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Al Wasl has given Bruno Metsu two years to make things right with the football club.
Al Wasl has given Bruno Metsu two years to make things right with the football club.

Pro League: Cleaning up after Maradona will not be an easy task

Bruno Metsu requires time, but how much patience will he be afforded by his new employers and the supporters if Wasl fail to hit the ground running?

How will Bruno Metsu usher in a bright, new era for Al Wasl when so many of the club's problems stem from past indiscretions?

The Frenchman, 58, arrives at the Zabeel Stadium with his team not so much in transition but needing a complete remodelling.

Remember, last season Wasl finished eighth in the Pro League.

Yet that squad has not been fortified in quantity or quality.

If anything, it has shrunk in stature, with Mohammed Reza Khalatbari heading to Sepahan and goalkeeper Majed Naser likely to be banned for the entire campaign.

Wasl's rivals, however, have been feverishly recruiting for the new season; planning for a league swollen to 14 teams, when resources will be stretched more than before.

Metsu will be operating in a considerably compressed market.

Then there is the curtailed preseason.

While the board has procrastinated over firing Diego Maradona, league champions Al Ain have been busy preparing in Austria, as have Al Jazira.

The majority of clubs are well into their preseason training; Metsu's mob, with doubts surrounding their tactical nous and temperament, are at least a month behind.

Metsu requires time, but how much patience will he be afforded by his new employers and the supporters, the most ardent of which last week denounced the decision to fire Maradona, if Wasl fail to hit the ground running?

Yes, Metsu is well versed in the nuances of UAE football.

Yes, he understands the mentality of its players.

And yes, he represents a more conservative choice than a Maradona - although, who doesn't? - a Redknapp or a Goran-Eriksson.

But Metsu is hamstrung by the situation he inherits from Maradona.

He faces an uphill battle from the very start.

jmcauley@thenational.ae

twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE

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