x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Pro League coaches should be allowed to get tough

Club management cannot have a situation where the coach and the players don't work in harmony and ultimately, it will always be the coach who pays with his job in that situation.

There was only going to be one winner at Al Jazira when the players turned against coach Franky Vercauteren.
There was only going to be one winner at Al Jazira when the players turned against coach Franky Vercauteren.

Franky Vercauteren, the Al Jazira coach, dismissed because the players "didn't get on well with him" demonstrates the tough balancing act facing Pro League managers.

The Belgian was a strict disciplinarian with a major emphasis on fitness. He did not hesitate to drop anyone who did not conform to the high levels he set.

It seems that he asked too much for the players' liking, upsetting his squad.

Club management cannot have a situation where the coach and the players don't work in harmony and ultimately, it will always be the coach who pays with his job in that situation.

However, should UAE players accept being pushed harder?

The UAE's recent displays have been woeful. When Srecko Katanec was dismissed in September he said the team needed more work ethic. "You can win and you can lose, but you must work," he said. "I know this, if you are not working, you lose the game."

Are Pro League managers too soft in training, for fear of upsetting their squad?

Look at the example of Rafael Sobis, who signed for Jazira from Real Betis in 2008, for a then Pro League record Dh47m. By the time Sobis was loaned to Internacional, his former club, in 2010, the Brazilian striker was out of shape and missing a yard of pace.

Six months later, he returned to Abu Dhabi with Internacional for the Club World Cup and the change on his physical condition was marked. He was sharp and lean. Was that down to a tougher training regime?

A coach should not be punished for being demanding. Success doesn't come without hard work.