Al Wasl and Baniyas stabilising while Olaroiu’s Al Ahli looking for the same

Al Ahli and Cosmin Olaroiu will hope some easy pickings against Kalba will restore the feel-good factor, an emotion Gabriel Calderon and Luis Garcia are experiencing.
The Baniyas management were patient with Luis Garcia during his early struggles. Delores Johnson / The National
The Baniyas management were patient with Luis Garcia during his early struggles. Delores Johnson / The National

Relief likely for Olaroiu

Al Ahli will try to redeem some of their battered pride when they meet Kalba, a last-place team with just one point from 10 games.

After two surprising defeats, the Ahli coach Cosmin Olaroiu sorely needs three points for a confidence-booster ahead of a visit to Abu Dhabi and a meeting with first-place Al Wahda on December 15.

The fans are grumbling about the team’s recent results and have vented their anger at the coach.

Kalba, on the other hand, is expected to struggle, but any team is capable of taking a knock at the defending champions at the moment, with their confidence at low ebb.

Baniyas back in business

Baniyas have shown remarkable progress after a poor start. They won four games in a row and were unlucky to lose their match in added time four days ago against Al Jazira.

They travel to Al Dhafra with renewed belief that they are a team to reckon with as a potential top-four contender, which was their objective at the beginning of the season.

The Baniyas management should be given a pat on their back for the patience and faith they have shown in coach Luis Garcia, particularly for a club that has burned through nine coaches since they returned to the top flight in 2008/2009.

Looking ahead, Garcia has revealed plans of strengthening the squad during the midseason transfer window by signing some forward options.

Calderon seems fit

It is still early, but Al Wasl seems to have finally got their man to lead them out of crisis. Gabriel Calderon became the ninth coach at the Zabeel stadium since the club parted ways with Diego Maradona in 2012, and under the Argentine, the club has won eight points from five games.

Wasl should exercise patience and provide him enough time to rebuild the side, then evaluate Calderon at the end of the season and consider whether he deserves an extension.

Calderon is no stranger to the region, having first arrived as coach of Saudi Arabia in 2004/2005.

Baniyas travel to Ajman tonight and they certainly look capable of returning with another three points.

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Published: December 8, 2014 04:00 AM


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