Al Wasl part ways with Hector Cuper after brief, disappointing tenure

Al Wasl announced on Tuesday that both parties had agreed to part through 'mutual consent' and will begin looking for their third manager this season.

Hector Cuper lasted just 13 Arabian Gulf League matches with Al Wasl after his hiring in November before his sacking on Tuesday March 4, 2014. Razan Alzayani / The National
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Manager sacked

Club reportedly are looking to bring in a Brazilian coach

Ahmed Rizvi

DUBAI // Al Wasl could make a return to the Brazilian school of coaching as they hunt for a new coach after parting ways with Argentine Hector Cuper yesterday.

Arriving at the Zabeel Stadium in November amid much fanfare, Cuper was given the marching orders after a disappointing four months in which his team only won four of their 16 matches and lost 10.

The club announced the decision through their official Twitter account, saying both parties had agreed to part ways through “mutual consent” following a meeting yesterday between the coach and the club’s technical committee.

“Al Wasl management wish the best for the Argentine coach Hector Cuper and we thank him for all that he has done at his time as first team coach,” the post said.

Saleem Abulrahman, who had won two of his three matches as interim coach earlier in the season after Laurent Banide was sacked, will return to the job as Wasl look for Cuper’s replacement.

According to a club source, the new manager could most likely be a Brazilian.

Wasl have enjoyed better times under Brazilian managers and their last success – the league and President’s Cup double in 2006/07 – also came under the guidance of Brazilian Ze Mario.

“Looking at our past, we believe the Brazilian coaches are better for us,” said the source.

“So the club is keen to turn back to a coaching school that has worked well for us in the past. No decision has been made yet, but our next coach could most likely be a Brazilian.”

Ze Mario left the club at the end of the 2007/08 season after failing to repeat his success, and his successors were a Czech (Miroslav Beranek), a Croat (Srecko Juricic), a Brazil-born Costa Rican (Alexandre Guimaraes) and a Brazilian (Sergio Farias) before Argentine legend Diego Maradona took the job in 2011.

Maradona met the same fate as the earlier managers after failing to win any silverware and was sacked midway through his two-year contract.

Since then, Frenchmen Bruno Metsu, Gilles Morriseau, Guy Lacombe and Banide, Emiratis Eid Baroot and Abdulrahman, and Argentine Cuper have all occupied the Wasl dugout.

Banide was sacked last October after three wins from eight games in charge, four each in the Arabian Gulf League and the League Cup, but Cuper failed to turn things around. The former Valencia and Inter Milan manager started his tenure with a 3-1 win at Dubai, but in the following 12 league matches, Wasl could win only two more matches – against Al Ahli (2-1) and Al Shaab (1-0).

They had eight defeats, including an embarrassing 6-1 loss in the Bur Dubai derby at Al Nasr.

In the President’s Cup, they defeated Ajman but then lost to Al Ain on penalties in the quarter-finals.

A second loss to Nasr – a 3-2 defeat at home in an inconsequential League Cup match on Monday – proved to be costly for the Argentine and the club’s management decided to cut short Cuper’s tenure, with Wasl languishing in 10th on the league table.

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