Al Wasl settle on Gustavo Quinteros to become latest South American coach

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New Al Wasl boss Gustavo Quinteros.

Al Wasl have appointed Ecuador’s Gustavo Quinteros as replacement for the revitalising Rodolfo Arruabarrena and made him the club’s fifth South American coach in a row.

Quinteros, 53, had been out of work since an ignominious 14-game spell at Saudi Arabian giants Al Nassr ended with the sack in January. He had previously been dismissed by Ecuador last September because of their impending failure to make World Cup 2018.

But the Argentina-born, ex-Bolivia defender’s prior achievements with teams such as Blooming and Oriente Petrolero have convinced the Cheetahs to snap him up for 2018/19.

“Al Wasl contracted with coach Gustavo Quinteros to train the first team,” they tweeted.

A tough task awaits to follow on from Arrubarrena, who worked wonders since his June 2016 arrival at an outfit who operate within their financial means.

Finishes of second and third in the Arabian Gulf League represent the best of an otherwise trying professional era. Narrow defeats for the 42-year-old’s side in the Arabian Gulf Cup and President’s Cup showpieces were recorded in 2017/18.

But the outfit from Zabeel Stadium stunned UAE football by declining to renew the ex-Argentina, Boca Juniors and Villarreal left-back’s expired deal.

His replacement, Quinteros, is the latest in a long line of coaches from South America.

Current Egypt boss Hector Cuper left after 13 poor AGL matches in 2013/14. He was replaced by Brazil’s World Cup 1994-winning right-back Jorginho, but he lasted until just October in the next campaign.

Combustible ex-Argentina midfielder Gabriel Calderon then secured successive sixth-placed finishes, prior to Arruabarrena’s brilliant two-season stint.

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Fujairah boss Dr Abdullah Mesfer urges his Wolves pack to hunt down AGL spot in play-off decider

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Fujairah hero Danilo Carando (Twitter/@Fuj_FC).

Fujairah boss Dr Abdullah Mesfer has declared his Wolves will go all out to hunt down Hatta and nail down a berth in the Arabian Gulf League during Sunday’s deciding promotion play-offs.

The top flight’s bottom two – Emirates Club and Hatta – are battling the First Division League’s third and fourth-placed finishers – Fujairah and Al Hamriyah – to join the expanded, 14-team 2018/19 top flight.

A brace from Argentine striker Danilo Carando secured a 2-1 victory at Fujairah Stadium for Diego Maradona’s former charges on Wednesday. Attack will now be the best form of defence when they look to nail down a return to the big leagues for the first time since 2015/16, according to the joint FIFA Player of the Century’s successor.

“We have come a long way and we have to continue this approach because the task is not yet over,” Dr Mesfer said. “There is still a long way to go and complete the journey.

“We are determined to repeat our victory, despite the difficulty of our task.”

The tie at Al Hamriyah Sports Club Stadium is also delicately poised after another Argentine hit man, Sebastian Saez, struck the only goal in Emirates’ 1-0 triumph.

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Alberto Zaccheroni says he will ban any UAE stars who misbehave ahead of 2019 Asian Cup

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UAE boss Alberto Zaccheroni (c) on Saturday laid out his plan for the 2019 Asian Cup (Twitter/@uaent2019).

UAE boss Alberto Zaccheroni has revealed his hard-line plan for success at January 2019’s Asian Cup does not include tolerating any ill-disciplined players – no matter their reputation.

Zaccheroni, 65, mapped out the host’s detailed route to next year’s tournament on Saturday at the UAE Football Association’s headquarters in Al Khawaneej, Dubai. The Italian’s first six months in charge have been dominated by the apparent exclusion of 2016 AFC Player of the Year Omar Abdulrahman and 2015 Asian Cup top scorer Ali Mabkhout.

The celebrated pair broke curfew the night before January 6’s miserable Gulf Cup defeat to Oman, subsequently missing March’s King’s Cup in Thailand. Although Zaccheroni claimed his “door is open to each and every player”, it is apparent any further infractions will be met with severe sanction in the run-up to January 5’s Group A-opener against Bahrain.

“I praise the discipline of the players and their commitment to attend training until this date,” said the ex-AC Milan, Juventus and Japan boss. “There is no doubt that all my players will be fully ready and have the incentive to compete in the Asian Cup with all their force.

“We will, undoubtedly, be very careful to instil discipline. Any player will be excluded that does not comply.”

He added: “The squad is open to any player that emerges. My door is open to each and every player.”

The Whites next congregate from August 1-18 in Salzburg, Austria. A pair of stints then follow in Spain – October 6-16 in Girona and November 6-20 in Barcelona.

Preparations are wound up in Dubai/Abu Dhabi from November 6-20 and Abu Dhabi from December 15-31.

Friendly matches will be contested at each stage. They will not play any fellow Asian nations.

Zaccheroni has been tasked to improve on 2015’s third spot under Mahdi Ali and make the final on home soil, in a repeat of 1996’s event. To do this, the 1998/99 Serie A winner will need to cure a chronic lack of goals – his charges have scored just five times in 10 matches.

“I have read a lot recently about my use of a 3-4-3 formation,” Zaccheroni said. “This method won many titles at AC Milan, but I did not rely on any specific formation throughout my career.”

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