E’la prima stagione del dopo-Maradona. Il massimo campionato degli Emirati Arabi Uniti, la Pro League, parte senza più l’effetto Diego. La scorsa stagione è stata quella dell’attenzione massima da parte dei media di tutto il mondo per l’arrivo del Pibe de Oro come tecnico dell’Al Wasl. Per una stagione, il campionato locale è stato al centro dell’attenzione proprio grazie a Maradona. Grazie o a causa, in quanto le vicende tecniche sono passate inosservate proprio per via della presenza dell’ex Re di Napoli. Eppure il campionato dell’EAU, nonostante non sia ricco come quello del Qatar, è uno dei tornei più interessanti dei Paesi Arabi, sia per il talento dei giocatori che per la presenza di ottimi allenatori. Ma, mentre i riflettori erano accesi sul Maradona fuori del campo, quel che è successo in campo è passato in secondo pinao, a partire proprio dai risultati dell’Al Wasl che non sono stati all’altezza delle apsettative, tanto che la dirigenza del team ha deciso, dopo appena un campionato, di porre fine all’esperimento. Ora, giunto alla sua quinta stagione, il prossimo campionato cerca la svolta: aumentare il proprio appeal a livello nazionale anche senza più il Pibe de Oro come promoter. Si parte quindi con la caccia al titolo che dovrebbe coinvolgere cinque- sei squadre. I campioni in carica dell’Al Ain hanno inziato la stagione con una pesante sconfitta casalinga, 3-6, subita dall’Al Ahli. La squadra di Cosmin Olaroiu, nonostante gli arrivi dei nazionali Mohammed Ahmed e Yaqoub Al Hosani, e la permanenza di Michel Radoi e Asamoah Gyan, sembrano lontani dalla forma esibita la scorsa stagione, anche se il campionato è appena partito. Dopo l’esperienza, come detto in apertura, non certo entusiasmante con Diego Maradona al timone, l’Al Wasl riparte da Bruno Metsu, ex allenatore del Senegal ai Mondiali di Giappone/Corea 2002, dove portò gli africani ai quarti di finale. La squadra è stata notevolmente rinforzata in estate con gli arrivi di Mahmoud Abdel Razek Shikabala, del difensore australiano Lucas Neill e dell’attaccante uruguayano, ex Lazio, Emiliano Alfaro. Molto ci si aspetta, in particolare, dall’egiziano Shikabala – vero nome Mahmoud Abdel Razek Fadlallah - acquistato dallo Zamalek del Cairo per più di US$100,000. Un’esperienza in Europa, con il PAOK Salonicco in Grecia, seguito anche da Anderlecht ed Espanyol, Shikabala ha tutte le qualità per sfondare nella Pro League, sempre se riuscirà a tenere a freno il proprio carattere. Tutta da verificare la tenuta dell’Al Jazira dopo le partenze di Lucas Neill e Bare, compensate dagli arrivi dell’attacante brasiliano Fernandinho e del difensore Shin Hyung-min. La partenza in campionato, sconfitta 1-2 contro l’Al Nasr, non fa ben sperare anche se il club ha trattenuto Ricardo Oliveira, 15 goals nell’ultimo campionato. A proposito di Al Nasr, il team guidato da Walter Zenga ha acquistato Giuseppe Mascara e Bruno Correa , sostituendo il partente Mark Bresciano, che ha scelto i dollari del Qatar firmando per l’Al Gharafa, con l’iracheno Nashat Akram. La squadra ha una precisa identità e sotto la guida di Zenga può sperare di arrivare a quel titolo nazionale che manca dal 1986. Da seguire l’Al Ahli, guidato ancora in panchina dallo spagnolo Quique Sanchez Flores. Alla guida del club dopo quattro giornate della scorsa stagione, Flores è riuscito a trattenere Grafite e Luis Jimenez, vecchia conoscenza del calcio italiano. A questi, il club di Dubai ha aggiunto il camerunense Achille Emana. In ribasso sembrano le quotazioni dell Al Wahda. Il team guidato da Branko Ivankovic ha perso i vari Haidar Ali, Mutaz Abdulla e Omar Ali e confida nelle capacità di Papa Waigo. L’esordio, socniffta 4-1 contro l’Al Wasl, non è stato promettente. Il campionato si presenta comunque avvicente ed interessante. Fra gli altri giocatori da seguire, il nazionale egiziano Mohamed Zidan, subito infortunatisi all’esordio nella sconfitta 2-0 patita dal suo club, il Bani Yas, ad opera dell’Al Shabab. Ex di Werder Bremen, Mainz, Amburgo e Borussia Dortmund, Zidan dovrà aiutare la squadra del tecnico Jozef Chovanec a raggiungere una buona posizione di classifica.
venerdì 21 settembre 2012
giovedì 20 settembre 2012
martedì 11 settembre 2012
it was thinking to has been too much defensive in a to-win game. But Levein's 4-1-4-1 is not necessarily a defensive formation. All depends on the midfielders' skills. All is about supporting the forward. Lining up Steven Naismith, Charlie Adam, James Morrison and Robert Snodgrass, means the possibility to have upcoming midfielders able to provide nice balls and to attack the box. The only real issues Levein deserves to face is the Steven Fletcher issue after forward refused the call for a friendly match and denied his availability. Levein opted to start with Kenny Miller as team's lone forward up top. You could point that Sunderland striker would have been un upgrade and that he had earned the right to play after his latest performances. Although Miller played recently down the expectations, he's still a fans' favourite. So, after Scoltand struggled to score, people started to talk about how much a 4-4-2 with both Fletcher and Miller high up could work better. This point deserves credit but still this isn't the right way to made the question. Everyone knows that managers have an edge if they can line up several players that are among the football's players elite. Miller and Fletcher are two good players but not elite ones. Neither among the elite are Jordan Rhodes, Jamie Mackie or even James Forrest. So when you can't reach the highs with your players you have to put more emphasis on fitness shape and tactics. Is playing with two guys up top the best solution for Scotland? The defence played well against Serbia, exploting the work of the five-men midfield. The Scots began dangerous when Snodgrass was involved. But Serbs looked dangerous on the fast-breaks so how much would Levein's benfit be playing higher and more offensive? Levein can hint at some changes against Macedonia, although he would have to think whether they could be tactically or in line up. The Scottish could play without a key player such as the injuried Adam so Levein could shuffle the midfield. Macedonia left Zagreb without a point despite a good display against Croatia. Under new Chedomir Janevski's regime, Macedonia's players showed some discipline, and tactical intelligence. So Macedonia at Hampden is going to be a much tougher test than Serbia for Levein.
mercoledì 5 settembre 2012
Getting Alessandro del Piero is the highest, biggest and hot move made by an A-League franchise. What his signature could mean for the team? Sydney has a large, Italian community , fans base. A lot of them will pay to see Del Piero on the pitch or via TV. The attention will rise now that they landed one of the 125 greatest players of all-time – according to FIFA. But Sydney’s signature of Del Piero could have also a big impact on football in the Australia, such as David Beckham’s arrival had on USA. Add a player such Del Piero should add more pressure on you to achieve a succesful season: “I dont worry it will be a pleasure for me and our staff to work with him, in Australia there is always pressure on Sydney FC to be successful,” Sydney’s manager Ian Cook told us. This impact isn’t about money, but about an increase of football appeal in the country. “He will be massive in this country. Everywhere we go people will come just to watch him,“ Cook isad. Sure, money is involved with Del Piero ready to sign the most expensive contract for an A-League players at $2 million for a six months stint. But who cares? Signing a player like that could represent the needed step for A-League to grow up and answer to the criticism. “It means everything, he will have a huge impact on the game in Australia. Already the news of his signing has been regarded as the biggest coup in Australian sports history”, Cook added. About the money issue, the Sky Blues are rich enough to land Del Piero at his condition, after they proposed a three-year $6.2 million contract to Harry Kewell few months ago. The overall quality of the A-League could rise, convincing the other owners to spend more to attract other big players. Del Piero’s move to Sydney is a done deal and Australians beat out contenders like as Celtic and Totthenam, that showed interest on signing him. The idea to play in the Champions League once again wasn’t so strong on Del Piero’s mind, such as it was for Raul when he left Real Madrid to sign with Shalke 04. Sydney can offer him the best in term of life quality. How employ him into the starting line up? “I will speak to him and go through our structure and where we both believe will be the best position for him to be able to perform at his best for our club, we have been working hard in pre season on our tactical shape,we have 11 new signings in our squad so we are trying to blend them in to our system. Up to now the players have been excellent,” Cook said. All Asutralia has to be happy for the Italian superstar’s decision.
lunedì 3 settembre 2012
This match essentially started around a clash between two different playing styles. Shakhtar started with his classic 4-4-3/4-2-3-1 featuring Henrikh Mkhitaryan as the midfilder to support the offensive trio of William, Luiz Adriano, and Ilsinho. The technical quality in the first 20 minutes was high: Mircea Lucescu's side controlled the match with their high ball retention a la Barcelona and spread the field thanks to full backs Darijo Srna and Razvan Rat that had decent positions playing wide as wing backs while the forwards were occupying the middle section of the field. But Shakthar pressing when the ball was lost too deserves some credit. While Shaktar pressed heavily, Dinamo Kyev stayed more passive without the ball, with no pressing action. It was a 4-4-1-1 with Niko Kranjcar as attacking midfielder. But they was more worried to close the spaces than to hunt the ball. So, sometimes, we have seen Dinamo Kiev defending with a line of 6 defenders, with the four-men back line very tight and the wingers collapsing behind to cover Srna and Rat. They got into a bank of three defending centrally with the midfield closed to centre-backs that tried to keep the line high. Lucescu's side controlled the game but had some nice through balls too. It was defending with the ball, commanding the game. After Shakhtar scored first, Dinamo went to rise up the defense, trying to press more high. By the way Shakhtar get the ball control and when the ball was lost they were able to press immediately in the zone where it was lost and were quick to come back closing the opposite's counter-attacking chances. Despite this control, Shakhtar had fewer scoring chances than aspected so this was a game that remained open. It was showed at the end of the first half, when Dinamo equalized thaks to a personal play made by Andrey Yarmolenko. The second half started much more open as Dinamo tried to play in attack and not just to defend. That's happened because Shakhtar scored early the 2-1 following a corner kick mistake of Dinamo's defenders- and it was the second time whithin the game. At the end, Lucescu's men was the better side and deserved to win. Once time they impressed with their bunch of Brazilian players up front. But they had few scoring opportunities in relation to the ball possession. Dinamo paid a high price for two defensive mistakes on set pieces. They were too passive on the first half and created nothing in the second too, when had a better control of the ball.