Rodolfo sees Cheetahs chasing trophies this season

Matt Jones - Editor 20:34 18/09/2016
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  • Chasing Silverware: Rodolfo Arruabarrena

    Rodolfo Arruabarrena insists he has come to the UAE to win trophies and that his Al Wasl team are talented enough to win the Arabian Gulf League title this year.

    The Argentine’s reign began well enough with two victories in the Arabian Gulf Cup against Sharjah and Hatta earlier this month, but they were well beaten by Al Jazira on the opening day of the new AGL campaign on Saturday.

    The 3-1 defeat will not deter Arruabarrena – capped six times by La Albiceleste – though from his belief that the Cheetahs can earn silverware in 2016/17, but he knows they must do their talking on the pitch, not in press conferences.

    “We think about the league and the cups and we want to be on the top, but it’s easy to speak, the difficulty is on the field,” said the 41-year-old former Villareal and AEK Athens defender.

    “I come here to win and the players also. We will do our all to be on the top of the league. We have a very rich team to do it but we must not talk. We have to demonstrate on the field instead of speaking.”

    Arruabarrena was at pains to point out that defeat in Abu Dhabi was the first game of the season and he also refuted suggestions that he could add to his squad before the transfer deadline.

    Brazilians Caio Caneda and Fabio De Lima were joined in the summer by compatriot Rolando Mendes and Portuguese striker helder Barbosa. And Arruabarrena insists he is happy with the players he has.

    “I have what I have and I’m sure and I know I have a great team,” he said.

    “If we want to be on the top, we have players to be on the top. I want to be on top and I have a great team. The staff and players want to be on the top and we will fight for that.

    “Al Jazira were better and they won. We made a lot of mistakes and from those they scored, and to be on top of the league we have to cut out the mistakes, we need a little bit more.

    Arruabarrena admitted defeat hurt him, but he will not be getting carried away by the result.

    “We haven’t made a good match today. If we compared to other two matches we have played and won in the (Arabian Gulf) Cup the matches are different,” he said.

    “It’s the statrt of the league and it’s not the same. In the beginning of each half we made lots of mistakes and the opponent made the difference there.

    “The beginning is not what we thought would happen in the two months that we have been preparing for this. We will train to rectify the mistakes and improve and look at the small things and carry on.”

    Jazira defender Abdulla Mousa was happy to reverse a result against the same opponents at the same venue on the opening day of last season that saw the Pride of Abu Dhabi lose 2-1.

    “Last season we had a red card and the weather was hotter, that’s why Al Wasl won, otherwise we were better, like today,” said the 29-year-old, who is adamant Jazira are already a better team than last season.

    “We played a very good game, and we are a better team than last season.”