Abu Dhabi: While the Etisalat Pro-League leaders and title contenders continue to rack up victories, Al Wahda were the biggest losers for the second week in a row over the weekend.
Al Wahda were trounced 6-2 at home by Al Ahli, only one week after they fell 4-1 to Al Nasr to lose six valuable points that could have put them in second place. Instead they stayed in sixth place with 15 points, seven behind leaders Al Ain.
The absence of Esmail Mattar, the team’s captain, was not enough excuse for them to convince their fans and justify the latest shameful and humiliating defeat.
It is clear that the team needs a lot of hard work on the technical, physical and psychological sides to prepare the players to return to winning ways and their usual brand of entertaining football.
Meanwhile, Al Ain, Al Nasr, Bani Yas and Al Ahli continued to progress steadily on the path to the title — they all registered big victories this week, while Al Jazira began showing signs of improved attack after strengthening their defence.
Al Jazira have the strongest back line in the league, having conceded only nine goals, but their attack is still not showing their usual form. They have scored 17 in nine matches, which is not enough to take them to the front seats of the competition bearing in mind that the leaders and reigning champions Al Ain have already scored 40 in the same number of matches. You cannot win matches with good defence only.
Al Shabab, following their worst start in the last decade, achieved an important victory when they beat Al Wasl 2-1 in the last match of the ninth week.
The traditional rivalry between the two teams gives great importance, especially psychologically, to this victory and might lead to solving the problem of lack of self-confidence of the players. They had doubted their capabilities after failing to register a single victory since they beat Bani Yas in their opener, going seven weeks without a win despite the fact they ended last season in third place.