Making most of Marko Marin, Djaniny dilemma & other Al Ahli Jeddah issues for Vladan Milojevic

A dose of reality has been administered to Al Ahli Jeddah and their coveted new coach, Vladan Milojevic.

In the wake of a winning debut versus Al Fayha, the task of facing Al Taawoun – 2020 AFC Champions League entrants, King’s Cup holders and 2018/19’s third-placed side – felt less exacting. There would be no reply, however, to Brazilian winger Nildo Petrolina’s 30-yard goal-of-the-season contender that inflicted a deflating 1-0 defeat and sent them down to fourth.

Milojevic marked his arrival this month at the dysfunctional giant with a vow to “lead the team to the forefront of all competitions in which it competes”. But how will he go about achieving this?

Here is the Serbian’s in-tray, with the help of Wyscout, at King Abdullah Sports City:


It is not difficult to identify Ahli’s biggest disappointment in 2019/20.

Cape Verde forward Djaniny was a revelation last term upon arrival from Mexico’s Santos Laguna. The €10.3 million fee was repaid with an exceptional 20 goals in 21 top-flight run-outs, a tally one greater than Syria superstar Omar Al Somah.

Fast forward to 2019/20 and Djaniny’s return has dwindled to eight goals in 22 SPL matches. An exemplary average of 75.8 minutes per SPL goal in his debut campaign has ballooned to 220 minutes.

With youthful centre-back Abdulbasit Hindi the club’s next leading marksman, outside this pair, on three SPL goals, a problem is apparent.

What is the solution?

Ahli’s tactics have undergone a notable alteration during Djaniny’s time by the Red Sea.

The 4-2-3-1 formation has been favoured in both seasons. Its usage has, however, risen to 49 per cent of fixtures in all competitions in 2019/20 from 2018/19’s 29 per cent.

This shape has also been utilised in both of Milojevic’s matches; a 1-0 victory versus Al

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Kevin Quiambao top UAAP high school player in NBTC rankings

Photo by Tristan Tamayo/

MANILA, Philippines–Forward Kevin Quiambao has been hailed as the top high school player in the UAAP after playing a starring role in Nazareth School of National University’s Season 82 sweep.

Quiambao was a steady force on both sides of the court, averaging 12.6 points, 9.7 rebounds and 1.4 blocks—an all-around performance that earned him a spot in the Mythical Team.

Adamson University’s Jake Figueroa, who came off a rookie-MVP stint, was second on the National Basketball Training Center (NBTC) 24 rankings.

Finals MVP Carl Tamayo came in third while Ateneo’s Josh Lazaro and FEU’s Penny Estacio rounded out the top five.

UST’s Bismarck Lina finished sixth followed by Ateneo’s Lebron Lopez.

Completing the top 10 are FEU’s Cholo Anonuevo, NU’s Terrence Fortea, and Ateneo’s Fortshky Padrigao.

Below is the complete list of the UAAP NBTC 24 rankings:

1.     Kevin Quiambao (NS-NU)
2.     Jake Figueroa (AdU)
3.     Carl Tamayo (NS-NU)
4.     Josh Lazaro (AHS)
5.     Penny Estacio (FEU-D)
6.     Bismarck Lina (UST)
7.     Lebron Lopez (AHS)
8.     Cholo Anonuevo (FEU)
9.     Terrence Fortea (NS-NU)
10.     Forthsky Padrigao (AHS)
11.     Aldous Torculas (UPIS)
12.     Gerry Abadiano (NS-NU)
13.     Matt Erolon (AdU)
14.     Reyland Torres (NS-NU)
15.     Jacob Cortez (UST)
16.     CJ Austria (UE)
17.     Patrick Sleat (FEU-D)
18.     Jorick Bautista (FEU-D)
19.     Ernest Felicilda (NS-NU)
20.     Kean Baclaan (DLSZ)
21.     Joshua Barcelona (AdU)
22.     Jordi Gomez de Liaño (UPIS)
23.     Ivan Cudiamat (DLSZ)
24.     Ian Espinosa (AHS)

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Some football teams and players use time off to heal injuries

Tottenham’s manager Jose Mourinho reacts during the Champions League round of 16, 2nd leg soccer match between RB Leipzig and Tottenham Hotspur in Leipzig, Germany, Tuesday, March 10, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

MADRID— It wasn’t long ago that José Mourinho was lamenting Tottenham’s struggles that he blamed on injuries, adding he couldn’t put a team together anymore.

In Spain, Barcelona coach Quique Setién had accepted he was playing most of the rest of the season without Luis Suárez after the striker underwent knee surgery.

Belgium and France were also not really counting on having injured players Eden Hazard and Ousmane Dembele for the European Championship.

But with the suspension and postponement of competitions because of the coronavirus pandemic, things have changed.

Some clubs and nations are catching a break as players who were sidelined and expected to be out for the season now have a chance of recovering for when games resume — whenever that is.

UEFA postponed the 2020 European Championship for a year on Tuesday, while the Champions League, the Europa League and the domestic leagues and cups remained on hold. The club tournaments were set to finish by the end of May, but now could go on well into the summer.

Suárez underwent right knee surgery in January and was expected to be out for about four months, missing most of the Spanish league and the Champions League. With both competitions temporarily halted, the number of games he is expected to miss is significant smaller.

And because his recovery is going faster than expected, it’s even possible he could become available for the second leg against Napoli in the round of 16 of the Champions League if the competition resumes sometime next month.

Dembele was ruled out for the season after a hamstring surgery that was expected

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