x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Arabian Gulf League: Time is not on Al Ain's side in coaching search

Cosmin Olaroiu's shocking departure from Al Ain seems to have created quite a crisis at the club, comments Amith Passela.

Al Ain has not named a new coach since the departure of manager Cosmin Olaroiu and the clock is ticking. Silvia Razgova / The National
Al Ain has not named a new coach since the departure of manager Cosmin Olaroiu and the clock is ticking. Silvia Razgova / The National

Cosmin Olaroiu's shocking departure from Al Ain seems to have created quite a crisis at the club.

They have delayed naming a replacement for Olaroiu, who led them to back-to-back league titles, in the three weeks that have passed since the Romanian moved to Al Ahli.

Al Ain's hopes of appointing Abel Braga, the Fluminense manager, seems all but over after the Brazilian decided to honour his contract at his native club.

Thus, a team preparing for the 2013/2014 Arabian Gulf League season has been training for a week without a coach. And they play in a four-team friendly tournament, which they host, starting Monday.

Ahmed Abdullah, a former captain and a long-time assistant coach at the club, is temporarily in charge, but the lengthening delay in appointing a leader may lead to serious consequences.

A similar scenario, in 2010/2011, saw Al Ain put off naming their foreign players and led to a catastrophic result, with the 11-time league champions left to battle relegation.

The club management took immediate measures at that time. They made sweeping changes by replacing the entire football administration and the foreign players. They signed Olaroiu and recruited their foreign quartet well ahead of time and were rewarded with the two league titles.

As in 2010, time is running out. There is an urgent need for Al Ain to name a coach. It is difficult to believe they lack the administrative acumen and financial resources to select from a vast pool of reputable managers.

apassela@thenational.ae

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