SPORTS

Steven Gerrard ventures outside of his comfort zone with his intriguing Saudi move.

Saudi Star Association ups bet with approaching names however Al-Ettifaq has a propensity for berating up supervisors and spitting them

Assuming outcomes go gravely for Steven Gerrard in Dammam, he can join the people who leave the eastern city and head over the Ruler Fahd Highway that associates Saudi Arabia to Bahrain and to the Sherlock Holmes bar in Manama. There are dark areas inside where you can have a few beers and watch Liverpool and Aston Villa.

Obviously, if everything goes according to plan, that could also be the next step. It is difficult to foresee what will transpire. Al-Ettifaq are an unpredictable team, and just like Gerrard’s coaching career has been up and down so far, the most talked-about league in world football has a tendency to eat up and spit out coaches with more experience than the 43-year-old Liverpool legend.

Gerrard joined a growing number of famous people moving to Saudi Arabia from the Premier League and other European leagues on Monday. Of the relative multitude of arrangements up to this point, this could the most interest. It will take some getting used to for Gerrard as Ettifaq’s head coach, especially for him. Rangers and Villa might win league championships, win trophies in Europe, and draw large crowds; Ettifaq will present yet another formidable obstacle. The former midfielder is now completely out of his comfort zone, both on and off the field, and the experience will help him prepare for anything else.

Gerrard’s most memorable undertaking is pre-season, with many clubs making a beeline for the cooler climes of Europe. Until the winter, training usually takes place late at night when they return home. This can be problematic for coaches who have to deal with foreign players who are frequently away from their families in complexes far from home and have nothing to do all day until 9 p.m.

The manager will have ample time to familiarize himself with his players and the league. The coaching staff’s relationships with locals are just as important. Achievement is hard in any case. Translators who are skilled and knowledgeable about football are also valuable assets.

Training beat in Saudi Arabia is out of this world. In comparison to the previous year, when the number was in the 20s, the 16 top-tier teams—which will grow to 18 in the season that begins in August—made ten coaching changes last year. The pressure is high at the big clubs like Al-Hilal, Al-Ittihad, Al-Nassr, Al-Ahly, and Al-Shabab. Winless streaks start at two games, and discuss sackings begins at three.

Leonardo Jardim drove Hilal to a record fourth Asian Heroes Association title in November 2021 however was out in three months or less. This century, Ettifaq has appointed more than 30 people. Now that more well-known people are in charge of clubs and the entire football world is watching, it remains to be seen whether there will be a little bit more patience displayed.

When it comes to foreign players, it is frequently the same, and the limit has increased to eight from the previous season. There are some who stay for three or four years, yet many travel every which way decently fast, once in a while when the following exchange window opens.

There isn’t a lot of tension, then, at that point, to foster a specific style of play given that mentors and players don’t anticipate being around for a really long time and requests are prompt. When future tacticians will reap the benefits, there is also little incentive to try to bring young players through. Foreign talent is preferable for the most offensive and creative positions.

Although Gerrard won’t be competing against the likes of Nuno Esprito Santo and Ittihad, his champions, or Ronaldo at Nassr, expectations remain high. Even though Ettifaq’s performances did not really match that rank, the team finished seventh last season; Only two teams scored fewer than 28 goals in 30 league games, and they were much closer in points to the bottom three than the top three. The team made a last-minute escape from relegation in the 2021–22 season, but it finished fifth in the previous season.

It’s a mishmash, then, yet the best five are logical forbidden, with Hilal, Nassr, Ittihad, Ahly, and Shabab expected to fill those spots. Success would come from challenging Al-Taawoun and Damac for the lower positions and winning the prestigious King’s Cup.

That might result in a prize that was even greater: reestablishing Dammam as a major soccer hub in Saudi Arabia. South Korea still talks about the “Dammam Shock,” named after their World Cup qualifying loss in 2005 at Ettifaq’s Prince Mohamed bin Fahd Stadium. The city is one of three to host the Asian Cup in 2027, along with Riyadh and Jeddah.

Any trip to the Sherlock Holmes pub across the street will be well-earned if Gerrard can help recreate the atmosphere of that famous night more frequently, and it would also not harm his coaching reputation.

 

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