Zenga: Olaroiu has not become an awful coach

Walter Zenga 06:12 05/04/2015
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Campaign of misery: Al Ahli boss Cosmin Olaroiu has seen his treble holders drop down to seventh in the Arabian Gulf League.

Al Ahli coach Cosmin Olaroiu is my friend. His club’s disappointing season continued on Thursday, the 1-0 defeat at Arabian Gulf League leaders Al Ain leaving them seventh.

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It has been such a poor season for the treble holders, and I am very sad for him. I know how passionate Cosmin is. There are all these rumours, but he is one of the strongest coaches in the Middle East and could go anywhere he wants to work – he is that good.

I know how sad he is about what is happening. Ahli have a fine coach in Cosmin, one of the best.

The match against the Boss was settled by Asamoah Gyan’s solitary strike, yet it was a match containing a bizarre sending off for Salmeen Khamis.

Referee Ammar Ali Al Junaibi made a big mistake, the centre-back never touched UAE goalkeeper Khalid Essa. These things happen, it is football. But something should be done about incidents like this, it is why I support video technology. No one can be 100 per cent on every decision.

The referee is a big part of football – just like the supporters, players and coaches. Controversial errors could be avoided if they got help from elsewhere.

We have seen how well the goal-line technology works in the English Premier League. FIFA have looked at various forms of technology and this should continue.

When you see things like Khamis’ red card, we should be working towards a system where these things cannot happen. Everything can change when you have access to a replay. An incident can look so different at full speed.

It was a great result for Al Ain, maintaining their four-point advantage. They just need to keep going game-by-game, ticking off fixtures as they go. There are only five matches left.

Second-placed Al Jazira were not at their best against Ittihad Kalba, yet they won 3-0. They cannot be discounted, especially with Al Ain set to be distracted by the AFC Champions League.

I also want to say mabrook to Al Wasl. Their 2-1 win against Sharjah moved them up to fifth place, just three points behind sinking Al Wahda who reside in the final Asian-qualifying spot. They keep getting stronger all the time.

With the President’s Cup coming after the league finishes next month, I think they or Jazira are the favourites to win it.

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