x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Early exits are sadly common in Arabian Gulf League

Rueda the latest coach to be shown the door

Martin Rueda, pictured during his tenure with the Swiss club Young Boys, became the fourth manager in the Arabian Gulf League to lose his job this season after being dismissed by Dubai Club. Simone Ferraro / AFP
Martin Rueda, pictured during his tenure with the Swiss club Young Boys, became the fourth manager in the Arabian Gulf League to lose his job this season after being dismissed by Dubai Club. Simone Ferraro / AFP

Another one bites the dust.

Six Arabian Gulf League matches into the season, Martin Rueda was this week dismissed as manager of Dubai Club. Installed in July, the Swiss arrived in the UAE, like so many before him, with designs of transforming a team from the league’s lower half to one who could contend for a place in the top of the table. While conceding he could not promise the title, Rueda pledged to do everything he could to challenge.

Initially, Dubai Club provided the tools to facilitate the climb; or rather “eventually”, as their foreign contingent first featured Pasquale Foggia, Aboubacar Tambadou and Andre Alves before settling, finally, on Alves, Jehad Al Hussain, Gilles Yapi Yapo and Bruno Correa. Alves left after only one league appearance.

As has now Rueda, his contract terminated after an understandably inauspicious first few months in charge. Four defeats in six league matches, one point from four league cup encounters, yet performances have not mirrored the projected malaise. Dubai lost to Al Ahli in the final minute and held Al Jazira.

It is hard not to feel sorry for Rueda. He was new to the league, new to the country and culture, and was given little time to make a successful transition. Few are.

Something has to change, whether that be a more comprehensive evaluation of prospective coaches or greater patience when one is put in place. Research or restraint.

Maybe Rueda did not realise the capricious landscape of UAE football, but his successor will. Umberto Barberis has resided in the Dubai dugout before, early in the 2011/12 campaign. He lasted two matches.

jmcauley@thenational.ae