x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Pro League: Bruno Metsu 'can pull Wasl out of their current mess'

Al Wasl give the Frenchman a two-year contract to help get the club back to the top of the Pro League after the Diego Maradona experiment failed.

Recently hired Al Wasl coach Bruno Metsu, right, with Swaidan Al Naboodah, the Vice Chairman of Al Wasl Football Committee.
Recently hired Al Wasl coach Bruno Metsu, right, with Swaidan Al Naboodah, the Vice Chairman of Al Wasl Football Committee.


Mohammed Omar, the former UAE and Al Wasl player, said Bruno Metsu is the right man to bring success back to the Pro League side.

The former Al Ain coach was on Tuesday named as the replacement for Diego Maradona at Wasl and has been given a two-year contract with the club.

Omar was the captain of the UAE national side that won the Gulf Cup under the charismatic Frenchman in 2007.

Maradona was dismissed after Wasl failed to win a trophy under the Argentine's command last season.

However, Omar thinks Metsu can turn the club around.

"He is a great coach with a great personality, and I am sure he can pull Wasl out of their current mess," said the Emirati forward, who started and ended his playing career at Wasl.

"Metsu has worked in the UAE before and has been in the region for more than a decade to understand what is required of him. I won't say that he will come with a magic wand to change things overnight but I am sure he will put the club in a better position from what they have been through."

Omar, who retired after being in the top-flight league in the country for nearly two decades, has worked more closely with Metsu than any other Emirati player.

He was a member of the Al Ain team that won two league titles and the Asian Champions League under Metsu.

Omar was also the captain of the UAE team that won the first ever Gulf Cup in 2007 after Metsu returned for a second spell in the country as the national team coach.

"He made us believe that we could win at any level and we had a lot of success under him when he first joined Al Ain and later returned as the national team coach," Omar said.

Al Ain secured Metsu's signature after he led Senegal to the last eight in the 2002 World Cup, and success with the Emirati club led to host of offers from other Gulf nations. He now returns to Dubai after spells at Qatar's Al Gharafa, Al Ittihad of Saudi Arabia, as the national team coach of UAE and Qatar, and a second one-year stint at Gharafa.

Metsu had to pay a fine for a breach of contract when moving from Al Ain to Gharafa, and he left the UAE job midway of his contract to take charge of Qatar, but Omar defends those decisions.

"As a professional everyone has the right to decide where they want to go, be it a coach or player," Omar said. "It is the same when the club wants to dismiss the coach."

Ali Zein, a television pundit, said Wasl had little or no choice in choosing a coach as most of them had already signed contracts.

"Wasl have to go with Metsu as they don't have much time to prepare for the new season," he said.

"They are the last Pro League club to sign a coach and under the circumstances Metsu if a fair choice as he has the experience of working in the region for more than 10 years."

Metsu succeeds Maradona, under whom the Dubai club finished eighth in the Pro League, and threw away a 3-1 first-leg lead to lose the Gulf Clubs Championship final to Al Muharraq of Bahrain on penalties.


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