The disgruntled Azkals pulled no punches in declaring their dislike and unwillingness to play for Azkals coach Thomas Dooley recently. On Thursday, the coach fired back with equal ferocity during the press conference at PFF on Thursday afternoon.
“What Schrock did was unprofessional, unacceptable and selfish, in a way that you cannot have a player like this on the team. A player like this can make a mess everywhere.” said Dooley, in reference to Schrock's very public refusal to ever play for the coach again, and possibly for his conduct during the AFC Challenge Cup in Maldives.
Dooley also belittled Schrock as a player, saying “he is not the best player on the team” and criticizing his tactical effectiveness.
In what was also one of the most surprising moments of the press conference, Dooley also said he saw Schrock shirtless and publicly smoking in the hotel lobby in Maldives, supposedly after he had said he would not play for the coach anymore.
“How can you do that? That is no way to represent the country.” Dooley even said that there could be potential sponsors who could see that and be turned off.
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Dooley also took up the accusation of Dennis Cagara that he was dishonest with the player. Cagara said he was told that his departure from Maldives for club duty would not affect his future with the Philippine team.
“I wasn't honest? I was honest from the beginning” insisted the coach.
“Dennis, from 2007 to 2010 was a great player. Then he got injured and he drop down a little bit (in form.)
“I told him his leaving Maldives now will not affect his future with the national team, but it doesn't mean he is invited to the next camp. It's not about anything else but the performance.”
“Dennis doesn't have a club right now. Lyngby FC doesn't want him anymore. I don't know if he trains. But we have Daisuke Sato. We have Jeffrey Christiaens. So maybe he is number two (at left back). Should we pay thousands of dollars to bring over people who we know will not start?”
“Dennis is a great guy. I like him. But it's about performance. About what you can do right now, not five years ago.”
But Dooley reserved his harshest words for Schrock.
“I read German. You know how he hammers me over there? (In the German media.) How can I invite him? He is not even the best player.”
“Schrock is limited tactically.” Continued Dooley. “That's why he didn't make it in the Bundesliga because it's about tactics. (Schrock is back with second-tier Greuther Furth after stints in Hoffenheim and Eintracht Frankfurt)
"He doesn't know how to hold his position. He's a good player but he can play only two positions, center forward or number ten (withdrawn striker.) There you don't have to play tactically. You can do anything you want to destroy the defense. But we have Phil (Younghusband) and Javier (Patino) there. I don't think he can kick those guys out. And then we have Mike Ott who plays in Nuremburg and is an upcoming star.”
Schrock can play wing back and in the wings as well.
According to Dooley, Schrock referred to the Azkals as a “chicken farm” because of the way it was run in the German press.
Dooley said he was hesitant to start Schrock in the semifinal against Maldives because of fitness concerns, but he played him and they won. Schrock also started the final which the Philippines lost 1-0.
“He was supposed to play left forward in a 4-3-3 in the final, but tactically he didn't do it. Maybe he didn't understand it, but he didn't do it. He was only 50-60%. I needed to take the guy out and changed the system to 4-4-2.”
“I took him out and obviously he doesn't shake hands (with me) because he is pissed off. That's where everything starts. Right after the game he says he doesn't want to play with the national team anymore. What kind of a team player is that? You are injured and there are five healthy players on the bench. You don't want to go out because you want to get the glory. But it's the whole team that gets the glory.”
“The only one I should have talked to was Chris (Greatwich)” admitted the coach. I should have brought him in instead of OJ Porteria.”
Dooley noted that Greatwich did not come out publicly with any disappointment. Dooley also praised another Azkal for showing restraint.
“James Younghusband, he is a professional. He came off the field and he was pissed off. I took him off because he wasn't performing very well. He also wanted to play. How did he deal with it? Did you hear anything in the media?"
“He talked to me and was working every day in training to get back into the lineup. That's how you deal with it professionally.”
Dooley was clear that we will never select Schrock again.
“No way I will get him. No way I will play him into a team I'm forming. (That attitude) is like a poison.”
Neil Etheridge was also taken to task for his angry tweets about his omission on the Peace Cup. But Dooley did outline a path back to the Azkal.
“Find a team, play for a year. Then we will see. He is young, unprofessional, and he has to learn how to react properly. He can call me. He has my number.”
Etheridge is reportedly without a team at the moment.
Dan Palami, the Azkals coach, also gave a conciliatory tone.
“Open dialogue is always there. I never cease to give players a chance to talk and settle differences.”
Follow Bob on Twitter @PassionateFanPH.