Crisis club Al Jazira’s pursuit of a new coach is at an end after former Al Ahli supremo Henk ten Cate arrived in Abu Dhabi on Sunday night to seal his appointment.
Ten Cate, 61, became a target for the fallen heavyweights once negotiations with previous first choice and fellow Dutchman Fred Rutten fell through.
The experienced ex-Barcelona and Chelsea assistant will be expected to drastically improve upon a dismal 2015-16, which saw returning hero Abel Braga sacked after six awful months.
Jazira were hotly tipped for the Arabian Gulf League crown, but currently sit 10th after Saturday’s 2-1 loss at relegation-threatened Al Dhafra. Under-21s coach Ali Al Junaibi has been in charge for their last three matches in all competitions.
— Ahdaaf (@ahdaafme) December 27, 2015
With 10 days until their next top-flight match at Al Wasl, this would leave plenty of time for Ten Cate to prepare his troops. Ten Cate – who would be Jazira’s eighth coach in four tumultuous years – endured a disastrous onemonth spell in charge of Ahli in his previous posting in the UAE. He quit the Dubai club in March 2010 after a 5-0 thrashing by Qatar’s Al Sadd in the AFC Champions League.
Success also aluded him in the Qatar Stars League at Umm Salal from April 2010-February 2011. He then successfully battled relegation from the Chinese Super League with Shandong Luneng in 2012.
His last post saw him narrowly miss out on promotion to the Eredivisie as caretaker at Sparta Rotterdam, losing 2-1 in a play-off against Roda JC.
Ten Cate earned a sterling reputation under Frank Rijkaard at Barca from 2003-06, leaving for the top job at Ajax after he helped claim the 2005-06 La Liga and UEFA Champions League double with the Catalan club. He missed out on the 2006-07 Eredivisie title by a single goal in goal difference, later departing for the No. 2 role at Chelsea in October 2007.
There is familiar company for him in his latest post, countryman Peter Hamberg recently brought in as assistant coach by newly-installed director of football Gianluca Nani.
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