x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

With the Super Cup, losing one may win you many more

Winning the Super Cup may provide another trophy for the mantelpiece, and an early pick-me-up ahead of the challenges that follow. However, evidence suggests it could hinder your long-term prospects.

No one is suggesting Al Jazira's Ali Kasheif should kick one into his own goal, but winning the Super Cup hasn't bode well for teams in the regular season.
No one is suggesting Al Jazira's Ali Kasheif should kick one into his own goal, but winning the Super Cup hasn't bode well for teams in the regular season.

No one is suggesting Ali Kasheif, Al Jazira's goalkeeper, should throw a few goals into his own net Monday night. Although it might help his Abu Dhabi club in the long run.

Winning the Super Cup may provide another trophy for the mantelpiece, and an early pick-me-up ahead of the challenges to follow.

However, evidence suggests it could hinder your long-term prospects.

In the brief history of the season-opening encounter between the reigning Pro League champions and the President's Cup holders, only once has the winner gone on to win the next league competition.

Even that was a portentous success, anyway: Al Ahli's plight has been a painful one since they book-ended the 2008/09 season with the inaugural Super Cup trophy and the league title.

Cosmin Olaroiu, the Al Ain manager, was clearly preoccupied with a variety of issues on Monday. But perhaps there was a simple explanation for his grouchy mood.

He must have known the statistics and been weighing up what the most advisable course of action should be. Defeat may be better for his side's future prospects.

Admittedly, it is a small sample size, with the Super Cup - which has never been won by the league champions, either - having been played only four times since its inception.

But if the two teams at the Zabeel Stadium  start passing to each other, and the defenders start raining shots on their own goal, you will know they have a keen grasp on recent history.

pradley@thenational.ae

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