Al-Thaqafi: Santo is an adventurer... and the results of the union with Contra are “personal judgments”

Al-Thaqafi: Santo is an adventurer… and the results of the union with Contra are “personal judgments”

Adel Al-Thaqafi, the national coach and former Al-Ittihad player, confirmed that the technical level with which the Federal team appeared in front of the Swiss Lucerne in its first friendly confrontation in its camp in Austria was good, regardless of the outcome of the match, pointing out that friendly matches lie more important in the coach’s work than the players, as It allows him to explore their capabilities to use them well in official matches, not to mention many things that he will benefit from during his supervision of the team.

In his speech to Asharq Al-Awsat, Al-Thaqafi pointed out that the capabilities of the experienced players in the federation speak for themselves, and it is natural for the technical staff to be very familiar with them, unlike the newly organized players for the team, as it will require coach Santo to have good knowledge of them through training sessions. And friendly matches are the best way to check it out.

Santo directs Al-Ittihad players during the confrontation (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Al-Thaqafi said: “I think that the Swiss Luzern match benefited the Portuguese coach Nuno Santo even with a small part about the capabilities of his players, which is what is important, and the benefit of friendlies is always greater for the coach, as it allows him to discover new players in their first test.” He added, “It is normal for the first friendly match to witness the participation of many players to determine the capabilities of each player, the level of fitness he has reached, the extent to which the players benefit from the training sessions that take place in the camp and their understanding of the tactical approach of the technical staff, as well as determining the pace of each player in speeds and launches.”

The coach, who previously supervised teams in the Sunni groups at Al-Ittihad Club, stressed that the friendly results are not as important as the importance of technical benefit from them to reach a good combination for playing official matches, as he said: “For me, winning or losing in friendlies is not important, but the most important approach and technical method. The team that enters the matches and the extent of the benefit accruing to the players and their commitment to implementing the coach’s instructions.” He added: “I think the stronger the teams that the team will meet in the preparation stage, the greater the benefit, as it will contribute to a clear vision for the coach about his future plan.”

Regarding the contract with the Portuguese Nuno Santo, Al-Thaqafi said: “I am in favor of replacing the Romanian coach Cosmin Contra for multiple considerations, the most important of which is his possession of the tools and the lack of good use of them from my point of view. Unlike coach Santo, who has a good training record and has challenges and adventures with many clubs, and I think that he is one of the coaches who works to understand and realize the personality and capabilities of each player before he sets his plan and tactical approach to the matches.

With regard to the federal camp in Austria, Al-Thaqafi said: “I think that the signs of success for the camp are a clear phenomenon, as the arrangement and preparation of the camp at the highest level from an early age, and the diligence of the club’s management and team administrators in coordination with the keenness to provide all the requirements of the camp and create the appropriate atmosphere for its success from the early presence of all The basic elements of the team and the provision of friendly confrontations with an ascending technical rate.”

Al-Ittihad team defeated the Swiss Lucerne 1-0. In the friendly match that brought them together (Saturday) within the team’s external preparatory camp in Seefeld, Austria, in preparation for the new sports season. The new Al-Ittihad trio, Tariq Hamed, Ahmed Sharahili and Zakaria Hawsawi from Zamalek, Al-Shabab and Ohud, participated in the match, and coach Santo started the confrontation by throwing the duo Hamed and Sharahili along with Marcelo Grohe, Ahmed Hegazy, Omar Hawsawi, Hamdan Al-Shamrani, Muhannad Al-Shanqiti, Bruno Henrique, Igor Coronado and Remarinho , and Abdul Razzaq Hamdallah. Al-Ittihad scored the only goal of the match through Hamdallah, after rising to a free-kick ball to head into the Swiss team’s net, while Grohe managed to block a penalty after half an hour of the match.

While coach Santo hired during the second half the players Saleh Al-Wahaimed, Zakaria Hawsawi, Nayef Asiri, Ziad Al-Sahafi, Maddallah Al-Olayan, Awad Al-Nashiri, Hussein Al-Essa, Ahmed Bahsin, Khaled Al-Sumairi, Abdul Rahman Al-Aboud and Harun Kamara. In the last part of the match, the Portuguese coach replaced the duo Hussein Al-Issa and Ahmed Bahcene, and replaced them with Al-Mu’tasim Seddik and Marwan Al-Sahafi.

Al-Ittihad completed its first week of its preparatory program in the external preparation camp in Austria, while it will play its second friendly match against the Austrian Red Bull Salzburg team next Sunday, before moving to the Bad Tanzmanndorf area, which will include a third friendly match for the team against the Emirati Al-Wahda team.

The players pack their bags to head to Jeddah on August 13 to start the final preparation phase for the new sports season in the club’s stronghold, during which he will play a final friendly match with a Saudi club in preparation for the start of the Saudi Professional League competitions on August 25.

On the other hand, Al-Ittihad club decision-makers intensified work to finalize the requirements of the financial efficiency certificate that allows them to enroll new players in the team list, as negotiation lines have been opened with a number of parties, including former players and coaches, to reach the end of their financial dues to the club while working to resolve One of the foreign deals to support the team’s ranks for the new sports season, amid a number of options on the negotiating table, among which a trade-off is being conducted in coordination with the technical staff.



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