The future is scary for Singapore football
No coach could have done better. But there is a major rebuilding process ahead of us and that starts with first admitting there is a problem and a huge rethink of how we do things.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing isn't it! I'm now sitting here seeing everything with clarity, saying that the AFF Suzuki Cup Group A table shows us that teams that gambled in attack were the ones that came out on top.
Thailand fired in six goals and Indonesia got six and conceded seven, and they move on to the semi-finals.
I wish Singapore were an attacking force in this tournament.
I can understand why V Sundramoorthy (right) set the boys up this way, with the lack if a natural goalscorer, but it is a horrible way to play football.
Of course, it could have been so different last night against Indonesia.
Khairul Amri scored with a fantastic overhead kick, then goes and misses an easier one-on-one opportunity with the goalkeeper.
It is incredibly disappointing to go out in the group stage this way, but you can't deny that Thailand and Indonesia deserve to advance.
Having said all that, I'm not sure any other coach could have done better with this group of Lions.
I think Sundram will stay in the national team job precisely because of that.
What is clear is that there is something terribly wrong with how young players are being nurtured in the country.
I can't get past this - the Lions' best centre-back is 38-year-old Daniel Bennett, their main goal threat is Amri, who is 31, and Singapore's best goalkeeper is Hassan Sunny, a 32-year-old.
If not for him, Singapore would have conceded a fair few more goals.
The best players for Singapore are well over 30.
What happened to the (development side) the Garena Young Lions?
In the past their players went on to become full Singapore internationals, but look at the Young Lions now.
There is a major rebuilding process ahead of us and that starts with first admitting there is a problem - and there is a huge problem - and a huge rethink of how we do things.
It used to be that there were a group of countries at the top of the pile in South-east Asia: Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia. Now there's just Thailand at the top, and everybody else.
It's not rocket science how they got there - it's their domestic league, they've got local players playing in key positions - in the No. 10 role as well as in attack. If you do what Thailand did and get the local league right, you'll be amazed at how fast your national team get better.
There's the Asean Super League that's in the pipeline, and if anybody thinks it's going to help Singapore football, they're from another planet.
You have to focus on your local league.
We're at a point now that other countries are going to leave us behind, some of them - like Thailand - have already started to do that.
First of all, football has to matter in Singapore.
It's scary to think that Singapore won the Suzuki Cup in 2012 and just four years later, we could have played ourselves into a position where we have to compete in the qualifiers to make it to the 2018 Suzuki Cup main draw.
It's scary how far we've fallen, and it's even scarier that we can't quite see the path ahead of us to get back on track.
● John Wilkinson is a former Singapore international midfielder who collected 29 caps and four international goals from 2007 to 2010.
● FOX Sports is proud to be the exclusive pay-TV broadcaster for the 11th edition of the Asean Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup. The biennial championship gathers South-east Asia's top national teams to vie to be crowned kings of football in the region. FOX Sports will be showing all 18 games live on both its network and its online FOX Sports Play offering. Leading the team in the FOX Sports studio will be industry veteran Steve Dawson and former Singapore international John Wilkinson, with insights from former Suzuki Cup coaches, Steve Darby and record three-time title-winning coach, Radojko "Raddy" Avramovic.