally. Besides that, Deeney helped out his brother, Ellis to pay the bills for qualifying to be a personal trainer.

The Jamaican descent men also established a foundation which is used to help kids development in sports area such as give them football boots. It because Deeney once suffered a tough moment for having a boot when he was a kid. Accordingly, his tough life experiences had taught Deeney to be a better person.

There was rumour about Troy Deeney departure from Watford, almost in every transfer windows. But, fortunately, Pozzo family as the club owner always kept him. Although Deeney has swag and even temper attitude, it’s good to keep a player like him. The captain who plays with his dedication and spirit to the club.

From teenage with his swag attitude and once suffered jail sentences. Now, Troy Deeney is a captain and undoubtedly legend for English Premier League club, Watford. Deeney already enjoys challenges to compete with a bunch of the best player in the world and creates histories at the Hornets. He is the real captain either on and off the pitch.

Last but not least if you remember this:

“Almunia save again!!……

“Absolutely astonishing…..

“Now here come Watford…….


“It’s Hogg!!!……



(Written by Haris Chaebar)

*Additional source: Watford Observer,, and support football (youtube).

*Photo source:, dailymail/ianhodgson and reddit.


A Tough Challenge for Carlo Ancelotti and His Dynamic of Thoughts in Napoli

Carlo Ancelotti enjoys a successful career during his lifetime in football either as a footballer or football coach. His prominent peak as midfielder came at Milan during 80’s and 90’s with two scudetto and double Champions League titles. Since retired in 1992 and serving as an assistant coach for Italian national team until 1995, Ancelotti began his coaching career debut in Serie B side, Reggiana.

In his official debut as first team coach (1995-96) Ancelotti managed the Reggio Emilia-based club to achieved promotion into Serie A. Then only one season, Ancelotti signed for his former professional team as a footballer, Parma.

Carlo Ancelotti played under coach Arrigo Sacchi in Milan with his preferences of attacking football, 4-4-2, and obsession with spaces. Indeed, Ancelotti had inspired by former boss tactical mastermind in his approach as a football coach. During his reigns in Reggiana and Parma, Ancelotti succeeds with scheme 4-4-2 as well.

However, as a young coach who less experienced, Ancelotti so rigorous at the time. He gently forced the players to adjust in the 4-4-2 formation and ignored their potential. One figure who had been willingly sacrificed by Ancelotti it was Gianfranco Zola. He deployed as a left midfielder, despite naturally Zola was a creative attacking midfielder or trequartista.

Moreover, Ancelotti once turned down the chance for signing one of the best Italian players ever had, Roberto Baggio to Parma. Ancelotti thought the Divine Ponytail wouldn’t adjust to the team because there was no room for trequartista.

Unfortunately, Ancelotti’s obsession with only one tactical profile cost his career immediately. He was sacked by Parma in 1998 with no titles at all. The best achievement it was Serie A runner-up in the 1996-97 season.

The Dynamic of Thoughts

In his thesis as a final requirement for coaching qualification (1997) in Coverciano, Ancelotti wrote “Il Futuro Del Calcio: Piu Dinamicita” or “The Future of Football: More Dynamics.”

Consciously or not, essentially the Ancelotti’s thesis it was self-reflection on his tactical dynamics in future. From conventional and stuck with 4-4-2’s Sacchi, he has been reforming himself into the flexible and adaptive in approach as a football coach.

Since he was sacked by Parma in the middle of 1998, Ancelotti got himself to manage a big club in Italy, Juventus from early 1999 until summer 2001. Despite the Intertoto Cup was only his achievement in Juventus, Ancelotti had learned to established flexibility and adaptive approach at the time.

Ancelotti had combined the trio of Filippo Inzaghi, Alessandro Del Piero, and Zinedine Zidane up front under the formation; 3-4-1-2. Ancelotti chooses to pair Zidane and Del Piero together despite both players are trequartista. On the pitch, Del Piero drops to the center-left side and created attacking midfielders duo partnership alongside Zidane to support the goal poacher, Inzaghi.

What Ancelotti did to Del Piero and Zidane, might be intended to avoid the deja vu in Gianfranco Zola mismanaged. A gifted player who provides the fantasy for the game like Gianfranco Zola should be given proper role in the team.

Arrigo Sacchi (left) and his Inheritor, Carlo Ancelotti.

When Ancelotti coached Milan (2001-2009), his dynamic thought was discovered Andrea Pirlo’s role then. He knew Pirlo had great vision and passing ability as trequartista, despite lack speed and physical strength. Pirlo struggled to show his magic things when he got hard chased directly by the opposing defensive players.

So, Ancelotti thought Pirlo should be placed in front of Milan defender, then he could dictate attack with his passing skills from the deep line, as well as to freed him from pressure by opponent’s defensive players at the same time.

Andrea Pirlo famous role under Ancelotti era later called as deep-lying playmaker or regista. His positional play is the defensive midfielder, but the role isn’t only to give defensive efforts, but also initiate the attack from the deep line with his great vision and precise passing skills. Another Carletto legacy in Milan it was Christmas tree formation (4-3-2-1) or the advanced (4-3-1-2), which adopted by Italy in World Cup 2006 then.

The dynamic thoughts with flexibility and adaptative approach as a football coach also drove Ancelotti’s career history when he managed several big teams like Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, Madrid, and Bayern Muenchen.

In London, he opted to stand on Avram Grant’s (Jose Mourinho obviously) legacy in wide formation 4-3-3, after hearing what The Blues players preferences on the team tactic at the time. Carlo only changed the defensive oriented to be more balanced and effective on their players game mentalities.

In France capital city, Ancelotti continued Antoine Koumbare’s work on mixed Paris Saint-Germain squad between pre and post-Qatari reign since 2011.

When Real Madrid appointed him as entrenador in 2013, Carletto might have one of the best world class squad who nearly came to the peak at the time. Subsequently, he used the flexible tactically, more balances shift, and effectiveness either in defense, transition and attack to boost the stabilization in Madrid world-class squad quality. These Ancelotti work later became the cornerstone for Zinedine Zidane era.

However, Ancelotti’s time in Bayern (2016) was different from before. He totally changed the team mentalities from attacking and possession football fetish under Pep Guardiola to be more balanced and effective football.

A tough challenge: Napoli

Last two seasons, beautiful football in Napoli aren’t a strange view for us. However, Ancelotti couldn’t easy to re-establish what so-called that Sarriball principles. First, Carletto is not an attacking oriented football coach as well. In other hands, the whole Napoli squad needs more time in adapting to the new playing system under Ancelotti, despite the coach still retaining 4-3-3 formation.

Second, there was no Jorginho-esque anymore in Partenopei, a player who can distribute the ball like the BrazItaliano player. Instead, Carletto drop Captain Marek Hamsik to deploy him in regista role, because might too risky to place soon a newcomer like Fabian Ruiz or Amadou Diawara who needs more experiences in the first team.

Third, the gap in quality between the first team and their substitutes, mainly in the defensive area. Aged Raul Albiol, average Vlad Chiriches, stagnated Nikola Maksimovic and less experience Sebastiano Luperto aren’t enough supplies to be partnered and competed with Kalidou Koulibaly.

In other hands, to replace legend Christian Maggio and provide internal competition to Elseid Hysaj, Napoli only brought unknown footballer like Kevin Malcuit from Lille.

The only safe position is left back or goalkeeper. Faouzi Goulam return from the long-term injury means the Algerian will seize his place soon or later over the Portugal international player, Mario Rui. The same thing if wonderkid Alex Meret recovers from injury and ready to challenge Colombian international, David Ospina as portiere numero uno.

Carlo Ancelotti in a training session at Napoli.

The quality of Napoli squad this season is slightly regressed. The additional players who proven with their qualities are Simone Verdi or David Ospina, others are just average or youngster.

Therefore undeniably, Ancelotti would be facing complicate circumstances, when he needs rotating the team week by week. Moreover, Napoli will feature in three competitions, especially in Serie A and Champions League. So, the squad qualities are important things as also quantities in the team.

Carlo Ancelotti almost often success to gained some achievements in every team he managed, despite he almost always had been sacked too in every team he managed before.

However, Carletto capabilities couldn’t be underestimating easily. He still remains as a coach who won three Champions League as well as the bunch of trophies in football countries like Italy, England, France, and Germany. Carlettto is a genuine top football coach after all.

This time, Carlo Ancelotti reputation as a football coach who has flexible and adaptive approach alongside with hugely successful career and achievements, would meet a tough challenge in Napoli. Subsequently, let us see how the dynamics of Don Carletto’s thoughts settle this challenge he has, could he answer this tough challenge in a good result?

(Writer: Haris Chaebar)

Photo sources: Carlo Ancelotti twitter,, and

Bisakah Kita Memimpikan “Leicester Jilid Kedua” di Prancis?

Ligue 1 Prancis makin ramai sesak akan perhatian musim ini. Tak lain tak bukan adalah Paris Saint-Germain yang menjadi garda sentral akan hal tersebut. Mereka merekrut pemain muda penuh bakat seperti Kylian Mbappe dan tentu saja megabintang sepak bola, Neymar Jr. Pemain asal Brasil itu bahkan memecahkan rekor sebagai pesepak bola termahal sejaga raya saat ditebus dengan harga 222 juta euro, dari Barcelona di bursa transfer musim panas lalu.

Selain gegap gempita dari klub ibukota itu, Liga Prancis masih punya cerita-cerita lain. Masih Lyon, AS Monaco atau Marseille, yang harap-harap cemas menanti Paris Saint-Germain dengan bodohnya tergelincir dari pekan ke pekan.

Jika masih ingin lebih menikmati Liga Prancis lebih mendalam, bisalah kita menemukan Mario Balotelli di Nice yang terkadang satu laga cetak gol, kemudian laga selanjutnya kartu merah atau ikuti saja akan seperti apa perjalanan Cludio Ranieri di FC Nantes.

Berbicara tentang sosok Claudio Ranieri, tentu ingatan kita semua belum jauh-jauh dari keajaibannya membawa Leicester City juara Premier League musim 2014/15 lalu. Ketika itu, dengan skuat biasa saja atau mungkin bisa dikatakan “medioker”, Ranieri membawa klub berjuluk The Foxes itu mengangkangi klub besar seperti Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United dan Tottenham dalam perburuan gelar juara.

Peristiwa sangat mengejutkan seperti Leicester memang terlampau sukar diulangi kembali, tetapi kemustahilan dalam sepak bola tak pernah seratus persen terjadi. Maka dari itu berharap kembali memang tidak salah, toh manusia juga merupakan tempatnya harapan dipendar.

Claudio Ranieri.
Ranieri semoga adalah rencana jangka panjang di Nantes.

Dan kali ini meski tidak begitu besar, Claudio Ranieri masih punya peluang untuk melakukan hal magis semacam di Leicester dahulu pada klubnya kini, Nantes.

Untuk menjadi raja di Liga Prancis saat ini jelas sulit, karena ada Paris Saint-Germain yang materi skuatnya dibangun dengan kekuatan finansial yang seolah tak ada batasnya. Belum lagi ada keberadaan poros lain seperti AS Monaco, Lyon atau Marseille yang secara tradisi dan prestasi, lebih mengakar di pesepakbolaan Prancis daripada klub seperti Nantes. Tetapi untuk sekedar merecoki pergulatan menuju papan atas, skuat berjuluk Les Canaris itu masih sangat berpeluang mewujudkannya.

Claudio Ranieri memang baru menukangi Emiliano Sala dan kolega awal musim ini. Meski begitu, sebenarnya pencapaian Nantes di musim 2016/17 lalu terhitung lumayan apik. Mereka mengakhiri musim lalu dengan menduduki peringkat ketujuh klasemen. Padahal pada musim lalu itu, mereka pernah terjemabab di nomor dua terbawah klasemen pada tujuh pekan awal liga.

Datangnya Sérgio Conceição menggantikan René Girard di posisi entraîneur atau pelatih, membawa angin segar. Di bawah pelatih yang satu kebangsaan dengan Cristiano Ronaldo itu, Nantes bangkit hingga menembus tujuh besar pada musim lalu. Namun sialnya, kecemerlangan Conceição membuat dirinya dilirik banyak klub yang lebih besar dari Nantes.

Maka, hadirlah FC Porto yang meminang mantan pemain Lazio tersebut di awal musim ini, setelah raksasa Portugal itu berpisah dengan pelatih sebelumya, Nuno Espirito Santo.

Namun penggemar Nantes tak perlu kecewa, perginya Conceição justru melapangkan jalan The Tinkerman, julukan yang lekat pada Ranieri akibat seringnya menggonta-ganti formasi dan komposisi pemain pada masa lalu karir kepelatihannya itu, mendarat di Stade La Beaujoire-Louis Fonteneau, markas Nantes.

Musim 2017/18 ini skuatnya memang tidak banyak mengalami perubahan. Selain minim bujet, deklarasi Ranieri bahwa dirinya tak lagi seorang Tinkerman sejak menukangi Leicester beberapa musim lalu ternyata memang demikian.

Tidak ada perubahan berarti di skuat Nantes. Dan yang pasti, gaya bermain Nantes besutan mantan pelatih Roma dan Inter itu juga masih terasa mirip ala Leicester 2015/16. Nantes sering bermain direct dan mengandalkan dua sayap untuk eksploiotasi serangan. Tentu gaya bermain seperti itu sedikit merepotkan bagi kontestan liga Prancis dan mungkin belum terlalu terbaca. Buktinya sepanjang musim Nantes sukses awet untuk tak jauh-jauh dari lima besar klamesen.

Bahkan perolehan 33 poin klub asal barat Prancis itu pada pekan 19 merupakan raihan yang sama persis di pekan sama pada musim 2000/01, ketika waktu itu Nantes beroleh gelar juara liga pada akhir musimnya. Hanya saja itu cerita dahulu kala. Kini apa yang dilakukan Nantes tak begitu berarti, akibat situasi liga Prancis beberapa tahun terakhir lebih terdominasi klub tertentu, daripada tujuh belas tahun lalu yang masih sangat kompetitif.

Namun setidaknya apa yang dilakukan Ranieri di Nantes patut kita apresiasi bersama. Kekhawatiran dan prediksi bahwa Ligue 1 akan semakin menjemukan akibat Paris Saint-Germain semakin kuat, memang tidak meleset. Tetapi persaingan tetap berwarna karena selain keberadaan Monaco, Lyon, Marseille atau Nice, Nantes pun kembali menggeliat ke permukaan.

Bagi Ranieri, pencapaian spesialnya musim ini semakin mempertebal reputasinya sebagai pembawa prestasi bagi tim non-unggulan. Musim 1995/96 dia membawa Fiorentina memenangi Coppa Italia, musim1998/99 dia membuat Valencia merajai Copa del Rey dan tentunya juara kompetisi paling bergengsi saat ini, Premier League pada musim 2015/16.

Padahal perjalanan seroang Claudio Ranieri justru timbul tenggelam di klub besar semacam Chelsea, Roma, Inter dan tak lupa ketika dia hanya lima bulan menangani timnas Yunani pada tahun 2014 lalu.

Tetapi dengan apa yang ia lakukan sekarang di Nantes, semoga saja kejutan seperti yang ia lakukan di Leicester mampu terulang kembali. Mungkin musim ini masih sulit untuk menanti keajaiban tersebut (juara liga Prancis), namun tak ada yang benar-benar mustahil di masa depan sepak bola.

Maka dari itu ada baiknya kita selalu berdoa, berharap dan bermimpi. Mungkin Nantes juara Prancis terkesan terlalu dramatik, namun bukannya mimpi adalah hak setiap yang pernah tertidur? Semoga Claudio Ranieri mampu menjadikan Nantes sebagai ‘‘Leicester jilid kedua’’, entah musim depan atau musim-musim selanjutnya lagi. Ya, semoga saja.

Sumber foto dari eurosport dan getty images.

Upin & Ipin dan Tsubasa; Otokritik Tayangan Bola Anak di Indonesia

Serial animasi anak-anak Upin & Ipin populer tidak hanya di tempat asalnya, Malaysia tetapi juga di negeri kita, Indonesia. Cerita dalam Upin & Ipin ini pun tidak terlalu berat, karena hanya berkutat latar kehidupan sehari-hari seperti bersekolah, beribadah ataupun anak-anak yang bermain.

Upin & Ipin mudah digemari karena cerita yang kontekstual dengan kegiatan sehari-hari anak-anak dan juga hal-hal jenaka didalamnya. Animasi garapan rumah produksi Les’ Copaque yang mulai dirilis pada 2007 ini bernuansa pedesaan dan menggunakan bahasa Melayu serta menonjolkan berbagai kebudayaan khas Malaysia.

Demi menembus pangsa Asia Tenggara dan salah satunya untuk lebih mendekatkan diri dengan anak-anak Indonesia, dimasukkan lah karakter anak asal Jakarta, Susanti yang sering berbahasa Indoesia dan menonjolkan hal yang identik ke-Indonesia-an. Maka jadilah Upin & Ipin semakin mendapatkan tempatnya dalam benak pikiran orang, terutama anak-anak Indonesia.

Selain bahasa Melayu yang membuat Upin & Ipin ini unik dimata orang Indonesia, serial kartun ini juga tidak ketinggalan menyisipkan nilai budi pekerti dan semangat mengejar cita-cita. Padahal, hal-hal seperti itu sudah jarang dirasakan, terutama tontonan untuk anak-anak Indonesia. Tergerusnya tontonan khusus anak secara gradual beberapa tahun ini, harus menjadi catatan penting untuk kita semua. Anak-anak di Indonesia pada saat ini, sebenarya kurang tontonan berkualitas yang sarat akan nilai positif dalam membentuk karakter.

Demi mengejar rating televisi, banyak tontonan anak di Indonesia yang dikurangi serta tergantikan tontonan berkonten dewasa. Terkait dengan dunia sepakbola, serial anime anak-anak seperti Upin & Ipin pun bisa dijadikan sebagai otokritik (kritik atau refleksi diri) untuk tayangan anak-anak di Indonesia, khususnya yang bertema sepakbola.

Dalam sebuah serial season 4 pada salah satu bagian di episode “Anak Harimau” bagian pertama, ada cerita dimana karakter-karakter dalam Upin & Ipin itu heboh membicarakan tentang sepakbola, khususnya Piala Dunia 2010 di Afrika Selatan.

Yang mengena dari cerita tersebut adalah bagaimana animasi Upin & Ipin, mengkonstruksi rasa nasionalisme untuk sepakbola Malaysia (beserta kritiknya). Kemudian tayangan itu mengedukasi anak untuk bercita-cita menjadi pemain timnas Malaysia. Tak lupa di episode ditampilkan cerita lain yang berkaitan dengan hal-hal berbau sepakbola yang bertujuan menyambut event olahraga empat tahunan tersebut.

Ceritanya di episode tersebut, ketika para orang-orang dewasa bertemu di warung Paman Mutu, mereka membicarakan Piala Dunia di Afrika Selatan yang hampir dimulai. Ketika berdialog tentang siapa yang akan menjuarai Piala Dunia, Upin & Ipin kompak menyebut Malaysia. Sontak saja kelakar mereka ditertawai oleh Wak Dalang, kakeknya Upin & Ipin sendiri. Wak mengatakan bahwa timnas sepakbola Malaysia belum mampu masuk Piala Dunia, mentok hanya sampai Olimpiade saja, kata dia.

Akibat pernyataan sang kakek itu, Upin & Ipin jadi bingung dan penasaran kenapa Malaysia tidak mampu masuk Piala Dunia. Kemudian hal itu begitu terngiang dikepala mereka, hingga kemudian diceritakan begitu sampai di sekolah, yang sampai-sampai membuat heboh suasana kelas.

Apa yang Upin & Ipin dkk bicarakan lalu didengar oleh Cek Gu (guru kelas), sesaat ketika dia akan datang guna mentertibkan kelas. Cek Gu mengatakan bahwa anak-anak tak perlu kecewa karena tak dapat ke Afrika Selatan, toh bisa nonton Piala Dunia di tv tanpa harus kesana.

Kemudian Cek Gu berujar bahwa jika anak-anak tekun belajar dan bersungguh-sungguh menjadi pemain bola, mereka bisa bermain untuk timnas Malaysia suatu kelak. Anak-anak pun berteriak penuh semangat dan bergumam ingin menjadi pebola hebat kelak suatu hari nanti. Ini adalah bentuk penanaman nilai bagi penonton (anak-anak) bila mereka rajin belajar dan serius menggapai cita-cita, masa depan (sebagai pebola akan cerah dikemudian hari). Kemudian bergantilah scene ketika Upin & Ipin cs bermain sepakbola dengan kertas.

Apa yang diceritakan di Upin & Ipin pada season 4 “Anak Harimau” bagian pertama seharusnya dijadikan otokritik untuk indoktrinasi cinta sepakbola bagi anak-anak di Indonesia. Daripada Indonesia hanya tertegun akan kelucuan dan keunikan Upin & Ipin, seharusnya bangsa ini (melalui film, kartun atau animasi anak-anak) juga bisa melakukan hal yang sama untuk sepakbola Indonesia, sepeti apa yang Upin & Ipin lakukan terhadap sepakbola Malaysia; mengedukasi anak-anak dengan sepakbola sejak dini.

Dalam episode 4 “Anak Harimau” itu, anak-anak diajak oleh Upin & Ipin untuk menyadari fakta tentang ketertinggalan sepakbola mereka (sebuah kritik sosial tentunya) dan berusaha membangkitkan kecintaan akan sepakbola dengan sembari menanamkan rasa nasionalisme terhadap negaranya, Malaysia. Upaya Upin & Ipin untuk membentuk kesadaran dan kecintaan anak-anak pada sepakbola, pun ditambahi dengan menampilkan adegan anak-anak bermain sepakbola kertas di kelas akibat demam Piala Dunia.

Otokritik bagi kita adalah menyadari bahwa hal-hal semacam yang ada di Upin & Ipin episode 4 “Anak Harimau” bagian pertama itu sudah jarang muncul di Indonesia. Sekalipun ada beberapa tontonan anak bertema “sepakbola” seperti Ronaldowati dan Si Madun. Penanaman cinta pada sepakbola yang dibalutkan nasionalisme melalui tontonan anak hampir mustahil ditemui akhir-akhir ini.

Untuk membentuk karakter generasi bangsa yang sadar jiwa nasionalisme dan cinta sepakbola, seyogyanya dimulai sejak di usia dini. Toh, patut disadari dalam membentuk kepribadian seorang anak, harus pula dimulai ketika seseorang masih kecil sehingga proses indoktrinasi lebih kuat.

Melihat kondisi terkini, tontonan bertema sepakbola untuk anak-anak sangat jarang ada. Ronaldowati dan Si Madun sudah tidak ada dan Tsubasa sudah jarang muncul di layar kaca. Itupun kalau boleh jujur, tontonan seperti Ronaldowati atau Si Madun hanya menonjolkan kesan action semata, kurang maknawi akan penanaman nilai-nilai kehidupan dan cinta sepakbola, seperti apa yang ditunjukkan Upin & Ipin dan juga Captain Tsubasa.

Upin & Ipin, meski adalah tontonan anak-anak yang sangat ringan, tetapi melalui tayangan dalam episode 4 “Anak Harimau” bagian pertama itu, jelas menjadi gambaran bagaimana Malaysia punya keinginan kuat membangkitkan sepakbola. Caranya? Dimuali dengan mengedukasi anak-anak agar peduli dan cinta sepakbola sekaligus negaranya dalam waktu yang bersamaan.

Kemudian beralih ke anime Jepang dengan simulasi karakter Captain Tsubasa Ozora yang begitu semangat nan gigih meniti karir sepakbola setinggi langit. Hal ini juga mencerminkan besarnya semangat bangsa Jepang (seperti Tsubasa) untuk menunjukan kekuatan sepakbola mereka pada dunia.

Dalam tontonan sepakbola anak Indonesia seperti Ronaldowati dan Si Madun, sebenarnya tetap ada nilai-nilai yang bisa dijadikan pelajaran penting. Namun itu tidak sebanding dan sering tertutupi dengan aksi-aksi tak logis dalam cerita (yang konon lebih penting untuk rating tv semata).

Selain terkadang valueless, Ronaldowati dan Si Madun dalam ceritanya juga lebih sering memainkan sepakbola “antar kampung” (tarkam). Berbeda dengan Tsubasa yang menampilkan gambaran kenyataan nan alami dalam sepakbola seperti; bermain di sekolah, kemudian di tingkat klub, pindah ke luar negeri, main di timnas Jepang dan masuk Piala Dunia. Tsubasa mengajarkan untuk berani bercita-cita melanglang buana ke dunia, karena sepakbola itu global.

Ketika anak-anak Jepang diinspirasi oleh “karir cemerlang” Tsubasa sebagai pebola yang mendunia, disatu sisi layakkah anak-anak di Indonesia (dalam cita-citanya menjadi pesepakbola) terinspirasi juga oleh “karir” Madun yang cuma main sepakbola antar kampung?

Bahkan (parah) sampai-sampai menyelam ke lautan dan membongkar harta karun yang tak ada kaitan dengan kenyataan dalam dunia sepakbola? Apakah mindset yang kurang berani “mengglobal” ini, juga merupakan cerminan khas pemain-pemain Indonesia yang tidak betahan dan terlihat kurang endurabilitas-nya ketika main di luar negeri?

Selain kurang luas dalam mengkesplorasi cakrawala dunia sepakola, adegan-adegan dalam cerita di dua film anak sepakbola Indonesia itu pun terlalu sering mengada-ngada dan terlalu jauh kesannya dengan “sepakbola”. Terkadang fantasi pada tontonan sepakbola anak di Indonesia berlebihan.

Bisa diperbandingkan, ketika Jepang mendidik ingatan dan semangat anak-anak terhadap sepakbola dengan tontonan perjuangan pantang menyerag ala Tsubasa yang bercita-cita main diluar negeri serta membela timnas Jepang, sedangkan Malaysia mengemas propaganda nasionalisme dan sepakbola melalui serial animasi macam Upin & Ipin untuk budak-budak (anak-anak) di negeri jiran itu, bagaimana dengan Indonesia?

Saya bukan tidak suka dengan tayangan (Ronaldowati dan Si Madun) itu, karena saya pun pernah menonton dan terhibur karenanya. Tetapi sebatas terhibur, itu saja. Tak ada nilai-nilai kehidupan yang benar-benar coba disuguhkan pada generasi muda kita, selain aksi sepakbola magis atau sihir (sangat hiperbola) saja didalamya. Pun fakta tak menyenangkannya lagi, sangat jarang ada tontonan bola anak saat ini dari stasiun-stasiun televisi Indonesia.

Gairah sepakbola Indonesia harusnya digerak-bangunkan sejak usia dini melalui tontonan sepakbola anak, untuk membentuk generasi Indonesia yang benar-benar menjiwai sepakbola plus rasa nasionalisme secara disaat yang bersamaan.

Melalui Upin & Ipin dan Captain Tsubasa, sejenak menjadi cerminan kalau bangsa ini perlu membentuk kesadaran dan kecintaan pada sepakbola dan rasa nasionalisme sejak dini melalui tontonan berkualitas. Semoga dengan menyadari antusiasme tinggi bangsa Indonesia akan sepakbola, akan segera muncul tontonan sepakbola anak yang “layak”, bagi generasi baru bangsa ini. Semoga.

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