The U.A.E. have named Abdulla Mesfer manager, just days after firing Srecko Katanec after a disappointing start to the third round of Asian qualifying.
Mesfer previously coached the national side for a few games in 2000 and was the assistant coach to Dominique Bathenay, who managed the U.A.E. from September 2008 to June 2009.
The hire is an intriguing one by the U.A.E. The trend for Middle Eastern countries has become to look at foreign, often European coaches to guide national teams. This has been evident with the recent appointments of Frank Rijkaard by Saudi Arabia, Goran Tufegdžić by Kuwait and even Brazilian Zico by Iraq.
However, the U.A.E. association chose to stay in house this time, perhaps assuming that Mesfer's knowledge of the player pool and domestic league will help the side get its campaign back on track.
The U.A.E. rests at the foot of group B, following a 3-2 home loss to Kuwait and a shocking 3-1 upset in Lebanon that was the nail in Katanec's coffin.
Mesfer's first match at the helm is not an easy one, away to favorite South Korea on Oct. 11th.