Wasl confirm former Boca boss Arruabarrena as manager

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Arruabarrena is fondly remembered by Boca fans.

Arruabarrena, 40, rose to the top of the list of candidates drawn up by club after the sacking of countryman Gabriel Calderon last month. Talks moved swiftly between the parties and the deal was confirmed on Wasl’s Twitter account Monday afternoon.

The Cheetahs were impressed with the hunger shown by the ex-Argentina left-back during discussions, achievements at the Buenos Aires giants prior to his February dismissal, desire to work in the Middle East and his youth. He had led them to the 2015 Primera Division crown and 2014/15 Copa Argentina before he lost his post after a poor start to the current campaign.

In securing Arruabarrena, Wasl saw off competition from his former side AEK Athens.

The arrival of Arruabarrena marks the fourth high-profile Argentine to lead the club. This roll call was begun with the biggest name of all – Diego Maradona.

A tumultous year-long reign for the legendary forward ended in July 2012, with ex-Valencia and Internazionale boss Hector Cuper enduring a miserable four-month spell prior to his March 2014 sacking.

Former Argentina midfielder Calderon proved an immediate success upon his November 2014 hiring, although splits between himself, the players and the board saw him moved aside after an end-of-season collapse caused Wasl to limp home in a disappointing sixth place during the 2015/16 Arabian Gulf League.

Wasl will now turn their attentions to their squad. The Dubai side are determined to keep 20-goal forward Fabio De Lima and fellow Brazilian Caio Canedo, unless wide interest in their services translates into huge bids.

The exits of egregious playmaker Rogerinho and Portugal veteran Hugo Viana have opened up two spots in their foreign quota. Final decisions on filling them will now be left up to the new manager.

Wasl have already agreed a deal to bring in centre midfielder Humaid Abbas on a free transfer, after three frustrating years at Al Ahli. The 28-year-old only started 21 top-flight games for the Red Knights after a switch from Al Nasr in summer 2013.

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Bani Yas terminate Dr Abdullah Misfer's contract as manager

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Dr Misfer's spell came to an end.

Misfer, 54, led the Sky Blues to the President’s Cup semi-finals after he was poached from the UAE Under-23s in March as replacement for the ineffectual Luis Garcia.

But disagreements about the future direction of the underperforming club were behind the decision to part ways.

The proclamation sees the ex-Dibba Al Fujairah and Al Dhafra boss back on the market.

Bani Yas dropped down one place to ninth in the Arabian Gulf League under his control, an often-experimental selection winning two, losing two and drawing one of his matches.

But it was in the UAE’s premier cup competition where he excelled, nearly causing an upset against Al Ain in the President’s Cup last-four when his side fought back from two-goals down on the stroke of 90 minutes to force extra time.

Meanwhile, striker Nilmar has insisted he will see out the final year of his contract at Al Nasr.

Nilmar, 31, cut an exasperating figure during his debut campaign in Dubai, scoring 19 times in 39 games for the AFC Champions League quarter-finalists. He has returned to train with boyhood club Internacional during the summer break and told reporters there about his intention to stick it out in the UAE.

“I want to see my children grow up here, but I’m happy there [in the UAE],” he told Tursedoras. “I have one more year left of my contract.”

Countryman Maicosuel is being forced to wait on his future after Sharjah asked to extend the deadline to pay the Dh10.2m required to turn his loan move into a permanent one.

The attacking midfielder scored 10 goals in 34 matches last term.

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Coach Zlatko Dalic likely to keep Al Ain job after boardroom clearout

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Dalic guided his team to the AFC Champions League last eight.

His Highness Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, National Security Adviser, Deputy Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council and vice-president of the Boss, ordered the formation of a Temporary Committee after he made the shock announcement that the boards of Al Ain Football Club and Al Ain Investment Company had been suspended.

This followed a decision from BMW and Abu Dhabi Motors to apologise and pull a television advert because of a huge outcry caused by the use of the UAE national anthem. In it, Al Ain players were seen running off the pitch midway through the song to rush into vehicles.

The call has major ramifications for Dalic, with the previous regime reluctant to extend his two-and-a-half-year stay in the Garden City once his deal expired after Sunday’s President’s Cup final defeat to Al Jazira. But Sheikh Hazza is a keen supporter of the 49-year-old and may now think of keeping him, especially after a second run in three editions to the AFC Champions League quarter-finals was secured last week.

The decisive actions of the Abu Dhabi royal were first revealed in a series of tweets.

“National symbols are an integral part of our collective identity,” he said on Twitter. “With them we rise.

“Under the UAE banner and with our national anthem we preserve our values and we protect our homeland. Al Ain will continue to be a luminescent torch and will continue its efforts at the service of the country and as part of its athletic and developmental march.

“We wish all success to the managing committee we have formed.”

A more hands-on role for Sheikh Hazza would likely see a significant upturn in spending, with Dalic receiving full backing to
pursue targets of his choice. A source close to the Croatian put the odds at “60/40” that a new extension would be signed in the coming weeks.

Dalic had come under significant pressure during a second full season in charge in which only the Arabian Gulf Super Cup was attained. The Boss were dethroned by Al Ahli in the Arabian Gulf League and were beaten 6-5 on penalties by Jazira in the showpiece of the country’s premier club competition.

But these failures came during a campaign in which budget foreign acquisitions, largely chosen by the previous hierarchy, such as Danilo Asprilla, Ryan Babel and Emmanuel Emenike proved to be duds.

Speaking after the final at Zayed Sports City, Dalic did not seem overly confident he would continue.

He said: “I never said I will go out from Al Ain, but I have choices to see what’s best for me.

“This is my club; if I go out I’m really proud of my time here. I will stay ‘Ainawi’ forever.”

The makeup of the Temporary Committee is expected to be announced in the coming days.

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