Egypt : Alex McLeish and Frank Nuttall fired by Egyptian giants Zamalek
Zamalek SC assistant coach Frank Nuttall and his Scottish compatriot Alex McLeish’s days at the Egyptian giants were numbered after a string of unconvincing displays which have failed to impress the club’s board, led by club Chief Mortada Mansour.
Egyptian side Zamalek SC Chief Mortada Mansour has kept his word by dismissing Alex McLeish’s Scottish assistant Frank Nuttall alongside trainer Moussa El-Habashi.
According to reports in the Egyptian dailies, a lackluster 1 – 0 home win over league strugglers Haras El-Hodoud on Tuesday 26 April had reportedly infuriated Mansour – who seriously pondering at the option of sacking head coach McLeish and his entire bench that has former Gor Mahia coach, Nuttall, who joined him in early March 2016.
McLeish, a former Aston Villa manager joined Zamalek on 26 February and has led the club in five league games winning twice and losing as many, with a single draw. He has however done well in the CAF Champions League leading the club to the group stages.
It’s however the club’s domestic displays that seem to have disappointed the board. The team is second on the 18-team log on 45 points, eleven behind leaders and rivals Al Ahly with ten matches to go.
McLeish’s league record could have indeed been better had he not insisted on taking charge of the club against El-Entag El-Harby just a few days after his appointment as a 1 – 3 defeat to a ten man Entag spoiled his debut extending the gap with leaders Ahly to a massive 11 points.
Zamalek followed the reverse with a convincing 2 – 0 victory over Arab Contractors, but it was the next two games that all but dashed the Cairo giants’ hopes of retaining the league title.
They lost 0 – 1 at home to Ismaily and another goalless draw with El Daklyeh and with ten games remaining, it means Zamalek will now battle for a Champions League-qualifying second spot.
The 57-year-old tactician seems to be struggling to find a suitable scheme for the Whites, as he has been switching between a 4-3-3 and a 4-2-3-1 model. He has reshuffled his lineup several times in order to find a good and efficient combination, but that is still work in progress.
Club chief Mansour – who had already sacked three managers this season apart from this recent sacking of McLeish. Mansour ran out of patience though McLeish’s release clause was seemingly the only obstacle.
The club chief was not convinced by the club’s recent run with the Egyptian Premier League title already eluding the defending champions.
Mortada has apart from Nuttall sent packing Moussa El-Habashi and appointed former club legends Gamal Abdel-Hamid and Mohamed Helmy to serve as the team director of football and first team trainer respectively.
He has also brought back Ismail Youssef to the coaching staff after he was sacked earlier in the month of April.
Zamalek appointed 57-year-old McLeish on 26th February on a one and a half year deal.
The former Aston Villa boss later on in March 2016 called Nuttall to serve as his assistant after leading Gor Mahia to two league titles.
Nuttall on his side has been at the club for 54 days. He saw off his 18 month stay at K’Ogalo on Sunday 6 March.
Frank Nuttall was last seen on Gor Mahia’s bench as the Kenya Premier League champions lost 1-0 to arch rivals AFC Leopards, on 06 March 2016.
He joined Gor on 3rd September 2014 signing a three month contract that was extended to two years in January 2015. During his time at the club, he steered the club to four titles; the DStv Super Cup, two KPL titles and the KPL Top 8.