Gulf News- Dutchman, Jo Bonfrere, the head
coach of Al Wahda was sacked after leading the club to the last place in
the quarterfinals of the Asian Clubs Championship for the West Zone. Al
Wahda had hosted the matches from February 6.
The decision to sack Bonfrere was taken on Sunday night after the team's
humilating defeat (1-2) against lowly Nasaf Karsi of Uzbekistan.
The loss completed a disastrous participation for the hosts who collected
only one point from three matches. Despite leading in two of their three
matches in the competition they ended up on the losing side each time.
Bonfrere changed the strategy of the team from 3:5:2. It was a formation
that won them two league titles and one President Cup in the last three
seasons. The current formation was the 4:4:2.
He also switched the places of the players which had an effect on the
style of play and the teams performances and of course its results.
Bonfrere, when he was on loan leading the UAE national team in the Gulf
Cup two weeks ago, applied the same changes in both personnel and style of
play. This led the UAE to finish last in the tournament.
Bonfrere has never been famous for entertaining opinions. He was
criticised largely in selecting the line up of the UAE and in changing
their strategy. he always stated that selecting the team was his
responsibility and refused to justify his decisions.
Thus, he ignored more experienced players saying that he should be called
to account when he failed in his task and not before he started it.
But when the team finished last nobody could do anything because he was
not working with the UAE FA and was on loan for one month. His tenure
ended with the conclusion of the tournament.
It was different for him in Al Wahda. He made, according to the belief of
the club's management and supporters, many mistakes this season and the
decision was made only minutes after the club's management was convinced
that there was no way to iron out the differences between the coach and
These differences were evident in the team's last match against
Uzbekistan's Nasaf Karsi when the players refused the change of players he
wanted to make 20 minutes into the match. At that time his team was
leading 1-0 and their custodian, Ramadan Mallullah, was being treated for
injury and was expected to be substituted.
Bonfrere's reaction to this was leaving the substitute's bench for the
dressing room for a few minutes before he returned to finish his final but
unsuccessful task with the team.
Bonfrere will be replaced by his assistant Arie Van der Zowwen till the
club signs a new senior coach to lead the team in their quest to defend
the first division title they won last season.