martedì 13 dicembre 2011

Who after Cho

The dismissal of head coach Cho Kwang-Rae testified the bad situation of the South Korean football. Korean Football Association showed to be amateurish after technical committee head Hwangbo Kwan said the organization is starting from a blank hole in its search for the new coach due to the fact that the announcement of Cho Kwang-Rae's replacement will go out at the end of January. Cho paid for his mistakes, and for the shocking loss in Lebanon but also for a football system unable to produce rising stars in the local tournament and for the successful state of the rival Japan. Now, who next? There are good inside options to sub Cho? Jeonbuk Motors' 52-year-old coach Choi Kang-Hee is the most obvious name. After clinching the K-League Championship and leading the team to the Asian Champions League final he's a good name to take a look to. Former 2002 South Korean World Cup captain Hong Myung-Bo leaded the Under-20 team to 2009 Fifa U-20 World Cup quarter-finals and is another viable option.

mercoledì 7 dicembre 2011

Cho fired!

It was under fire already after his Korean national team, ranked 31st in the FIFA world rankings, lost to Lebanon (146th), 2-1 in their fifth Group B game of Asian qualifiers for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Both Korean fans and media experts was disappointed. Apparently, the KFA's board of direction too. Since he took over the job, in July 2010 Cho Kwang-rae has stressed a playing style based on short passes and fast movement to create spaces but it simply didn't work. As a result, the players seemed confused. And din't work the Cho's way to switch frequently the players' positions in the national team. After the Lebanon match, supporters was demanding that the coach be replaced. It happened. By the way, despite his mistakes, not all is Cho's fault. The Korean football system failed to provide proven backup players from K-league able to become good alternatives to the high-profile players playing overseas. In recent months, South Korea was unable to find players to replace the time after time missing Ki Sung-yeung (Celtic FC), Lee Chung-yong (Bolton), and Park Chu-young (Arsenal). Park Ji-Sung and Lee Young-Pyo's intention to retire from international football also didn't help. Now, who next? Shimizu S-Pulse of Japan's Afshin Ghotbi, Jeonbuk Motors' Choi Kang-Hee and Korea under-23 coach Hong Myung-Bo are strong candidates to sub Cho Kwang-Rae. But what about Park Kyung-Hoon? And a foreign solution isn't out of question.

venerdì 2 dicembre 2011


Two teams, two busy offseasons. While the MLS is all around the David Beckham's situation and the rumors about his move to Paris St. Germain, an expansion team and 'classic' one started their offseason. The Montreal Impact will start their MLS adventure with plenty of talent in veteran midfielder Davy Arnaud, defender Nelson Rivas and goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts. The goal is to put on the field a competitive team. The same goal of the Sporting Kansas City which added midfielder Paulo Nagamura and defender Seth Sinovic, lost and reacquired in the trade with Montreal.With Milos Stojcev, Craig Rocastle, Arnaud (after 10 seasons with Kansas City), and Ryan Smith out, the roster was shaked. We will see if the midfield with Nagamura, Julio Cesar, Roger Espinoza and Graham Zusi will work.

martedì 15 novembre 2011


The UAE are out of the race to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, and their latest two games will be utilized by the head coach Abdullah Al Misfer and by the UAE FA to look forward. UAE have to forget about the qualifying disaster, where they lost all four games so far, and focus on building for the future. Things are gone so wrong for a lot of reasons: players' skills, poor management, no players playing in high-level leagues, etc...the Srecko Katanec's experiment failed but it don't means that UAE have no need of a coach from outside to lead the national team. UAE showed to be a good, not great, team needing of a coach knowing the Asian soccer. They need of a coach able to rise up the motivation of the players. Nobody in the locker room liked Katanec. The next coach needs to build a strong relationship with the players.

mercoledì 9 novembre 2011

Firing lane

Al Ahli's announcement they had sacked their coach Ivan Hasek and appointed former Atletico Madrid manager Quique Sanchez Flores means that there has now been 5 coaching changes in the Pro League. Hasek's departure followed those of Sharjah's Carlos Azenho, Dubai's Nestor Clausen and Umberto Berberis, and Bani Yas' Jorvan Vieira. All the teams had played three league games or less. Al Ahli fans hope their team perform above expectations with Sanchez Flores in charge. Will he have the time? UAE's owners are not patient. They bring on good coaches but don't give them time to fix things. Flores has a strong CV but it was the same for Hasek, a former Czech National Team coach signed on a two-year deal this summer, or for David O'Leary, former Leeds United manager, sacked after just nine months of a three-year contract with Al Ahli. Coaches cannot turn things around in one day. The season is not ended yet...Hasek was latest coach sacked due to a firing-the-coach politics. But others could follow.

martedì 8 novembre 2011

Flores in the mix

Al Ahli appointed former Atletico Madrid coach and former Europa League-winner Quique Sanchez Flores as new manager, following the departure of Czech coach Ivan Hasek. The club,10th in the Pro League with one win in three games, parted way with Hasek, which ran his second stint with the club. Flores is the 53rd head coach in the Pro League history and the 51st coaching change since the league started in 2008. Football is an emotional sport at any level, and owners like to change if things don't work also in UAE. Hiring and firing coaches have an  impact also on the Pro League. And the carousel will continue as Bani Yas is looking for a new, foreigner coach to replace sacked Jorvan Vieira.

mercoledì 2 novembre 2011


Indonesia coach Wim Rijsbergen recalled veteran goalkeeper Hendro Kartiko for his team training camp to the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Qatar and Iran. Rijsbergen also called Victor Igbonefo and Greg Nwokolo, two Pelita Jaya's recently naturalised players. Rijsbergen is trying to build a good team but he faced a lot of troubles: the first one was that the national soccer league his now on the break. This effected the players' fitness levels. Rijsbergen hopes on his team’s improving performance throughout the Group E qualifiers. The draw against Saudi Arabia in a friendly match last month boost the confidence around the team. By the way there are some tactics questions too. Rijsbergen wanted his squad to play attacking soccer and to earned points but things are gone hard for him. He came in Indonesia looking to install an offensive 4-3-3 Dutch playing style. But often the Indonesia was hit by counterattacks. So Rijsbergen should like to play a more simple brand of football.

martedì 1 novembre 2011

Vieira run ended

So, you know, Bani Yas parted way with Brazilian coach Jorvan Vieira after seven winless games. Vieira got a two-year contract at the end of last season. As usual, the coach took all the blame. He didn't deserve it. Viera worked in a difficult situation. Bani Yas lost a star player in Theyab Awana on Sept. Andre Senghor went late for the pre-season camp and David Trezeguet, their big preseason signing, is still out of shape. So confidence was high there before the campaign got underway but those situations affected Vieira's work. The team played a good football but they haven't produced wins. Vieira's exit showed how easily managers can lose their jobs in UAE: 52 different managers have coached 16 Pro League clubs over latest three seasons. UAE clubs gave them few time.

mercoledì 19 ottobre 2011

Patience seems to don't be here

"I don't care, they can fire me tomorrow". Bani Yas coach Jorvan Vieira maintained a proud behavior despite a mounting criticism at the club following its 1-1 draw at Ajman in the UAE Pro League opener. Bani Yas lost three games and drawn two in its first five season games. Injuries and bad performances by some key players affected a team counting on David Trezeguet, Yousuf Jaber, Haboosh Saleh and Fawzi Basheer. There were a lot of positives from Ajman match but Bani Yas din't win. Team has troubles. Vieira usually had to train without key players as Amer Abdulrahman and Mohammed Fawzi, who were with the national teams. Winger Haboush Saleh has been injured. Team changed a lot of players this preseason. Last month, they lost the midfielder Theyab Awana in a tragic crash. On the field, things are far from good. David Trezeguet needs more support from his midfielders. 

lunedì 17 ottobre 2011

Not yet the club Maradona wants

A 3-0 victory over Sharjah means nothing. Maradona  rubbished rumors  but there are issues between chairman Marwan bin Bayat and him, after the coach used his press conference before the Pro-League's start to air some grievances, including to say that his players are too tired because of day jobs. He also added to want players living in Dubai to come quickly to the training field. Al Wasl is not Argentina, where Diego was the only boss. Maradona was not enough involved in the recruitment of his players, and he had role in only two foreigners' acquistion, Argentine midfielder Mariano Donda and Uruguayan Juan Manuel Olivera. He showed that putting Chilean winger Edson Puch -- purchased by the club before Maradona's hiring -- on the bench.  Maradona also expressed concerns over the negotiations for Australian forward Richard Porta, who underwent a medical yesterday.

domenica 16 ottobre 2011

Solito Diego!

E' partita la UAE Pro League edizione 2011/12. Oggi, domenica, debutta anche Diego Maradona, in un match che vedrà il suo Al Wasl affrontare in casa l'Al Sharjah. Obiettivo la vittoria. Ma il tecnico argentino approccia il suo esordio con una polemica nei confronti del club, reo di non aver ancora concluso l'acquisto dello straniero asiatico concesso dal regolamento. Maradona aspetta infatti notizie sull'accordo con l'attaccante australiano Richard Porta, di proprietà del Siena ed attualmente in prestito con gli uruguayani del Club Nacional. Maradona si è inoltre lamentato della mancanza di professionalità all'interno del team: "il numero dei giocatori che si presentano all'allenamento non è consistente. A volte ho 16 giocatori presneti, a volte ne ho 24." Come sottolineato da Maradona, non si tratta di mancanza di disciplina quanto del fatto che molti sono semi-professionisti, impegnati nello studio o in altri lavori. Tutto vero, ma tutto risaputo già prima dell'arrivo di Maradona, che magari doveva informarsi meglio sul campionato che andava ad affrontare.

giovedì 13 ottobre 2011

Not in Dubai for a holiday: UAE Pro-League 2011-12 season preview

The 2011-2012 UAE Pro League kicks off this weekend. This Pro League edition could be the most competitive in the country history. Journalists from Argentina, Britain and Belgium are ready to the fill report from UAE. The Pro-League don't want see old player joining league's ranks which can not only contribute or head coaches coming just here for money and spending their time in off field activities. Behind Diego Maradona's move to the UAE in the same summer as David Trezeguet joined Baniyas, Juan Manuel Olivera arrived at Al Wasl or Al Ahli signed Grafite, there are the UAE teams' owners to rise up the domestic league level. And some others big-names came in the UAE this summer or already was in the Emirates: Hugo and Magrao, Azizbek Haydarov of Uzbekistan and Australian captain Lucas Neill, Ismail Bangoura and Jociel Ferreira...The trend is to recruit veteran foreigners with still left in the tank or younger rising stars. This season, each league club could sign a fourth foreigner if he's a player for an Asian Football Confederation country. And what about the bunch of coaches? You have five former National Team coaches in Diego Maradona (Argentina), Josef Hickersberger (Austria), Ivan Hasek (Czech Republic), Frank Vercauteren (Belgium) and Jorvan Vieira (Iraq). Another sign of the improvement is the balance: there is not a clear favourite to win the league title. There are the champions Al Jazira, but you can't rule out teams as Ahli or Al Ain and to have to take a look to side such as Baniyas or Al Nasr. 

Diego Maradona told Al Wasl's fans to "stay home and watch a comedy DVD" if they are scared to watch the Al Wasl, after his side succumbed to a 4-3 against UAE champions of Al Jazira on the opening Etilasat Cup day.  Argentine midfielder Mariano Donda, Uruguayan striker Juan Manuel Olivera and Chilean Edson Puch are the summer buys to add to gifted Khalid Darwish, nicknamed "Khalidona", and to captain Eisa Ali:  "Eisa is going to always play alongside Mariano Donda, Juan Manuel Olivera, Ahmed Darwesh and Majid Nasser — this is the main axis of my team," Maradona said. After a devastanding loss, 5-0, against rival Dubai in the Etisalat Cup, Al Wasl announced the signing of Al Ahli striker Abdullah Abdul Rahman on a one-season loan. Will Maradona last the season?

"The best attack on paper", according to Al Ain's new forward, Asamoah Gyan. The Ghana players is likely to be paired up top with new recruited former Asian player of the year and Saudi Arabian captain Yasser Al Qahtani, an one-year loan from Hilal. This sign completed the summer transitions. The new head coach, Romanian Cosmin Olariou, a former Steaua Bucharest coach, is confident on team's potential. After finished 10th in the league last season, the club lost Brazilian Marcio Emerson and Chile international Jorge Valdivia through the summer but signed Argentine forward Ignacio Scocco and Romanian Mirel Radoi. Al Ain also added Ismail Ahmed and Rami Yaslam. Add goalkeeper Dawoud Sulaiman and, on paper, the 2011/12 Al Ain seems a great team. 

Al Ahli, coach Ivan Hasek's side, signed Chilean playmaker Luis Jimenez to play alongside foreign signings of Jaja and former Bundeliga's Player of the Year, Grafite.They signed this summer the Socceroos captain Lucas Neill, who joined Jazira after his experience at Turkish club Galatasaray. Also from Turkey is Jaja Coelho coming from Trabzonspor. As center back, they had back the former Lebanon captain, Mohammed Yousuf.

Al Wahda's Josef Hickersberger line up an offensive mind team in front of goalkeeper Mutaz Abdullah. Al Wahda can count on players as Brazilian duo formed by Hugo and Fernando Baiano, who played forward for big clubs such as Corinthians or Bundesliga' side Wolfsburg, Mahmoud Khamis, forward Ismail Matar, coming back from a knee injury, and central defender Hamdan Al Kamali which could paired with 30-year-old Basheer Saeed. Omani defender Mohammad Shaiba, released by Al Wasl, is the fourth Asian professional addition alongside retained Brazilians.

After three consecutive seasons as runners-up, Al Jazira dominated the 2010/11 season. The defending champions retained the attacking duo of Ricardo Oliveira and Bare alongside Matias Delgado. The loss of Abel Braga was a huge loss as the team lost only four of 66 matches under Brazilian coach. New manager Franky Vercauteren left Champion League's side Genk to lead Al Jazira alongside his assistants Hugo Broos and David Coles. He was impressend with striker Ali Mabkhout, an UAE Under-23 team and can count on Ibrahim Diaky, the 30 year old captain from the Ivory Coast, now in his eighth year in the UAE league. The team can also count on international UAE players Jumaa Abdulla, Khaled Sabeel, Subait Khater, Ahmed Jumaa, Abdulla Mosa, and Ibrahim Diaky, the captain.

Bani Yas will line up forward David Trezeguet up front. The Frenchman, 33, agreed a €1.7million deal with Jorvan Vieira’s time. The former Juventus players will be sorrounded by playmakers Amer Abdulrahman and Haboush Saleh. And he will play alongside Andre Senghor, last season's top goal scorer with 18 goals. They also have the Omani captain Fawzi Basheer in the mix. The team had a huge loss after the death of winger Thiyab Awana and went from a poor Etiaslat Cup.

Al Shabab retained Brazilians Julio Cesar and Jociel Ferreira, and Chilean Carlos Villanueva, all three of the non-Asian players from last season. A great addition is Uzbekistan's Azizbek Haydarov, three Uzbek league titles and two cups with Lokomotiv Tashkent and Bunyodkor. The coach is Paulo Bonamigo,  former top-division Portugal club Maritimo coach. Defense needs of Walid Abbas and Essa Mohammed to produce.

Sharjah chosen the Romanian Valeriu Tita, former Syria national team's coach, to lead the team following the earlier resignation of Carlos Azenho due to personal reasons. One of Sharjah's acquisitions is Brazilian midfielder Edinho, who will play alongside his compatriot Marcelo Oliveira. Brazilian Anderson, league top scorer four years in a row, is one of the top team's player. Defence isstill an issue.

Brazilian Carlos Tenorio is the Al Nasr's striker. Coached by former superstar goalkeeper and former Palermo and Catania's head coach in Italy, Walter Zenga, Al Nasr was under the radar this preseason but they have a lot of talents in a roster including Ismael Bangoura, Mark Bresciano, and Leo Lima. Al Nasr also added this summer the Togolese midfielder Asimo Iowa, coming from with Nuremburg’s second team. They have experience all around.

Ghazi Ghrairi leads Emirates Club in the Pro-League after gained the promotion last aseason. He added Iranian international Pejman Pouri in front of the back line and Jordan’s winger Amed Deeb after his performances in the 2011 Asian Cup. They are inexperienced and could have trobules battling in the relegation zone if the forwards will not work.

Umberto Barberis has replaced Nestor Clausen,a former Maradona's teammate in the 1986 World Cup, as coach of Dubai Club. Their also changed their foreign pros replacing  French-Algerian forward Eyeman Henaini. Moroccan Nabil Daoudi is the striker of a team with not so many forwards. Faouzi Mubarak Aaish from Bahrain is the Asian player. No big-name signings but they showed that they can score goals. Just ask to Maradona.

After leading Al Khaleej, Iraqi manager Abdulwahab Abdulkadir took over Ajman. Ibrahima Touré, a former FC Metz, and Karim Kerbar, Man City on his résumé, are the team most valuable players. The club recently agreed a year-long loan move for 23-year-old Lebanese striker Hassan Maatouk. Team showed improvement during the Etisalat Cup but defense is the Achilles heel yet...

Gameweek 1 fixtures
Saturday Emirates v Dubai, Emirates Club Stadium, Ras al-Khaimah
Saturday Al Shabab v Al Wahda, Maktoum Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Stadium, Dubai
Saturday Al Jazira v Al Ahli, Mohammad bin Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi
Sunday Ajman v Bani Yas, Rashid bin Saeed Stadium, Ajman
Sunday Al Ain v Al Nasr, Tahnoun bin Mohammed Stadium, Al Ain
Sunday Al Wasl v Sharjah, Zabeel Stadium, Duabi.

domenica 9 ottobre 2011

Falko a metà

Nonostante la sconfitta, 1-0, subita ad opera del Giappone, la nazionale del Vietnam ha mostrato cose buone nell'amichevole contro i giocatori del Sol Levante. Gli uomini di Falko Gotz hanno messo in evidenza una difesa veloce ed organizzata e buone trame offensive. L'iniziale 4-5-1 con Le Cong Vinh come unica punta è stato parzialmente modificato da Goetz durante il match, con le sostituzioni del centrocampista Le Tan Tai a favore dell'attaccante Nguyen Ngoc Thanh e con gli insierimenti di Dinh Tung e di Nguyen Quang Hai al posto dello stesso Le Cong Vinh. Per Gotz si è trattato di una buona occasione per provare alcuni elementi dell'Under-23, vicini all'inizio dei 26° South East Asian Games che partiranno in Indonesia il mese prossimo. La nazionale vietnamita ha mostrato netti miglioramenti: molto tempo è passato da quando il Giappone spadroneggiò ad Hanoi vincendo contro il Vietnam per 4-1 nell'Asian Cup del 2007. La vittoria contro il Qatar per 2-1 nel secondo turno delle qualifizazioni mondiali è una ulteriore dimostrazione del buon lavoro fatto da Goetz fino a questo momento.Intanto, qualche giorno fa il 25enne americano Lee Nguyen ha ottenuto la cittadinanza, portando così a 15 il numero dei calciatori naturalizzati vietnamiti: Lee Nguyen si aggiunge infatti a  Huynh Kesley Alves, Nguyen Hoang Helio, Nguyen Rogerio, Nguyen Thanh Son, Doan Van Sakda, Doan Van Nirut, Dinh Hoang Max, Dinh Hoang La, Le Hoang Tran Xi, Tran Le Martin, Tran Le Issac, Hoang Vissai, Phan Van Santos e Le Tostao.

venerdì 16 settembre 2011

Not so easy, man!

Diego Maradona and David Trezeguet had their official debut in the UAE football on the first day of Etisalat Cup. And both had a hard impact. Maradona's side scored three times but lost 4-3 to Al Jazira, despite Argentine Mariano Donda's treble. By the way, the Al Jazira's win was uncomfortable, with Al Wasl that showed a fine display, coming from a 3-1 deficit to equalise 3-3. On the other game, Franchman forward had issues in the game. Uzbek midfielder Azizbek Haydarov stole the lights from Trezeguet, scoring twice in a 4-1 Shabab Al Arabi's win over Bani Yas.

giovedì 15 settembre 2011

Pharahos and Bob

How long from where Egypt shocked Italy 1-0 on the 2009 Confederations Cup. Latest Pharahos football version is that of defending champion and seven-time winner that failed to qualify for the 2012 African Cup of Nations after a 2-1 loss in Sierra Leone this Sept. The head coach Hassan Shehata left in June following Egypt's struggles. Under Shehata, Egypt won three successive African Cups, in 2006, 2008, and 2010. At his spot, according to Egyptian state news agency MENA, the Egypt has appointed former USA coach Bob Bradley as the new national team coach. “All is good,” Egyptian Football Association spokesman Azmy Megahed told The Associated Press in Cairo about the deal. The former USMNT head coach is expected to arrive in Cairo on Sunday or Monday. Bradley was one of three candidates on the Egyptian FA shortlist that included Francisco Maturana of Colombia and Zoran Filipovic, the former national coach of Montenegro. Bradley will have to adjust himself to the boisterous post-Mubarak football era. “The Egyptian team is well qualified to be a dangerous opponent, but it only lacks some organisation on the field. The Egyptian player is a talented one unlike the American who depends mainly on his fitness,” Bradley told CNN Arabic last month. Is this a good move? We will see. Egypt is not USA, and Egypt football is different. Bradley will be scrutinized by a large and passionate fan base. He will need to enjoy instant success. Make the 2014 World Cup is the goal and it will be harder in the CAF than in CONCACAF. The Egyptians, out from the next African Cup of Nations, sendend their Olympic team to play the rest of the qualifiers. Bradley will have to take a look to this bunch of youg players in the way to find some talent to install with the big boys.

lunedì 12 settembre 2011

Maradona, press conference

Diego Maradona, head coach of Al Wasl Football Club, held a press conference to discuss club's situation for the upcoming season. About the preseason friendly matches, a 3-1 win over Al Ittihad Kalba and a 2-1 loss against Dibba Fujairah, Maradona pointed out that "the friendly matches were very useful the results were not something that made me very happy." Maradona said to be here at the service of every team player. By the way, Maradona added to think that Al Wasl has a good chance of competing against the best Asian teams. About to improve his team's defense, former Pibe de Oro said that "if it was Mr Maradona who could decide, I would ask the club to bring in 10 defenders to have a better team. But the players we have at the moment are okay." When Gulf News asked Maradona about his unimpressive brief stints with his past clubs, Mandiyu de Corrientes and Racing Club de Allevaneda, Diego said that "they didn't pay me. I was at Mandiyu and they didn't pay me, and Racing, they didn't pay me."

domenica 11 settembre 2011

Misfir is the Katanec's successor

Abdullah Misfir was named UAE's national team coach. He replaces Srecko Katanec, sacked by UAE FA after huge losses against Kuwait and Lebanon in the first two matches of 2014 World Cup Asian qualifying. Coming from Division club Al Orooba as latest coaching job, Misfir is the first Emiratian coach to lead the UAE National Team from Abdullah Saqr in 2001.Misfir was national team coach already in 1999-2000 and he was also an assistant coach under Frenchman Dominique Bathenay in 2005. He will work together with two assistants, Khalifa Mubarak and Hassan Ibrahim. A former coach with Al Arabi club and a former assistant coach to Portugal's Carlos Queiroz during his reign with the national team in the 90's, Misfir will work with an UAE team which is at the bottom of Group B with no points after two games. To revive Emirates hopes, Misfir will have to install new methods. First and foremost, Misfir will have to rise up local football and players professionalism. Katanec paied a high price to the poor fitness shape of his players during the first two matches. The new coach will have to make sure players and club will work better on physical shape. Also, Musfir will have to reinforce his current bunch of players. The come backs of  Ismail Matar,  Hamdan Al Kamali and Omar Abdulrahman could help in this way.

giovedì 8 settembre 2011

Well done, Theo!

Lebanon’s Theo Bucker, 63-year-old, is a happy man, despite a 0-6 defeat in the second round of the Brazil 2014 Asian Qualifiers opener against South Korea. After a 3-1 win over UAE in the second match, he puts Lebanon in an incredible situation, with three points earned after two games in the World Cup qualifying Group B. Bucker, which considers himself a "half-Lebanese", is currently also the coach of league and cup champions Al Ahed. The former Zamalek coach already had a first took to the national team in 2001. He continues the Asian trends to appoint European coaches for the national teams. Lebanon is regarded as the weakest team in the group B and they appeared to struggle, counting on only two professional players in Roda Antar and Youssef Mohammad. There is clearly a lack of talent in Lebanese football. The mission to rise up the Lebanese football level is difficult but Booler started with a victory that his side deserved.

mercoledì 7 settembre 2011

Katanec sacked

Upset, shocked, disappointed...Srecko Katanec's last game as coach of UAE national team will leave no good memories on UAE supporters. The coaching staff was blamed for the defeat and the UAE FA has sacked Slovenian following the team’s humiliating 3-1 loss against Lebanon, which did not win a single match in 2010. Katanec leaves the UAE team at the bottom of Group B. After taking the lead with a a header by Mahmoud Khamis, UAE ceded control of the game to a Lebanese team that came back strongly. After the dismission, Katanec pointed out that national team needs to examine the players' work ethic. In the past days, he scarified the fitness condition of his players, blaming Pro League clubs and saying that players was not ready to play effectually. Katanec leaves with a record of  two wins, four drew and five lost in 11 official matches played. Now, who after Katanec? At the top of the list is Fluminense manager Abel Braga,  UAE Pro-League champion last season with Al Jazira, which told to Brazilian medias to have turned down a big offer made by UAE Football Association about their coaching vacancy. A local option came from Olympic team coach, Mahdi Ali. Another name under consideration is Brazilian Jorvan Vieria, Bani Yas' coach. Some medias suggest Argentine Gabriel Calderon, now unemployed and former Suadi Arabia champions with Al Hilal in 2011. Luiz Felipe Scolari could be another name to don't rule out.

martedì 6 settembre 2011

UAE vs Lebanon preview

The UAE will face Lebanon today in a must-win game for Asian 2014 World Cup qualifiers.The 3-2 defeat at home to Kuwait was a big upset, big enough to raise up rumors about the future of Srecko Katanec as Whites' head coach. The Lebanese, coached by German Theo Bucker, are considered the weakest side in the group, so Katanec's side is expected to have found solutions to beat them. Pressure is high on Slovenian, who was rumoured to have lost the team. Rumors are that UAE made an approach to Abel Braga, after the UAE's loss in Al Ain, to become the Katanc's sub. The Brazilian, former Al Jazira coach, won the UAE Pro League title and President's Cup last season. UAE national team technical director Obaid Mubarak didn't comment upon a bid for Braga but the UAE Technical Committee will meet next Thursday to decide Katanec's future. Coming back to the field, Katanec will have to reconfigure his line up for this match. Central back Hamdan Al Kamali and midfielder Ali Al Wehaibi suffered injuries which will keep them out of the game. Forward Ismail Matar and midfielder Omar Abdulrahman also are out, both recovering from knee injuries. On the left side, Yousuf Jaber and Waleed Abbass will be scrutinized, after the poor performance against Kuwait.

domenica 4 settembre 2011

Parte bene

Era finito nell'occhio del ciclone dopo l'umiliante sconfitta senza appello, 3-0, subita dai rivali del Giappone nell'ultima amichevole giocata fra le due nazionali. Ora, dopo la partenza roboante del girone di qualificazione ai Mondiali del 2014, un secco 6-0 ai danni del Libano, la posizione di Cho Kwang-Rae, tecnico dei Taeguk Warriors, sembra più tranquilla...almeno fino alla prossima partita. Certamente, il Libano non è un banco di prova attendibile. Ma comunque meglio partire con il piede giusto. Cho Kwang-rae ha schierato un 3-4-3 al Goyang Sports Complex con tre europei - il centrocampista del Wolfsburg Koo Ja-cheol, il centrocampista del Valenciennes Nam Tae-hee e l'attaccante del Sunderland Ji Dong-won -  come trio offensivo. Park Chu-young è stato invece utilizzato a centrocampo, da dove è potuto partire per dare supporto all'attacco. La Corea ha giocato bene ed ha mosso bene il pallone. Ora il prossimo test, che sarà più duro: i coreani dovranno infatti affrontare il Kuwait in trasferta, al Peace and Friendship Stadium di Kuwait City. Sotto la guida del serbo Goran Tufegdzic, i Kuwaitiani, reduci dal successo in trasferta contro gli EAU, sono diventati una delle nazionali emergenti del calcio arabo ed hanno in Bader Al Mutwa uno dei migliori attaccanti asiatici.

The day after

UAE 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign started bad after Emirates were beaten 3-2 by Kuwait in Al Ain.  Manager Srecko Katanec's exit talks were dismissed by UAE team manager Ismail Rashid. "I blame the players, they let us down," Al Rumaithi said.  But the performances was the worst possible and the pressure on the Slovenian raised up. The team committed too much errors and the coach was blamed for failing to create a solid defensive play. Also, critics went on Katanec's decision to play with Ahmad Khalil as lone forward and to leave out Ali Mabkhoot e Ahmad Ali. Katanec picked in the second forward, Salem Saleh, only after the Kuwait's second goal and some fans called for manager’s head, as usual in these situations. It's early to ask for the Katanec's dismissions but the Whites might have done better. Katanec's side was trailed by three goals before Ismail Al Hammadi and Ahmed Khalil scored two late goals. As the UAE's manager pointed out, the team didn’t move the ball well and was abused by Kuwait's counterattacks while goalkeeper Majid Nasir avoided a worst score. The attack was nullified by the Kuwaitis back line. Goran Tufegdzic’s side showed to be the strongest gulf football team. Withes wasn't are in good shape with several players missing training past weeks. Ramadan affected the physical condition of the players? Maybe, but it was a problem of Kuwaitis too. The second Group B game with Lebanon, trashed 6-0 by South Korea, is now pivotal: should the UAE fail to return with full points, the continuance of Katanec in charge fo the Whites could be in serious doubt.

venerdì 2 settembre 2011

UAE vs Kuwait preview

Qualification for the 2014 Fifa World Cup through the Asian Football Confederation, involving 20 teams, are ready to start. For UAE's football fans the focus is on Group B, where the Emirates will face Kuwait, Lebanon and South Korea to claim one of the top two spots, essential to progress to the final qualifying round. South Korea is the clear favourite to win this group: the Kwang-Rae's side is one of the best Asian team, despite recent problems due to injures, with Lee Chung-Yong and Son Heung-Min out, and poor performances, as 3-0 loss to rivals Japan showed. With Lebanon on the other side, as the probable weakest team in the group, UAE wil have to fight against Kuwait for the second place behind Taeguk Warriors. Kuwaitis won the Gulf Cup last season, defeating Saudi Arabia in the final but are coming from a bad 2011 Asian Cup. Srecko Katanec made some experiments recently, lining up young forwards Amer Abdulrahman, 22, and Salem Saleh, 20. To get the result they need, Emirates can also count on 20-year-old Ahmed Khalil, that scored twice in the latest friendly-macth against Qatar, and on veteran Subait Khater. The probable starting XI could be a 4-4-2 formation, with Majed Naser as keeper; Khalid Sabeel, Yousuf Jaber, Walid Abbas and Al Kamali on defense; Ali Al Wehaibi, Al Shehhi, Khater and Al Hammadi in midfield, and Abdulrahman and Khalil up front. UAE's job will be hard: in fact, despite several members of Kuwait's team will not be available, Serbian coach Goran Tufegdzic's side has a lot of weapons in its arsenal, starting from Saudi Arabia Ittihad FC's midfielder Fahad Al Enezi. 

giovedì 1 settembre 2011

Thoughts on Michale Bradley's pick

USA'midfielder Michael Bradley was formally introducted on Wednesday by his new team, Serie A'side Chievo Verona. "I will try to give pace to the yellow and blue midfield. And keep it compact," he said. Now that his adventure is started, what about the chances of Bob Bradley's son in the Italian soccer higher level? The young American midfielder gained many fans following a standout performance at 2010 World Cup. A lot has happened since those days and latest performances were bad enough to made Michael dealing with the pressure of the USMNT not performing well in the 2011 Gold Cup. Michael received some criticism from American national team fans in recent times: in Italy, he will have to face no more questions about how a head coach's son get more playing time than he deserves. Bradley has been consistent as holding midfielder but often he was judged based not only on his on field performances. Will Michael Bradley fit in at Chievo? The 24-year-old is famous for his attitude, intensity and ferocity that he shows tackling opponents. In the probable Chievo's 4x3x1x2 formation, Bradley can be lined up in all the four midfield's positions, also as attacking midfielder. Italian football had a trend recent seasons to line up former holding midfielder as attacking midfielder. Playing behind the forwards for Chievo, Bradley could use his strength and speed running at defenders and threatening back lines. Chievo is a team that will fight to avoid relegation but has the men to hit it on the nail. They are not been impressive in the transfer window with no major arrivals but the team's core is good enough to allow the squad to be ready quickly. "I know that I am the third American to get here. I realize how will be difficult to impose. I never failed to follow your football. It's competitive, challenging. And I feel really excited to be able to contend with this new reality. " Much time is passed from Alexi Lalas days...after Oguchi Onyewu, now it's time for Bradley to raise up American flag in Italy soccer.

martedì 30 agosto 2011

Dunga in Qatar

UAE-Pro League has Diego Maradona as coach of Al Wasl? No problem, now also Qatar Stars League has appointed a star coach. In fact, Doha's side Al Rayyan, seven-time Qatari champions, hired Carlos Dunga as its new head coach. The 47-year-old Brazilian replaces compatriot Paulo Autuori, who changed his position to coach the Qatari Under-23 team. A former holding midfielder for the Brazilian winning side at the 1994 World Cup, Dunga played in Brazil, Italy, Germany and Japan. "His name was recommended by Autuori," a club source said. Dunga is the second former Seleção head coach to work in Qatar: this summer, the country that will host the 2022 World Cup named Sebastiao Lazaroni as national side coach after Serbian Milovan Rajevac was sacked. The 2011-12 QSL season will start next September 14. Dunga will have the goal to reach the title with Al Rayyan that haven't won the league since 1995. With Al Rayyan play four Brazilians: Moisés, Nathan, Afonso Alves and Rodrigo Tabata. Forward Alves has been called up by Dunga when he was in charge of the seleção brasileira. Tabata, coming here on loan last January from Turkish club of Besiktas, helped the team to win the Prince Cup last season. Centre-back Moises also went in Qatar last January, coming from Sporting Braga. Also in the team are Fabio Cesar, a Brazilian born player naturalized Qatari and Korea Republic international Cho Yong-Hyung.

domenica 28 agosto 2011

Time for debuts

Australian defender Lucas Neill made his debut for the UAE champions Al Jazira in the International Friendly Football Tournament match against Syria’s Al Ittihad this week. The team was trained by Hugo Broos, new head coach Franky Vercauteren’s assistant. “We want to see the players and analyse their strengths and see how and where they fit into our plan for the season ahead," Broos said. Neill played as centre-back alongside Saleh Basheer. This Sunday, Diego Maradona's team will have his debut as manager of Al Wasl against Ittihad Kalba. Argentine Mariano Donda, Uruguayan Juan Manuel Olivera, and Chilean Edson Puch also will face their debut with Maradona's team. Donda, a former Serie A's player with Bari, likely will be line up as holding midfielder in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Puch on the left side and Olivera as forward. On his first press conference, Maradone pointed out that he want young but experienced players that could offer the a good display. All three Sud American players came to UAE with still plenty left in the tank.

giovedì 25 agosto 2011

Some tactical views on Thai

After the final cut, Winfried Schaefer lead a 23 players roster in the training camp in preparation for the World Cup qualifiers matches against Australia and Oman. Thailand seems a team built to run a 4x4x2 formation. Certainly, Schaefer could make tactical changes for the Australia matches. "The players must be able to play in any formation, whether it is 4-4-2 or 4-5-1, since the situation in either half could be different,” Schaefer once said. By the way the coach admitted that a 4-4-2 may be the best choice for Thailand. And that was against Palestine. Also against Myanmar Schaefer started with Teerasil and Kirati Keawsombut up front, in a 4x4x2 formation but then switched to a 4x3x3 in the second half. Looking back to Palestine match, what we learned? Thailand tried to play high tempo football. On the otuside situations, they searched too much to look to the ball, flattening the back line too much  toward the goal and leaving free the forwards. Team was organized in a 4x4x2 based on the wings play, with insertions from behind by the central midfielders, specially captain Puritat Jarikanon, the real playmaker. But both central midfielders are playmakers and are utilized to change the offensive front. The choice of Puritat Jarikanon in midfield was unexpected due to injuries that prevent him to make the club starting lineup this season. Weak physically, they play on the ground, putting emphasis on short passes more then on the 1 vs 1 situations. It’s a possession football. Try to attack on one side just to change the offensive front if the spaces are closed there. Try to gain the ball immediately after they lost it: in any case, try to play with a very high difensive back line. By the way, they are weak and unbalanced when the first line of pressure was overcomed. Specially on the flanks are weak on the counterattacks. We will see if changes will happen against a more physical opponent like Australia is.

mercoledì 24 agosto 2011

Thoughts on Cho's picks

South Korea coach Cho Kwang-rae turned his eyes to domestic talents after named a strong squad for the World Cup qualifier against Lebanon. The coach has brought on new faces. Without Bolton winger Lee Chung-yong (broken leg) and Wolfsburg midfielder Koo Ja-cheol (damaged left foot) and after the 3-0 defeat in Japan, Cho called up young forwards Ji Dong-won of Sunderland and Hamburg's Son Heung-min, both out in Sapporo game. Cho's plan seems to be to line up Ji Dong-won and Son Heung-min up front. The injuries are creating new spaces for young Korean talents such as Gyeongnam's Yoon Bit-Garam while Ulsan Hyundai's Kim Shin-wook is out. Another rising star is Suwon Samsung Bluewings' Yeom Ki-hun. "Yeom has been using his speed and has played some excellent games," Cho told. Cho went with proven players with international experience. Defense was a mess against Japan, so Cho hopes young defenders Jeju United's Hong Jeong-ho and Hong Chul could help the back line. K-Leaguers are hard workers and showed skills on the pitch so they deserved an extra look by Cho. And other talents are waiting for, from Pohang Steelers' defender Shin Kwang-Hoon to forwards Jeobunk Motors' Lee Dong-Gook and Kim Shin-Wook of Ulsan Hyundai. By the way, without Koo, Korea still has to fill the void left by Lee Chung-yong. FC Basel's Park Joo-Ho could be a player to take a look to.

lunedì 22 agosto 2011

He's there

Now that the Frank Vercauteren saga came to an end, with the Belgian officially unveiled as the Al Jazira's new coach, we can recapitulate the Al Jazira's searching for a coach. From the May 20, when Abel Braga announced his step down to come back in Brazil after a three season stint in the UAE, Al Jazira was linked with a lot of names. In June, Argentinian Alejandro Sabella was confirmed as Jazira's new coach. His tenure was brief: he returned to Argentina to lead the National Team after Argentina was eliminated by Uruguay. After Venezuelan coach Cesar Farias rejected the job, Al Jazira finally appointed Vercauteren, his assistant Hugo Broos and goalkeepers coach, David Coles, to lead the team. The 54-year-old coach, that said to be here not for money, will have the opportunity to lead the Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed's side. A risky task because Vercauteren's predecessor, Abel Braga, won trophies last season. The signing of Vercauteren could bring on more foreign talent, other that Australia captain Lucas Neill, to face Asian Champions League challenge. Vercauteren already watched Al Jazira to draw 3-3 in the opening match of Friendly Football Tournament.

domenica 21 agosto 2011

One for the money two for the show

"I have a three-year plan and, all going well, possibly a year bonus in international football," defender Lucas Neill told the Sun-Herald. For a Harry Kewell's move to the Melbourne Victory in the A-League, there are others Socceroos that left for UAE new haven. Former Blackburn Rovers and West Ham defender Luca Neill joined Jazira while midfielder Mark Bresciano completed a move from Lazio to Al Nasr some weeks ago. When Australia joined Asian football ranks in 2006, was obviously to see players drawing interest from the bigger Asian leagues, as K-Keague and J-League. Maybe less was ready to see Australian talent heading for UAE. it's clear, money played a huge role. But what other? Don't talk about how weak is UAE football: as Mark Tuckerman pointed out, if Gulf football is so bad why FFA appointed Jan Versleijen, a former Al-Jazira manager, to coach Young Socceroos? Fans are disappointed these players aren't coming back to Australia to play in the A-League but domestic teams simply can't compete with this amount of money. Don't help that former Socceroos keeper Mark Schwarzer told that A-League is "a step down" from European leagues. We are talking right now of old players: Bresciano is 31-years old while Neill is 34.But what if UAE will start to attract highest and younger profile players?

sabato 20 agosto 2011

Franky goes to Abu Dabi

Franky Vercauteren will take up the reins at Al Jazira. He will be joined by defender Lucas Neil, Australian international and former West Ham United, Blackburn Rovers, and Galatasaray. Vercauteren, a legend of Belgian football, was the team's first choice after Alejandro Sabella left to become the Argentina national coach. Reports are that Vercauteren has agreed a two-year contract worthy $US9.8m. Transfer rumors involving some of his former players, as Jelle Vossen, Kevin De Bruyne and Thibaut Courtois, upset Genk's fans. Vercauteren is just last of a top class list of coaches that left their team attracted by lucrative contracts in UAE. He joins Al Ahli's Ivan Hasek, Al Wahda's Josef Hickersberger and, of course, Al Wasl's Diego Maradona. Well known as The Little Prince while he played as left winger with Anderlecht, Vercauteren enjoyed huge success as manager as well. A  4-4-2 fan, Vercauteren likes an attacking football brand such it was here under former Jazira coach, Abel Braga. "I want football to be played the proper way, with the ball on the ground and every single person in the team playing his part," he said. His schemes stress quick movements of the ball and encourages midfiielders to coming from behind to support forwards. In this way, he lead his teams to be the best attack in the domestic league. He wants a strong attitude and high intensity approach that could have problem to work in UAE.

mercoledì 17 agosto 2011

Le Guen selected

Coach Paul Le Guen selected a a 22-man squad for the World Cup qualifying matches against Saudi Arabia and Thailand. Australia also is in the mix. Le Guen picked Wigan’s goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi, who has strong reputation and experience. The camp will start on August 23. The complete list is: Ali al Habsi, Mohammed Huwaidi, Ismail al Ajmi, Hassan Mudhaffar, Ahmed Mubarak ‘Kanu’, Fauzi Basheer, Imaad al Hosni, Ahmed Hadeed, Faiz Rushaidi, Hassan Rabee’a, Qasim Masoud, Abdulrahman Saleh, Mohammed Saleh, Eid al Farsi, Ahmed Saleem, Saad Suhail, Nasser al Ali, Hamoud al Saadi, Rashid al Farsi, Hashim Saleh, Abdullah al Handasi, Mohammed She’eba. Former Rangers and Paris St. Germain manager succeeded to Frenchman Claude Leroy after last Gulf Cup. Le Roy took over Oman after Uruguay's Julio Cesar Ribas in June 2008 and leaded the team in the Gulf Cup win in January 2009. He did a great job for Oman, but right now the team has to move forward. Le Guen's first goal will be to improve team's attitude. Some flashes came from the 1-1 friendly against Barhain on August 13 where the team's display was good.

One year later

It's been about a season since Football Federation Australia decided to appoint Holger Osieck as Socceroos coach, in the place of  Pim Verbeek. Is Osieck the right man for the Socceroos? Verbeek wasn't sacked due to poor exit: he accomplished good results qualifying Australia for the 2010 World Cup and for the 2011 Asian Cup. But Verbeek had problems with his unspectacular palying style and with his rude approach to the A-League. Holger Osieck is putting Australian soccer in the right direction. He found a team with many starters retired after the 2010 WC and started a rejuvenation effort. Osieck brought on Dario Vidosic, Matt McKay, Sasa Ognenovski, Adam Sarota, and Co. in the place of Tim Cahill, Jason Culina, Michael Beauchamp, etc...Starting from New Zealand and Serbia friendly matches, Osieck started to weigh his options. A questions mark is the keeper to sub Mark Schwarzer: at the moment, Adam Federici and Nathan Coe are the options. While some veterans aren't rouled out from next qualifier rounds, some young men are rising and Osieck is giving them an opportunity to show their skills at the next level. Despite some thoughts, A-League is a good place to be and to find some talents and the recent move of  Brisbane Roar midfielder McKay to Rangers show the growing strength of the national league.

lunedì 15 agosto 2011

Qatar football turmoil

So, Qatar Football Association (QFA) appointed former Brazilian manager Sebastiao Lazaroni as the new coach of its national football team, replacing Serbian Milovan Rajevac, the man that guided Ghana to the quarter-finals of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, after some poor performances. Rajevac has been sacked due to his defensive play, which was not pleasing to the Arabs. QFA is working hard about developing football in the emirate. Lazaroni, a stint also in Italy, is well know to has been the first Brazilian manager to use a sweeper with the National Team. By the way, his 3-5-2 formation during the 1990 FIFA World Cup didn't work. Lazaroni will have to rise up a National Team that was ranked in the top 100 in FIFA's World Rankings. Qatar is in the World Cup qualifiers Group E alongside Iran, Bahrain and Indonesia. Lazoroni already took a firts meeting with his new players during a team training session at the Al Sadd stadium last week. Qatar football was in turmoil latest seasons: Lazaroni is the ninth coach Qatar have hired since 2000. Rajevac took over the job from Bruno Metsu last Feb. Brazilian manager will try to stay the national team more long.

domenica 14 agosto 2011

Ni hao, Jose!

La nazionale cinese ha quindi un nuovo C.T. nello spagnolo Jose Antonio Camacho, 56enne spagnolo, che sostituisce Gao Hongbo, esonerato dopo due stagioni. Primo obiettivo di Camacho, come dichiarato dal nuovo allenatore, è quello di portare la Cina ai mondiali del 2014. La nazionale cinese era assente dai mondiali del 2010 e quest'anno ha anche mancato la qualificazione alla prossima Asian Cup che si giocherà a Doha. Primo appuntamento, fra meno di tre settimane, contro Singapore, con Giordania e Iraq come altri avversari del girone. E' stata giusta la mossa della Federcalcio cinese? La critica si è divisa sull'atteggiaemnto nei confronti di Gao: per alcuni l'ormai ex tecnico aveva fatto bene, con la Cina imbattuata negli ultimi cinque matches amichevoli e con vittorie contro Honduras, Uzbekistan e North Korea. Per altri, i risultati mancavano, come dimostrato appunto dalla mancata qualificazione alla prossima Asian Cup. L'ultima vittoriosa amichevole, 1-0 contro la Jamaica, non ha salvato il posto a Gao. Vedremo cosaì farà l'ex Real Madrid con una nazionale espressione di un movimento in crescita. La CSL, la massima lega cinese, si è data da fare negli ultimi tempi per far parlare di sé...l'ultimo botto è stato Dario Conca, 27 anni, andato a rinforzare le fila del neopromosso Guangzhou Evergrande con un contratto da 10,2 milioni di euro a stagione. Anche dal campionato italiano sono arrivati alcuni rinforzi, come l'ex genoano Masiero, l'ex reggino Leon e l'ex laziale Fabio Firmani,che hanno deciso di giocare nella Super League. L'ultimo nome è quello dell'ex leccese Fabiano, difensore brasiliano che, dopo essersi svincolato a parametro zero, ha firmato un contratto triennale con lo Shandong Luneg. Qualche big anche fra i tecnici, come il francese Philippe Troussier, ex allenatore del Giappone, che guida lo Shenzhen Ruby o come gli olandesi Jo Bonfrere e Arie Haan, rispettivamente alla guida di Henan Construction e Tianjin Teda. Tutti segnali di una crescita per il calcio cinese. “La nostra sede di allenamento ha 72 stanze a 4 stelle, numerosi uffici e camere da letto, 6 campi d'allenamento, una meravigliosa palestra, una sauna ed ogni altra cosa a cui tu possa pensare,'' ha detto Lawrie McKinna, australiano alla guida dei Chengdu Blades. Attualmente, la CSL ha 16 clubs. E' la stagione del riscatto dopo l'anno nero 2010, nel quale 3 ex vice-presidenti della CFA, alcuni arbitri e giocatori sono stati coinvolti nello scandalo delle partite truccate. A partire dal 2009, inoltre, la CSl permette ai propri clubs di firmare un giocatore straniero proveniente dalla AFC. All'inizio della stagione 2011, i 16 teams CSL avevano sotto contratto 23 giocatori proveneinti da altre federazioni asiatiche, soprattutto da Corea del Sud e Australia. Dall'epoca di Ahn Jung-hwan, il trend di giocatori coreani arrivati in Cina è cresciuto. Dopo l'ex Perugia, altre star coreane sono arrivate ed ora troviamo nella CSL giocatori come Cho Won-hee e Kim Jin-kyu  o la star nascente del calcio coreano, Kwon Jip. Ma la nuova frontiera del calcio opulento non è riesciuta ancora a produrre risultati a livello nazionale. Il Paese con il maggior numero di abitanti del mondo non riesce a produrre 20 giocatori in grado almeno di giocarsi il titolo di nazione No.1 d'Asia. Forse questo dipende da una organizzazione che deve ancora crescere o dalla difficoltà per un popolo come quello cinese di costruire qualcosa a livello di sport di squadra, dove i cinesi sembrano soffire di una certa idiosincrasia al concetto di collettivo (proprio loro che fanno, o facevano, di questro principio una regola politica). Non dipende certamente dagli sforzi fatti dalla Federazione, che constringe i clubs professionistici a dotarsi di selezioni U19, U17, U15 e U10 e ad investire una buona parte del loro budget nel sistema della formazione dei calciatori. Qualche buon giocatore cinese ha calcato palcoscenici più prestigiosi, come l'ex Manchester City Sun Jihai, l'ex Celtic Zheng Zhi o Shao Jiayi, attualmente in forza all'MSV Duisburg. Sulle loro orme, Hao Junmin, dello Schalke 04. La Cina punta comunque forte su Camacho: la CFA concederà al tecnico un triennale con un salario annuale da 2.8 milioni di euro, mentre il compenso totale per Camacho ed i suoi tre assistenti porta la spesa annua per la Federazione a 4.3 milioni di euro, premi esclusi.

giovedì 11 agosto 2011

Collapse of lines

So, Japan downplayed South Korea with its 3-0 victory. South Korean manager Cho Kwang-rae has described the loss as an “important lesson”. But this loss also raised up many questions about Cho Kwang-rae's tenure with the National Team. It was a friendly match, but a special one. And it ended with the biggest defeat to Japan since Korea lost 4-1 in 1974. The Japanese showed to be too much strong. Cho's attacking trio simply dind't work. Monaco's forward, Park Chu-young, had not support by Gamba Osaka's Lee Keun-ho and VfL Wolfsburg's Koo Ja-cheol. The absences of injuried Lee Chung-Yong; of Ji Dong-Won, remained in England with Sunderland; and of Hamburg forward Son Heung-Min, were too much for Korean side. Koreans best chance to score happened just on the 75th minute, when midfielder Koo Ja-Cheol missed a great opportunity to mark a consolation goal. "Should the front-line offense have done their job, we could have had a good result,” Cho said. But truth is that the players up front never had clear scoring chances. Midfield, with Ki Sung-yeung and Co., was a mess. On the flanks, japanese players have done that they want. Cha Du-ri showed his defensive lacks. Problem is also that among Korean media the key point for the loss was identified in the absence of veterans Park Ji-Sung and Lee Young-Pyo. The performance against Samurai Blue  was disappointing but there are doubts that Park and Lee could have made a difference. Cho has to try to insist on players such as Lee Keun-ho or Kim Bo-kyoung, eight goals in the J-League until now. On the left, full-back Kim Yong-Chol went out early so you can't judge him. A poor showing can't destroy soon all the work. Despite some adjustments to do (i.e. on defence), this is a long-term work. And instead that those come backs, a better perspective could be to throw young men into the international scene. You can try some experiments. The 2014 WC qualifiers, with South Korea alongside Kuwait, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirate, will be probably less tougher that this Japan match.

mercoledì 10 agosto 2011

Japan rallied South Korea

Japan extended its run of consecutive good results against South Korea overcoming the rivals 3-0. Samurai Blue side controlled the game from the start and didn't let it down until the last 20 minutes, when the score was already secured. In that span of time, Koreans built their best scoring chances. Japan's development continues under Alberto Zaccheroni. Zac's side started with an usual 4x2x3x1: Italian manager opted to line up Keisuke Honda as No. 10 behind the lone forward Tadanari Lee, with Shinji Kagawa on the flank. Yuichi Komano went to play as left back, opposite to Atsuto Uchida: both was penetration threats moving up front. The Samurai Blue pilled up a lot of scoring chances in the first half but no goals there. That changed in the 30 minute thanks to Kagawa. Japan retained the ball well and dominated with a high percentage of ball possession. Zaccheroni chosen to use a modern version of the 4x2x3x1 system with more flexibility: the wingers went from the outside to create spaces for the overlapping moves by the half backs. That created some problems for Korea, specially when their half backs was following the opponents' wings while the Korean flankers was not making the same against Komano and Uchida. The three attacking midfielders behind Lee gave Japan the depth while Komano and Uchida provided width. Maya Yoshida and Yasuyuki Konno played well in the centre of the defense and both retained the back line high up. The team was well placed to pressure immediately the Koreans every time they had the ball after Japan was losing the ball possession. On the defensive phase, Yasuhito Endo and Makoto Hasebe was able to help the back line also giving midfield support in the offensive phase.

martedì 9 agosto 2011

Escola português

Non soltanto José Mourinho o André Villas-Boas, rispettivamente al Real madrid ed al Chelsea. Questo è il momento degli allenatori portoghesi. C'è stato un tempo in cui nel mondo andavano di moda gli allenatori Brasiliani. Soprattutto nei Paesi arabi erano molto ricercati e, così, i vari Mario Zagallo o Vanderley Luxemburgo solcavano l'oceano alla ricerca di dollari, spesso ptrol-dollari. Ora, invece, c'è un nuovo trend nel calcio mondiale: quello di affidarsi a tecnici portoghesi. Uno degli ultimi, Carlos Carvalhal, che ha di recente firmato con i turchi del Besiktas, dove giocano anche Ricardo Quaresma, Simão Sabrosa, Hugo Almeida e Manuel Fernandes.In Scozia, agli Hearts of Midlothian, allena Paulo Sérgio, la scorsa stagione allo Sporting Lisbona. Sempre in Europa, al Lokomotiv Mosca, lavora il tecnico Josè Couceiro, 48enne con un passato nel Porto e nella nazionale della Lituania, passato anche lui dallo Sporting Lisbona. Dopo una esperienza non positiva con il malaga, da novembre si trova in Grecia, al Panathinaikos, Jesualdo Ferreira, tre titoli vinto nella Primeira Liga portuguesa, due Taças de Portugal ed una Supertaça con il Porto. Sempre in Gracia, allena la nazionale, erde di Otto Rehagel, il 56enne Fernando Santos, ex allenatore del PAOK Salonicco, Panathinaikos e AEK. Dal 2001 allena l'Al-Ahly in Egitto Manuel José, quattro campionati e quattro Champions Leagues africane vinte, ex allenatore fra le altre di  Espinho, Vitória de Guimarães, Portimonense SC, Braga, Benfica, e soprattutto Boavista, dove vinse una Taça de Portugal ed una Supertaça. In Oriente sono finiti Nelo Vingada e Jaime Pacheco. All'FC Dalian Shide in cerca di riscatto, dopo essere passato dai coreani dell'FC Seoul, il primo, mentre, dopo un'esperienza in Arabia Saudita, nell'Al Shabab, Pacheco guida attualmente il Beijing Guo'A n. Negli Emirati c'è Carlos Azenha, ex assistente nel Porto, appena ingaggiato dallo Sharja. Tornando nel Vecchio Continente, Jorge Costa allena i rumeni del Cluj, fra i favoriti per il titolo, dopo esperienze in Patria con Olhanense e Académica. Tutto questo mentre in Portogallo sono tutti portoghesi gli allenatori dei 16 club che parteciperanno alla Liga 2011-12. E per di più molti sono giovani: ben sei sono under 40, per la precisione Pedro Caixinha (União de Leiria), 40; Rui Bento (Beira-Mar), 39; Leonardo Jardim (Sp. Braga), 37; Pedro Emanuel (Académica), 36; Ivo Vieira (Nacional), 35; Bruno Ribeiro (Vit. Setúbal), 35. Anche tutte le grandi sono alleante da tecnici indigeni: oltre a Jorge Jesus con il Benfica, anche Sporting Lisbona e Porto si affidano ad allenatori nazionali. Al Porto troviamo Vítor Pereira, la cui carriera è passata per Sporting de Espinho e Santa Clara prima di diventare assistente allenatore nel Portola scorsa stagione. Lo Sporting Lisbona ha scelto Domingos Paciência, artefice del miracolo Sporting Braga. Al suo posto, il Braga ha scelto Leonardo Jardim, prossimo enfant prodige della nouvelle vague portoghese. Da notare chem dei 16 allenatori, 4 non hanno avuto esprienze da calciatore: Manuel Machado, Daúto Faquirá, Leonardo Jardim e Pedro Caixinha. A dimostrazione che in Portogallo, ancora una volta, si guarda alle qualità presenti e non a quelle passate. In tutto questo, un fattore importante lo ha giocato la nuova metodologia della periodização táctica
Una metodologia che ha rivoluzionato il modo di guidare le squadre di calcio e che molti tecnici portoghesi adottano o cercano di adottare. Un tempo il calcio portoghese importava giocatori ed allenatori: ora esporta gli uni e gli altri.

Não só José Mourinho e André Villas-Boas, respectivamente em Real Madrid e em o Chelsea. Este é o momento do treinadores portuguêses. Houve um tempo quando no mundo estava na moda dos treinadores brasileiros. Especialmente nos países árabes e o vários Mario Zagallo e Vanderley Luxemburgo navegou o oceano em busca de dólares, muitas vezes petrol-dólares. Agora, porém, há uma nova tendência no futebol mundial: a confiança em os treinadores portuguêses. Um dos últimos, Carlos Carvalhal, que recentemente assinou com os turcos do Besiktas, onde também desempenham Ricardo Quaresma, Simão Sabrosa, Hugo Almeida e Manuel Fernandes. In Escócia, em os Hearts of Midlothian, es o treinador Paulo Sérgio, na última temporada no Sporting Lisboa. Também na Europa, o Lokomotiv Moscovo tem como técnico José Couceiro,  48 anos, com um pasado em o FC Porto e na selecção nacional na Lituânia, e que também passou para o Sporting de Lisboa. Após de uma experiência com Málaga, é desde novembro na Grécia, em Panathinaikos, Jesualdo Ferreira, que ganhou três títulos da Liga Primeira Portuguesa com FC Porto. Também em Gracia trabaja  Fernando Santos, 56, ex-técnico do PAOK Salónica, Panathinaikos e AEK. Desde 2001, trens no Al-Ahly, em Egito, Manuel José, que ganhou quatro campeonatos Africano e quatro Ligas dos Campeões e que que foi treinador do Espinho, Vitória de Guimarães, Portimonense SC Braga, Benfica e Boavista, onde tendo ainda conquistado uma Taça de Portugal e uma Supertaça. No Oriente, Nelo Vingada é director do um Dalian Shide FC em busca de redenção, depois de uma temporada com o FC Seul. E depois de ter trabalhado na Arábia Saudita, Jaime Pacheco está atualmente dirigindo o Beijing Guo'A n. No Sharjah, nos Emirados, há Carlos Azenha, ex-assistente no FC Porto. De volta ao Velho Continente, Jorge Costa trens romenos do Cluj, entre os favoritos para o título, depois de experiências em casa com Olhanense e Académica. No entretanto, todos os treinadores dos 16 clubes que irão participar na Liga 2011-12 são portugueses. Entre eles, muitos são jovens: seis tiveram menos de 40 anos, para ser preciso Caixinha Pedro (União de Leiria), 40; Rui Bento (Beira-Mar), 39; Leonardo Jardim (Sp. Braga), 37, Pedro Emanuel ( Académica), 36; Ivo Vieira (Nacional), 35, Bruno Ribeiro (Vitoria Setúbal), 35. Apesar de todos, os grandes do futebol português têm técnicos indígenas: o Benfica com Jorge Jesus, mas também Sporting Lisboa e Porto contam com treinadores nacionais. No Porto é Vítor Pereira, cuja carreira passou por Sporting de Espinho e Santa Clara antes de fazer-se en um assistente técnico na temporada passada em o clube. Sporting de Lisboa optou por Domingos Paciência, criador do milagre Sporting Braga. Em seu lugar, o Braga tem assinado contrato com Leonardo Jardim, o próximo prodígio Português. Por favor, note chem, de 16 treinadores, quatro não tiveram uma experiência como jogador: Manuel Machado, Daúto Faquirá, Leonardo Jardim e Pedro Caixinha. Este prova que em Portugal, âncora uma vez, as qualidades presente são mais importante que aqueles velhos Em tudo isso, tem importância a Periodização Táctica, um método que revolucionou a forma de conduzir as equipes de futebol e que a maioria dos treinadores adota . Uma vez o futebol Português importaba jogadores e técnicos: agora exporta seus.