x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Bathenay the right man for the job

Metsu says Bathenay is the way to go for the UAE team. The Frenchman was the consensus choice for UAE FA.

Bruno Metsu believes Bethaney is the right man to replace him as the UAE head coach.
Bruno Metsu believes Bethaney is the right man to replace him as the UAE head coach.

ABU DHABI // Bruno Metsu has given the thumbs up to the appointment of Dominique Bathenay as the new manager of the UAE national team. Bathenay, who was the assistant during Metsu's reign, is expected to be named as his replacement. He had a meeting with Khalid bin Faris, the head of the technical committee of the UAE Football Association, on Monday night to finalise the details of the contract.

Bathenay, 54, was the favourite for the post, since he has already worked with the squad and has a good relation with all the players. The Frenchman has also managed the team before, after Dick Advocaat deserted the UAE for the South Korean job in 2005. Batheney led the team in the 2007 Asian Cup qualifiers. "I think Dominique is the most appropriate person for the job," said Metsu, who has a number of offers, including from Saudi Arabia and Qatar. He has previously worked with the team before I came, achieving significant successes against Oman and Pakistan.

"Add to that, he worked with the players during the past three years and is on good terms with each member of the squad. He also has a comprehensive overview of the UAE players and the league." Dominique will certainly be the best man for the job, since the UAE have little time before they play their third match of thier World Cup qualifying campaign against South Korea on Oct 15. They are scheduled to leave for a training camp in Japan on Oct 5.

The UAE team flying out to Japan are expected to contain a few new faces, with some players getting the axe and the likes of Subait Khater and Basheer Saeed being suspended for the game due to their two yellow cards. Dominique was the "consensus" candidate for the job, according to Khalid, who said: "He has worked with the team for many years, achieving good results." Khalid also revealed that the committee had not considered any of the club coaches, because "we wanted to ensure stability at the clubs, especially in light of the start of the professional league".

Meanwhile, the Qatari FA have agreed to terminate the contract of national team coach Jorge Fossati by mutual consent due to the Uruguayan's deteriorating health, leaving the door open for Metsu to replace him. Fossati, 55, recently underwent stomach surgery which will force him to be away for more than four weeks from the Qatar national team. The Qatar FA president Sheikh Hamad Khalifa al Thani announced the decision and revealed that Metsu is one of the candidates to take over. "We are negotiating with some coaches now," he said. "Metsu is on the list."

arizvi@thenational.ae