x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Ajman take sack race to new low

Abdul Wahab Abdul Kader becomes the latest managerial casualty in the Pro League, having lost four games in a row.

A few poor results and out you go. Abdul Wahab Abdul Kader worked wonders to get promoted Ajman to fourth in the Pro League standings at the winter break but, after four consecutive defeats left them in seventh place, the club's management saw fit to sack him. The Iraqi was hailed as the best man for the job after his team scored some stunning victories over heavyweights such as Al Shabab, the defending champions, Al Wahda and Sharjah. They also held big-spending Al Jazira to a draw. But those results were forgotten when his team lost all four games in the second half of the league.

Short-sighted at best, foolhardy, rash and plain unfair at worst, Ajman's decision is baffling. It epitomises the ruthless epidemic which seems to have swept through a league in which only a top-three spot appears to be good enough, even for teams like Ajman with meagre resources. Abdul Kader was in shock and dismay. He said: "I never expected such treatment from the management. I am shocked and disappointed.

"My job was to see the team remain in the Pro League and I have taken them to a position where I feel they are safe with seven matches left. The expectations have now exceeded to more than remaining in the Pro League. This is ridiculous." Abdul Kader is the 11th coach to be either sacked or resign this season. He is replaced by his assistant Sedar Mohammed. Only four coaches who started the season have kept their jobs - Ivan Hasek (Al Ahli), Abel Braga (Jazira) and Winfried Schaefer (Al Ain), whose sides are fighting for top spot, and Toninho Cerezo who led Al Shabab to the title last season.

apassela@thenational.ae