x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Kalba sack manager Dragan Talajic after losing start to new season

The award-winning Croatian coach has been dismissed after the Dubai-based side lost their opening four games.

DUBAI // Dragan Talajic has become the first managerial casualty of the new season after Ittihad Kalba decided to part ways with the Croatian.

Talajic won the the 2004 AFC Champions League with Saudi club Al Ittihad, and enjoyed domestic success in Jordan and Kuwait, but has watched Kalba lose all their four games this season.

They started with a 4-2 loss to Al Wasl in the Etisalat Cup and have conceded 12 goals in three Pro League matches without scoring once.

They lost 4-0 to promoted side Al Shaab in the opening league game and were beaten 2-0 at Baniyas, but the 6-0 defeat at home to Al Wahda forced the club management to cancel their contract with the manager.

Kalba are the only team yet to win a point in the Pro League this season and Talajic, voted the best coach of Asia by Al Jazeera Sports in 2010-11, must have been expecting his dismissal given the lack of patience at the clubs here.

Last season, there were as many as 12 changes with only six coaches managing to keep their job from the start of the league to the end. Carlos Azenha left Sharjah even before the official start of the season while Argentine Nestor Clausen was the first one to be sacked, after just one game at Dubai.

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