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10 lessons learned from the Zamalek-Al-Ahly summit

10 lessons learned from the Zamalek-Al-Ahly summit

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A few lessons we learned after Zamalek and Al-Ahly’s summit clash in the Egyptian Premier League, perhaps the most notable of which is the tenacity of Portugal’s Guisvaldo Ferreira and the success of Switzerland’s Marcel Kohler’s adventure.

Al-Ahly managed to beat hosts Zamalek with three goals without reply at the Cairo Stadium yesterday evening, Saturday, at the end of the 14th round of the domestic competition.

Al-Ahly returned to winning ways in the Egyptian league after stumbling to a draw with Al-Masry Al-Port Said in the last round.

On the other hand, Zamalek continued with the negative results, failing to win a fourth consecutive game in the league and fifth in all tournaments.

Al-Ahly moved away from the top of the standings with 34 points, 4 points behind Future, who finished second, and 8 points clear of the defending champions, who dropped to fourth.

The following reviews “Yallakora” 10 lessons learned from the events of the summit:

Ferrera’s persistence

Ferreira continued his technical stubbornness by maintaining a 4-3-3 up top, despite the team achieving back-to-back negative results after relying on this method.

Ferreira tried to set up a 3-4-3 in the second half, bringing on Mustafa Al-Zanari as a third defender in place of midfielder Amr Al-Sisi, which was seen as an acknowledgment of his mistake early on.

However, the weather did not help Ferreira get his cards in order and get a positive result in the second half after reverting to the 3-4-3 method that the team started the current season with.

Kohler’s adventure succeeds

Koller moved into right-back Khaled Abdel-Fattah in the center of defense in his first major appearance for Al-Ahly and in a game of summit stature.

Kohler’s decision was seen as a surprise given that the expectation was that Kohler would rely on Mohamed Hani in defense alongside Rami Rabia, with the player coming from Smouha playing at full-back.

Abdel Fattah appeared at an excellent level during the match, carrying out his duties perfectly and being a strong match for Zamalek’s forwards in the battles, which contributed to Al-Ahly leaving with a clean sheet.

The player confirmed in televised statements after the match that he is good at playing that position since he played at Smouha.

Kohler went into the game having to make changes and include players in different positions in the back line, in light of the injury to Yasser Ibrahim and Mohamed Abdel Moneim, and Mahmoud Metwally stopping the accumulation of bookings.

In the same context, Rabia also played a great game despite being considered fourth-choice in the heart of Al-Ahly’s defense in Kohler’s accounts, meaning there is no fear for the red team’s defense at the Club World Cup in Morocco.

As for Hani, he proved Kohler’s point right by pushing him into his starting position despite the absences as he played one of his best games this season, defensively and offensively.

Kohler reiterates his superiority over Ferreira and threatens his position

Kohler proved his superiority over Ferreira by beating him for a second consecutive summit clash after winning the Egyptian Super Cup title with a clean sweep of the double last October.

Kohler’s technical superiority over his opponent seemed evident, especially in the second half, as his substitutions decided the outcome of the match, while the Portuguese coach sparked controversy with his substitutions.

As a result of the match, Ferreira’s position at Zamalek is under threat as the club’s board of directors meet later today, Sunday, to discuss the coach’s fate and the immediate direction for his sacking.

High tension is the key to the victory over Zamalek

Kohler was able to decide the match, relying clearly on strong pressure on the ball carriers, which paralyzed the movement of the white team inside the stadium and made Al-Ahly’s task easier.

Kohler seems to have studied Zamalek’s games against Aswan, Al-Dakhliya and Pyramids well, as the Whites stumbled in those games after coming under intense pressure from their rivals.

Left front door

Al-Ahly’s match proved that Ahmed Fattuh’s absence from Zamak, due to allegations of drug abuse, was still effective, as the efforts provided by veteran Mohamed Abdel Shafi were not enough.

Abdel Shafi, who is 37 years old and returning from injury, has suddenly found himself a mainstay in most of the team’s games, and although he put in an acceptable performance, it was not enough to cover the left front in defense and attack.

This front presented a clear gap in Zamalek’s defense as most of Al-Ahly’s danger in the match came from it and saw the excellence of Muhammad Hani and Hussain Al-Shahat, on the other hand, there was no offensive danger for Al -Abyad from this front.

Ferreira realized that the left front was a problem, so he decided to replace Abdel Shafi and bring on Syed Abdullah Neymar in the second half.

The return of Sharif.. and the striker crisis in Zamalek

After being sidelined for a long spell of bad luck, Mohamed Sharif came out strong against Zamalek to send a message to Kohler that he should be relied upon in the upcoming matches.

Sheriff returned to scoring goals since last December 20 when Farko scored.

Al-Ahly were suffering from a crisis in the open striker position, to the extent that Kohler complained about it in the media and revealed that he was not convinced of the ability of his strikers and so the club’s management decided to look for a foreign striker in the winter transfer window , this January.

And with Kohler relying on ‘painkillers’ to resolve this crisis, pushing Mahmoud Abdel Moneim ‘Kahraba’ into that position, Sheriff appears to have regained his luster at an important time of the season.

On the other hand, the outspoken striker crisis is still affecting Zamalek’s results after Seif Al-Din Al-Jaziri failed to make an impact.

The 29-year-old Tunisian striker has not scored since last October 23, although Ferrera relies heavily on him.

Chinese pins decide middle battle at Al-Ahli

Al-Ahly controlled the midfield firmly and secured victory at the top thanks to a brace from Hamdi Fathi and Aliu Diang.

Fathi, who was suffering from an injury before the match, resorted to “Chinese acupuncture” to ease the pain to be able to participate in the summit, in the absence of Amr Al-Solia and the lack of experience of Marwan Atiya.

Indeed, the not fully prepared Hamdi, who performed more than admirably, was involved in tying the lines and contributed to Al-Ahly’s three goals.

Likewise, Diang played one of his best games, spoiling a number of Zamalek attacks and was the “unknown soldier” in Al-Ahly’s formation, where he won the Man of the Match award in light of Kahraba’s goal, Mohamed Sharif made double and Hamdi’s contribution to the three goals, which shows that the performance of the financial player is a great effort.

Kahraba takes revenge… and embarrasses Al-Ahly’s attackers

Kahraba did not miss the opportunity to get revenge on Zamalek, whose complaint caused the player to be banned for 6 months, which expired on January 11.

Kahraba returned from his suspension with strong motivation, scoring a goal and setting up another against Smouha in the Egyptian Cup last Tuesday before scoring a long-awaited goal against Zamalek.

Kahraba’s goal contributed to the loss of Zamalek, adding to the pain of White Castle, already suffering from crises due to the drop in results, returning the debt to the administration that pursued him with the International Federation of Football Associations “FIFA”.

On the other hand, Kahraba’s brilliance could contribute to the Al-Ahly administration’s move to pay his fine to allow him to play again in light of the team’s need for a striker in January.

Kahraba, who plays as a deep forward, put his fellow strikers on Al-Ahly’s roster to shame after scoring twice and doing the same in two consecutive matches despite his absence from official matches for around 8 months, at a time when the team suffered offensive crisis.

Zizu’s disappearance means Zamalek stumbles

Ahmed Mustafa “Zizu” disappeared and did not give his expected performance, so Zamalek came out with a negative result. This is the case with the defending champions in the last matches, and the same scenario continued at the top.

Zizou, the best player in the Egyptian League last season and top scorer in the competition, has started the current season well, which has Zamalek competing for the top spot.

Zizou’s level has dropped significantly in recent matches, leading the team to fall into the trap of negative results.

Zamalek are winless in their last 5 matches in all competitions, during which Zizou failed to score, against Aswan, Al-Dahiliyya, Al-Ittihad of Alexandria, Zamalek in the league and Pyramids in the Egyptian Cup.

Zizou’s last goal with Zamalek came in the Ismaili league match, which was the match that witnessed the team’s last win.

Zamalek fail to break the contract… and numbers wholesale for Al-Ahly

Zamalek entered the match on top with the aim of getting back to winning ways and breaking out of the cycle of negative results, but fell again, so their crisis lasted and with it several decades.

Zamalek’s strange knot continued at the top of the first round of the league, as White Castle had not won since November 2003 and the team had also failed to achieve a single win in all competitions since the start of 2023.

Al-Ahly, on the other hand, have achieved positive results overall after their hat-trick, far from topping the league table.

And Al-Ahly became the owner of the strongest attack in the league (scoring 25 goals), as well as the best defense (allowing only 5 goals).

Al-Ahly confirmed their supremacy over Zamalek in January’s top flight in history, winning for the sixth time, compared to Zamalek’s one win and 6 draws.

Al-Ahly also won the summit for the second time when it was held in the 14th round, after the only confrontation in the current century was decided in the same round as the 2006-2007 season (with a score of 2-1).

Al-Ahly also achieved their biggest win over Zamalek since January 2018 when they won the league also 3-0.




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