Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Le Guen takes over in Oman

But he will need more than two years before he begins to understand the culture of Gulf football, said John Burridge, the former Manchester City goalkeeper who once coached there.

Paul Le Guen will need more than two years as Oman's coach before he begins to understand the culture of Gulf football, said John Burridge, the former Manchester City goalkeeper who once coached there.

Burridge had two spells as part of the Oman coaching team under Le Guen's predecessor, Claude Le Roy.

Le Guen was confirmed as the new Oman boss this week, signing a two-year deal. He won three league titles with Lyon in his native France at the start of his coaching career, before enduring tougher times recently.

Oman had been without a manager for five months, after Le Roy left the club following the side's poor display in January's Gulf Cup.

Despite his strong association to the previous coaching regime, Burridge said he wishes the new man well, but he said the job will not be easy for a newcomer to the Middle East.

"When a coach comes here from abroad, you have to become one of them," said Burridge, 59, who has been settled in the Gulf since moving here to coach in 1999 and, despite his age, was playing in the Duplays seven-a-side finals at Dubai American Academy last night.

"I hope [Le Guen] does very well, because I regard Oman as my home, but it will take him at least two years to understand the culture and the mentality of Gulf players."

When Le Guen was in charge of Glasgow Rangers, the Scottish side, he soon fell foul of senior players and struggled to assert his authority as a result.

His new bosses are said to approve of his "aggressive" attitude, but Burridge doubts the merit of the kind of abrasive approach that may be accepted in Europe.

"Players here do not respond to the whip, they respond to kindness," the former Al Ain goalkeeping coach said.



Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Mitchell Johnson of Kings XI Punjab bowling in the IPL match against Rajasthan Royals at Sharjah Cricket Stadium in Sharjah on Sunday. Pawan Singh / The National / April 20, 2014

IPL Day 5 action in Sharjah

Images from the fifth day of the Indian Premier League in the UAE on Sunday, with Kings XI Punjab beating Rajasthan Royals by seven wickets with eight balls remaining.

 Raheem Sterling of Liverpool scores the opening goal against Norwich City on Sunday at Carrow Road. Michael Regan / Getty Images / April 20, 2014

In pictures: Sterling, Suarez inch Liverpool closer to title

Raheem Sterling, with a double, and Luis Suarez accounted for all three goals in Liverpool’s 3-2 away win over Norwich City on Sunday, leaving them five points up on Chelsea with three left to play.

 Manager Matt Williams benching star Bryce Harper, above, may have sent the wrong message to the rest of the Washington Nationals. Mike Ehrmann / AFP

Benching Harper sends Williams’s right message the wrong way

Matt Williams, the Washington Nationals manager, made the biggest move of his 18-game tenure on Saturday, benching rising star Bryce Harper for his “lack of hustle”.

 Arsenal's Lukas Podolski celebrates his second goal during the Premier League match against Hull City at The KC Stadium in Hull, England, on April 20, 2014. Lynne Cameron / AP Photo

Arsenal maintain push for top-four finish with victory at Hull

Hull could end up in Europe regardless of the FA Cup final result if Arsenal finish in the Uefa Champions League places

 Ashish Nehra of Chennai Super Kings bowls to Kings XI Punjab at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Ravindranath K / The National

Hard-hitting Chennai not deterred by opening loss in IPL

But some questions remain about the team's attack ahead of Monday's match against Delhi Daredevils in Abu Dhabi, writes Osman Samiuddin.

 Stanislas Wawrinka turned away fellow Swiss Roger Federer with a 4-6, 7-6, 6-2 victory at the Monte Carlo Masters on April 20, 2014. Julian Finney / Getty Images

Wawrinka backhands Federer aside at Monte Carlo Masters

Stanislas Wawrinka won the Monte Carlo Masters for the first time after rallying to beat Roger Federer 4-6, 7-6, 6-2 in a rare all-Swiss final.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National