x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Al Wasl manager Jorginho is ‘looking only for special players’

New coach Jorginho keen to bring prominence back to Al Wasl, a club that have not finished higher than fifth since the top division of UAE football turned professional in 2008/09, writes Ahmed Rizvi.

Al Wasl coach Jorginho is looking forward to the challenge that lies ahead for the team's improvement next season. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National
Al Wasl coach Jorginho is looking forward to the challenge that lies ahead for the team's improvement next season. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

DUBAI // Jorginho, the new Al Wasl manager, believes he will need players with “special abilities” to drag the Zabeel club out of the rut in the coming season.

A World Cup winner with Brazil in 1994, Jorginho has arrived in the country to take charge of a beleaguered team, who finished 12th, one place above the relegation zone, in the Arabian Gulf League last season. Winners of the league and President’s Cup double in 2006/07, Wasl have not finished higher than fifth since the top division of UAE football turned professional, in 2008/09.

Read more: Wasl will give Jorginho time but results in Arabian Gulf League are needed

A defender in his playing days, Jorginho has been busy trying to analyse Wasl’s performance and has decided they will use a 4-2-3-1 formation. Now, he is looking for players who are suited to his plans.

“Since signing the contract with the club in April, me and my team have been analysing Wasl’s matches from last season and we believe the 4-2-3-1 formation will work best for this team,” Jorginho said at a news conference. “Now, we are looking only for special players, who can play according to our methods.

“Everyone knows the team’s performance last season was well below acceptable levels and I will do my utmost to improve the image of the team. I know the task will not be easy, but I am here to help the team improve and achieve success.

“Right now, I cannot promise the club and the fans that we will be winning championships. We have not even started our work yet. All I can say is I am from Brazil and we love our football, and we love to win. As a player, I always wanted to win and I fought till the last second for it. You will see that same passion in my work and hopefully transfer some of it to the players.”

To arrest their sliding fortunes, Wasl have been busy in the transfer market, adding five Emirati players to their roster. Hazza Salem and Salem Abdullah have arrived on one-year loans from Al Ain in a reciprocal deal that saw Rashid Essa, the 2012 Olympian, move to the Garden City. Abdullah Saleh (Al Shaab) and Salem Masood (Al Jazira) have been given three-year contracts, while goalkeeper Yousuf Al Zaabi comes on a four-year deal from rivals Al Nasr.

Three foreign players – Brazil’s Ricardo Oliveira, Chilean Edson Puch and Emmanuel Culio of Argentina – are still on the club’s books, but Jorginho has not made any decisions about his expatriate contingent.

“I did not have the time to look for foreign players when I was in Brazil, but I am here now and we have lots of time,” the coach said. “I know the club has plans to attract new players and we have enough time to get to know these players and make sure they are in harmony with the team.

“We will get to know the players better during our camp in Germany and the four friendly matches we have scheduled there will help us in determining the level of the players and identifying the best elements.

“We will also be playing a few friendly matches when we return home from Germany, so I am not worried on the preparation side.”

arizvi@thenational.ae

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