Interview With Al-Ahly Manager Manuel Jose

The Al-Ahly Channel in Egypt held an extended interview with Al-Ahly's Portuguese manager, Manuel Jose. Jose discussed many different topics, about his players and the team’s African Champions League participation. He also talked about the Egypt national team and his opinion about domestic football in Egypt. Lastly, he stated his aspirations for the future, for the team and for himself.
The Press And Media:

To begin with, Jose talked about his relationship with the press and media. He said that they tell many lies about him. “The press exploits my name and the name of the Al-Ahly club in order to increase their sales and become more famous,” he said angrily. He then praised the opening of the Al-Ahly Channel so that it can deliver true and real news about the club, team and players.

Defence And Future:

Jose then talked about the defenders in the team. He dismissed rumours that most of his defenders are old and don’t have the ability to perform on the pitch anymore. “A star doesn’t have any certain age and we have the best players,” he said confidently.

He then said that there are some players who join the team but don’t have the potential to play in a big club like Al-Ahly. That’s why they shine in small clubs but take a lot of time to adapt to the Al-Ahly squad. He used Ahmed Shedeed as an example. “The Al-Ahly shirt was a big burden on Ahmed Shedeed, that’s why he currently performs better at Al-Masry,” said Jose.

Jose didn’t show any concern about the future of the team. “I have signed a new contract that extends for another two years, and in this period I can rebuild the squad because I always think about Al-Ahly's fans even if I am not with the team,” he declared.

Captaincy And Emad Moteb:

Jose then discussed the rumours which suggest there is a dilemma between Shady Mohamed and Ahmed Hassan for the captaincy. “Shady is the current captain, but Hassan also has a strong personality and is a great asset to his squad.”

He then said that Ahmed Belal, Ahmed El-Sayed and Ossama Hosni are Al-Ahly vice-captains after Shady Mohamed.

When asked for his opinion about the cancellation of Emad Moteb’s transfer to Bristol City because of his participation against Zamalek, Jose said: “I didn’t know that his participation in the match would cancel his deal and if Moteb would have said that to me I wouldn’t have made him play. Moteb asked to participate in the match to thank the fans for the period he spent in the club.

Al-Ahly Is The Only Star:

Jose informed the reporter that all players are equal to him as there are no differences between one and another. “Al-Ahly is the only star and if a player feels he is better than the team, then he doesn’t have any place in my squad. If the board tells me that a certain player is a star and needs a special treatment, then I’d have to leave so this player can stay,” said Jose furiously.

The Medical Staff:

Jose was surprised at reports which hint at the existence of problems between him and the medical staff. “I just order them to cure the player quickly so he can be ready for matches and that’s what they try to do,” said Jose.

He then added that he puts the future of the player above everything and he gave an example of Abou Trika and said: "When the player asked me to participate in the match against Zamalek I refused even though I needed him, but I preferred to rest him so he can be fully fit.”

Goalkeeping:

When asked about the level of his current goalkeepers, especially Amir Abdel Hamid and Ramzy Saleh, Jose said: “Amir knows who is number one, and about Ramzy - Ahmed Nagy, the best goalkeeping coach in Africa, is convinced with his form and I trust his opinion.”

He than added: "Amir has made mistakes, but we trust his abilities and potential. Fans must be patient about him and he must help himself by learning from mistakes and trying not to repeat them.”

Egypt National Team:

Jose refused to comment on the national team’s performance and said: "I don’t have any comment about the work of anyone. But I criticize the policy of football in Egypt. How can Flavio and Gilberto, who played a friendly with their national team (Angola) in Tunisia, be back in Egypt by Wednesday, while the Egyptian national team’s players who played in Sudan arrive in Egypt on Thursday?

“I give them eight players, and sometimes eleven, and they punish us by giving sending them late,” he said angrily.

Superiority Over Zamalek:


Jose responded about the secret why he wins against his fierce rivals, Al-Zamalek, in every match. “The derby match has certain traditions and it requires more concentration than other matches because a win gives happiness to fans right away. In my four-year reign, I have won all my matches against Zamalek except one, in which I played with the reserve team after winning the league,” said Jose.

He then added: “Zamalek has changed many coaches but don’t change their performance. Their players always enter the derby match with fear, and that gives confidence to our players.”

African Champions League:

About the African Champions League, Jose said: “The qualification is hard, especially as we have two matches on artificial grass, but we want to qualify and that is what we will do.

Jose expected the final match to be between Al-Ahly and Eniymba (Nigeria) and expressed concerns about facing Al-Hilal (Sudan) in the semi-final.

The Future For Manuel Jose:

Finally, Jose ended his conversation by saying that his career will end in four years time; two years will be spent with Al-Ahly and the other two could be spent with the Portuguese national team. After that, he’ll take and rest and get ready for fishing!