Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Bezaz under pressure to call up Lebanon and Syria based players


So far, Bezaz's reign has been marked by a slew of draws and under strength squads. Notable absences during his 18 month reign have included:
Omar Jarun (Pogon Szczecin, Poland)
Edgardo Abdala (Huachipato, Chile)
Shareef Adnan (Faisaly, Jordan)
Roberto Kettlun (Olympia Agnonese, Italy)
Fadi SalĂ­m (Merkaz Tulkarem, Palestine).

There have been other players who haven't appeared in official friendlies these include:
Imad Zatara (Syrianska, Sweden)
Mohammed Shatrit (JA Drancy, France)
Roberto Bishara (Palestino, Chile)

There was a time when Palestine would look far and wide for the best players, there was always a domestic contingent of players like Ramzi Saleh, Ziyad Al-Kord, and captain Saeb Jendeya but there were guys who played professionally in the Arab World and beyond that helped make Palestine a side to be reckoned with. During this era, the side achieved some notable scalps including: a 2-0 win over Bahrain in Manama, a 2-0 win over Qatar, a 3-3 draw against Kuwait in Kuwait City to knock them out of the Arab Cup and a 2-2 draw with Iran.

The squad's main problem today is a lack of depth, it is painfully obvious that some of the WBPL players just cannot cut it at this level. There are some notable exceptions, but playing Ahmed Harbi and Samer Hijazi over Shareef Adnan? That is just ridiculous... so ridiculous that Shareef Adnan is seeking to switch allegiances and play for Jordan.

Logistically, it might be tough for the team to bring in players from Europe and South America due to club commitments. There is also a concern with how players who don't speak the language would mesh with the rest of the team, although that has never been an issue for guys like Kettlun, Bishara, Edgardo Abdala, and Pablo Abdala. But it is a mystery as to why players who ply their trade in Lebanon and Syria have been overlooked.

Olympic Team coach Mokhtar "The Dinosaur" Al-Talili has requested that he be allowed to travel to Lebanon and Syria to look at players. Mousa Bezaz has also stated that he would travel to Lebanon and Syria "at the closest possible time". He went on to say that he couldn't assess their talents before because Lebanese and Syrian League matches weren't shown on television. Here is a look at some of the players that might get called up in the futuer.

Mustafa Hallaq plays for Al-Ahed who won the Lebanese title last year and are on course for a repeat this year. Halaq has 7 goals in 10 games this year and what is more impressive is that this is his first year with the team. He is still relatively young at 25 years of age and if called up would provide a different attacking option. Halaq has expressed his desire (and frustration) to play for the national team for over a year now. He's the second leading scorer in Lebanon, behind teammate Hassan Ataq who has 9 goals. There is also Racing Beirut's midfield maestro- Wisam Abdelhadi who has 5 goals in 10 games and has played for Safa, Al-Ansar and Al-Islah. He is 28 years old and plays in midfield. There's also Mohammed Abu Ateeq who played sparingly for Al-Ahed in previous season but has now transfered to newly promoted Salam Sour. He scored his first goal against Akhaa Ahli last week to lift them out of the relegation zone.

As for the Syria-based bunch: There is Amer Al-Abtah, a defender who plays for Al-Shorta. He's 28 years old and just extended his contract for an additional two years. Omar Khalil, a midfielder who featured during our 2006 World Cup qualifying campaign, he transfered this past summer from Al-Wahda to Jordanian side Al-Karmal. At 33 though, he'll probably be not be picked by Bezaz.