Carlos Carvalhal sacked as Al Wahda manager four matches into new season

Portuguese coach set to be replaced by Spaniard Manuel Jimenez

Carlos Carvalhal took over as Al Wahda manager in June. Photo: Al Wahda Football Club
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Carlos Carvalhal has been dismissed as Al Wahda manager only four matches into the season.

The Portuguese coach, appointed in June, was relieved of his duties on Monday despite the club’s 4-0 victory away to Al Bataeh on Sunday – their first win of the new Adnoc Pro League season.

Carvalhal, 56, is expected to be replaced by Spaniard Manuel Jimenez, who managed Wahda from October 2019 to June 2020. The National understands Jimenez landed in the UAE on Monday morning to finalise the deal.

Carvalhal, meanwhile, is the current favourite for the vacant managerial role at English Championship side Hull City.

His departure marks the first managerial casualty of the 2022/23 campaign. The former Braga manager – who has also coached the likes of Sporting Lisbon, Sheffield Wednesday, Swansea City and Besiktas – had arrived in Abu Dhabi in July, but his side suffered two defeats in their opening four league matches. He leaves Wahda ninth in the 14-team table.

Speaking to Dubai Sports TV immediately following the 4-0 win at Bataeh, Carvalhal was asked about fresh speculation about his future, replying: "I don’t know anything about that. It’s a surprise again. Your colleague asked the same question. I don’t know. I’m here, I’m working.

"I think the team have identity, even when we lose the two games we show identity in the team. So about that I don’t know. I respect all the people, and I expect that all the people respect me, especially my work because I am professional.

"I must do my work, I have rights and things I must do, I know. So nothing special – it’s a surprise that you ask me like that. Even now, in the fourth game. But we never know in football what can happen.”

Wahda's manager Manuel Jimenez instructs his players during the AFC Champions League group A match between al-Wahda FC and al-Ahli FC at al-Nahyan Stadium in Abu Dhabi on February 10, 2020.  / AFP / -
Updated: October 03, 2022, 3:20 PM