Thursday,16 August, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1131, 17 - 23 January
Thursday,16 August, 2018
Issue 1131, 17 - 23 January

Ahram Weekly

Soccer on the side: Playing for petro dollars

Mido and Zaki appear headed for the Gulf, reports Marwan Zayed

Al-Ahram Weekly

Ahmed Al-Mohamadi and Hull City suffered an extremely surprising 3-1 defeat this weekend as they lost to Sheffield Wednesday who were the 22nd in the league table before the match and 21st after it at home.  The result was hugely disappointing as it was supposed to be a very easy game for the hosts who seemed lost for the entire game. The one good thing about the game is that the only goal scored by Hull City was assisted by our Egyptian star with a magnificent cross that found Koren inside the box to slam home. The goal which came in the 83rd minute made the score 1-1 but unfortunately and instead of pushing on and find a winner, Hull managed to concede two goals in the last five minutes.  The loss meant that Hull stayed second in the league behind leaders Cardiff.
Still in England, Adam Al-Abd had a very good day at the office as Brighton managed to beat Derby County 2-1 at home to record their third consecutive victory in a row. Al-Abd played exceptionally well and managed to keep the opponents’ strikers quiet for the entire game.  Moreover, Al-Abd nearly scored with his head but the ball was cleared off the line. After their third victory in a row, Brighton moves up in the table to eighth place.
Mido’s Barnsley managed to win their second game in a row as they beat Leeds United 2-0 at home in what was one of many surprising results this week.  As has been stated before, Mido’s time in England looks all but over as he’s expected to leave the club this month to join one of the Gulf clubs or retire completely if he cannot get back in shape. The comments which were made by Mido himself weren’t really unexpected as it was obvious that his physical condition and weight problems will force him out of England at some point. The coming weeks will say much about Mido’s future.
In Switzerland, Mohamed Salah and Basel are back training to get ready for the second half of the Swiss league which will start at the beginning of February. After a one-month vacation for the Christmas holidays, the players are back now in a camp in Switzerland for 10 days then a two-week camp in Spain before the league resumes. Let’s hope Salah will be even better in the second half of the season than the first half in which he showed glimpses of his undoubted quality.  
In Turkey, Zaki reached an agreement with Elazigspor to leave the club this month if an offer in the neighbourhood of 400,000 euros arrives for the former Wigan fans favorite. Zaki failed to find consistency and form in Turkey which meant he did not score any goals so far and managed to assist in just two goals. Zaki’s next destination will most probably be Egypt or one of the Gulf countries.
In Italy, Fiorentina lost their second game in a row, going down to Udinese 3-1 away from home. Ahmed Hegazi is still out with a nasty knee injury suffered in training last month so he missed the game and will probably miss the rest of the season. Fiorentina’s loss means they drop to fifth place in the league table.
In the UAE, Shikabala and Mohamed Zidan were both absent as Al Wasl and Banni Yas both played in the Emirates Cup this week. As mentioned last week both of them were injured in the same game when they faced each other and are yet to make their comebacks since then. Al Wasl lost to El Dhafra 3-2 in the absence of Shika while Banni Yas managed to clinch a draw in the last minute against Al Jazira away from home.
In Belgium, there was no action for Hani Ramzi’s side this week as the league is suspended for Christmas holidays and will resume next week.
African and Arab Stars: The Africa Cup of Nations which will start in one week meant that most of the Arab and African Stars left their clubs to take part in the competition so the following names are the ones who were either not picked for their countries or their countries did not qualify for the tournament:
Moroccan Star Adel Taarabt played a great game as QPR held Tottenham to a goalless draw at home following their impressive away win over Chelsea where Taarabt got an assist for the only goal of the game.
Senegalese superstar Demba Ba played his second game for Chelsea as he helped them beat Stoke City 4-0 but could not find the back of the net this time around.
In Spain, Guinean Star Alhassan Bangoura scored the first goal for Rayo Vallecano as they defeated Athletic Bilbao away from home.

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