Laszlo Boloni became the first coaching casualty of the 2010/11 Pro League season when he was dismissed by Al Wahda following their 3-1 victory over Kalba at the Al Nahyan Stadium in the capital last night, according to club sources.
Apparently, Boloni's fate had been decided before the match, following a stunning, 3-1 defeat at the hands of the relegated side Emirates in the Super Cup two weeks ago, and a Pro League-opening 2-0 defeat at Al Wasl last week.
Wahda management had decided, however, to wait until the break for Eid that follows this week's matches to remove the Romania-born coach from his job. Wahda does not play again until September 16, when it meets Al Jazira in the capital derby.
Boloni seemed unaware of his impending termination when he appeared at a post-match press conference last night. "The pressure after the two defeats was evident," he said of the sometimes spotty performance against Kalba, the newly promoted side which was tied 1-1 late in the first half. "So winning the first league points is a big step forward and we will build on this win."
It was not to be for Boloni, who had replaced the popular Austrian coach Josef Hickersberger, who left Wahda to become the national coach of Bahrain, but not before leading Wahda to the Pro League championship last year, clinching a place in the prestigious 2010 Fifa Club World Cup to be played in Abu Dhabi in December.
Boloni was not new to the Pro League experience; he coached Al Jazira to a then-unprecedented second-place finish in 2007/08, finishing behind Al Shabab. He returned to the Pro League after leading Standard Liege to their first Belgian First Division championship in 25 years, in 2008/09. However, he resigned in mid-season, last February, during his second campaign with the Belgian club.
He was introduced as Wahda's coach on May 29.