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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Oman owes a debt of gratitude to coach Verbeek

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Muscat, JAN 6 - In the melee of Oman’s glorious triumph at the Arabian Gulf Cup, the Omani people certainly owe a huge gratitude to the leadership of coach Pim Verbeek. Verbeek has been at the helm of affairs for the ‘Red Warriors’ since December 2016 and was entrusted with reviving the fortunes of the national team. The Dutchman could not have asked for a better New Year gift from his players as they lifted their second Arabian Gulf Cup crown.


Verbeek’s tactics and strategy were spot on throughout the tournament and he ensured the substitutions were made at the right time.


The formations used were effective except in the first game against UAE that resulted in a 1-0 defeat.


Thereafter, it was a huge comeback for Verbeek and the players.


Verbeek’s big contribution was his ability to motivate the players and keep them in good spirits while the chips were down for them.


The coach had faith in the players and that showed when it came to his selection of the starting elevens. Verbeek’s thought process was definitely helping Oman.


After stints as coach of South Korea and Australia, Verbeek had taken up a new challenge after accepting the offer from Oman.


The challenge has now borne fruit in a year’s time with the Gulf Cup title and Verbeek’s stock in Oman and among the Oman Football Association (OFA) head honchos has certainly reached another level.


As the party in Muscat continues, the fans, the players and Verbeek would do well to remember that major challenges lie ahead. The 2019 AFC Asian Cup would be right on top of those challenges.


Oman and Verbeek have a lot of work to do before that and the Gulf Cup triumph will be a shot in the arm as they eye bigger goals.


Haridev Pushparaj


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