Preview: Zamalek's Ferreira facing rare criticism after stuttering start

Ahram Online , Tuesday 6 Dec 2022

Jesualdo Ferreira has received rare criticism of late as Zamalek made a stuttering start to the defence of their Egyptian Premier League title, with the club looking to snap a two-game winless run when they meet Talae El-Geish on Wednesday.

Jesualdo Ferreira
Jesualdo Ferreira leads a training session for Zamalek ahead of Wednesday s league game against Talae El-Geish (Photo: Zamalek s official Facebook page)

 

The veteran Portuguese coach led Zamalek to a stunning league title last season, beating all the odds and overcoming countless problems as the Cairo giants made it back-to-back triumphs.

Zamalek could not make any signings last season due to a transfer ban but signed almost a dozen players this term. The new arrivals raised hopes that they can win a third straight crown for the first time in their history but a slow start has been anything but encouraging.

The White Knights claimed two opening, hard-fought wins before being held to 1-1 and 2-2 draws by Enppi and Masry respectively. In both games, they looked bereft of ideas as they struggled for openings.

They might be excused after a string of injuries hit their key players, depriving Ferreira of some of his prized assets.

However, the former Porto boss was still criticized for his insistence on deploying some players out of their familiar positions, especially natural right winger Ahmed Zizo.

Zizo, the league's top scorer last season with 19 goals, mainly plays as a left winger this term, a position that he does not seem very accustomed to. When he switched to the right flank in the 2-2 draw against Masry, he whipped in a cross from which new arrival Amr El-Sisi scored.

Zamalek, who lie fifth in the table with eight points, are likely to face a stiff test against 13th-placed El-Geish, who gave Ahly a run for their money before conceding a 2-1 defeat last week.

Ferreira will be boosted by the return from injury of several players, including influential left-back Ahmed Fattouh and central defender Mohamed Abdel-Ghani.

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