Zamelek, Ismaili lost without coaches?
Ahly superstar Mohamed Aboutrika heaped praise on coach Manuel Jose and said the Portuguese is the main reason behind his improvement over the past few years.
He said in a televised interview in Cairo after leading his side to third place in the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan that Jose had a huge impact on his career.
Jose affected me both as footballer and man, Aboutrika told Dream TV on Tuesday.
I have full respect for him and I always consult him in personal issues because he is a very trusted person.
His advices and remarks over my performance helped me turn into better player.
Aboutrika has been Egypt s favorite boy this year as he played a pivotal role during the Pharaohs victorious campaign towards the African Cup of Nations title in February.
He led Ahly to clinching their second successive league title in May before the Red Devils secured the domestic double in the following month after beating arch-rivals Zamalek in the final.
In November, Aboutrika s stunning volley against Sfaxien in the African Champions League final meant Ahly retained the title of Africa s premier club competition.
The 28-year-old playmaker completed the mission with three goals in as many matches in the Club World Cup as the Egyptians won bronze medal.
Two of his goals in Japan were from trademark free-kicks, a talent, he reveals, was developed by Jose himself.
I used to take free-kicks in Tersana but I was never that good till Jose taught me a couple of secrets, Aboutrika said about his time before joining Ahly.
He improved my technique by telling me how and where to strike the ball in order to guide it to a certain corner.
Jose also trained me on how to determine which way the keeper will dive before delivering the ball. Of course I won t reveal these secrets, a beaming Aboutrika said.
Aboutrika s talents were unleashed when he signed for Ahly in January 2004 from struggling side Tersana.
Despite arriving as a low-profile player with less than five international caps, he caught the attention of fans and pundits alike with his classy displays that put Ahly back on winning ways after suffering an embarrassing dip in form.
Aboutrika said that joining Ahly was a childhood dream that come true as well as a major shift in his career.
With all my respect to all clubs, if an Egyptian player hasn t played for Ahly, then he hasn t played football at all, he said.
Ahly is a giant organization that has a high-quality system where everybody does his work to ensure success.
They always treat players like human beings and that s what makes me very comfortable at the club
The club also has a huge base of fans who don t accept anything less than winning every competition.
Meanwhile, Ismaili football club director Sabri Al-Minyawi has been appointed as caretaker coach until the board finds a replacement for Dutchman Mark Wotte, club president Yehia Al-Koumi said.
Al-Koumi told reporters that Al-Minyawi will stay in charge of the team until Ismaili’s match against Ahly on Jan. 7, after which he will be replaced by a foreign coach.
Ismaili officials have stepped up their search for a foreign coach to replace Mark Wotte who returned to Holland for personal reasons and took charge of RKC Waalwijk.
Ismaili’s main man in the running, former Spanish international Jose Maria Bakero, arrived in the coastal city late on Monday along with his two assistants to take a closer look at the club before starting negotiations.
Al-Koumi is set to open talks with the former Real Sociedad manager to take over the team in January.
The 43-year-old Bakero was a member of Spain’s national team in the 1990 and 1994 World Cup finals and the Barcelona team that won the European Cup in 1992.
He began his coaching career as an assistant to Luis Van Gaal at Barcelona.
Ismaili is currently in charge of the Egyptian league table on 31 points, two ahead of second placed Ahly who still have three games in hand.
And not to be outdone, Zamalek looks like it may have found a coach to pull it out of its slupm.
French football legend Alain Giresse is in line to succeed Portuguese Manuel Cajuda as coach of Zamalek, a club official said on Monday.
Zamalek officials have been looking to find a replacement for Cajuda who was fired following the 2-0 loss to Masri in the Egyptian league on Friday.
The clubs board received a host of resumes to fill the vacant position but seem unanimous on bringing the 54-year-ol Frenchman on board.
Zamalek are set to open negotiations with Giresse, who is currently in charge of Gabon’s national team, very soon.
Giresse was a member of the French national side that finished fourth in the 1982 World Cup finals and third in 1986.