After a round five in the Arabian Gulf League which produced few goals but plenty of intrigue, here are Sport360°’s men that shone and the key issues which arose.
Essa Santo (Sharjah)
Lining up against players he called team-mates during the last three terms, Santo’s experience was key to Sharjah’s spirited draw versus Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club.
This knowledge must be leaned on by new coach Abdulaziz Al Anbari.
Rayan Yaslam (Al Ain)
The production line at Al Ain continues to churn out talent.
The 22-year-old was in the perfect place to sweep in after a flowing move, cue paternal celebrations from the elder squad members.
Coach Zoran Mamic’s faith in youth is a winning policy.
Ayman El Ramady (Ajman)
At the fifth time of asking, Ajman are finally off the mark after they beat a Wanderley-less Al Nasr 1-0.
El Ramady deserves extra credit for the fact his side did not sink after losing from 2-0 up against Al Ain last week.
Pride comes before a fall
The urge to meddle is often an overwhelming feeling in AGL boardrooms. Al Jazira were runaway champions last season. Yet rather than continuation, only Mbark Boussoufa remains from their four-player foreign quota.
A forced change to a curious 4-4-2 has followed, as well as a worst-ever start in the professional era.
Henk ten Cate slammed a pair of new boys after the 0-0 draw with Al Wasl, but he needs to reserve some of this ire for his busy overlords.