RECENTLY-NAMED coach Osvaldo Olivera is a calming influence on Al Arabi, whose much-touted league campaign fizzled out. It was marred by poor results, financial crisis and constant changing of coaches.
In the week before last, the Reds had started as favourites against Lekhwiya, who were depleted due to suspensions and players’ national-team duties. But a Youssef Ramadan red card saw Arabi being reduced to 10 men soon after the half-hour mark and losing the grip to eventually suffer a 0-1 defeat.
Olivera, who opined that Youssef could have dealt the situation better, added ugly incidents in the Qatar Stars League were more frequent compared to his previous spell in the mid 1990s.
“Before it was less frequent, but you’ve to analyse too many factors before making a conclusion about its reasons. I think the games are more intense now and there’s fight to possess the ball. By interacting more and more on a daily basis, a coach can make the players ready to face every situation,” Olivera told Doha Stadium Plus.
Asked about the impact of the financial situation at various clubs on the players’ temperament, the Brazilian said, “I can’t speak about other clubs. But I feel it at Arabi on a daily basis. While talking with the players, I realise its impact. Players with more experience are comfortable and they understand the situation better because they’ve been through similar phases before. Some youngsters can’t digest it and their behaviour affects the team atmosphere.” DSP