Assessing player performance at Pan Arab Games
Below is a quick rundown of how each player preformed at the Pan Arab Games. Instead of rating players on a scale of 1-10 they are in general categories.
Haitham Dheeb: Played the most minutes and started every single match. Rarely ever beaten for pace- picked up only one yellow. A huge improvement over his previous appearances with the national team.
Mohammed Al-Masri: Neglected in favor of Khaled Mahdi during Moussa Bezaz's tenure he has proved all doubters wrong. An absolute warrior on the pitch who battled injury throughout the tournament. One of the survivors of the 7-0 massacre at the hands of Iran has rebounded nicely since then helping Palestine beat Bahrain 1-0 in his second cap and was key in Palestine progressing from the group stage.
Ahmed Harbi: His problems with defensive positioning are now gone. Takes fewer gambles in attack but when he does go up he can be deadly- his long ball provided Palestine with the last gasp equalizer against Libya.
Murad Ismail: Another player transformed by the departure of Bezaz and arrival of Mahmoud. In his last competitive match for Palestine he turned in a woeful first half display against Thailand and had to be taken off at halftime. Qalqilya's own had a strong and steady Pan Arab Games campaign.
Husam Abu Saleh: Had one of the worst performances I have ever seen against Afghanistan as a right back. Under Mahmoud, he has played competently as an attacking right back providing the service for Ismail Amour's goal against Sudan. Could have scored against Jordan (his effort hit the crossbar) and Kuwait.
Ali El-Khatib: The story about him allegedly conspiring to throw a match has to be a lie. I can't believe a guy this scrappy and competitive would ever want to lose. Constantly threatening in front of goal, quick, draws fouls, and can dish out the pain too. His goal against Sudan defies his age.
Imad Zatara: Brought in after not playing an official match with the national team for more than half a decade. Worked hard, scored a crucial goal against Libya and provided service for his teammates. His displays earned him a move the Iranian Premier league with Naft (not sure if it is Sanat Naft or Naft Tehran).
Raed Fares: He is not a left back (plays right back for Hilal Al-Quds) but managed to fill the role quite well. He was not on anybody's radar a couple of months ago.
Abdullah Saidawi: Probably still the best option to back-up Ramzi Saleh in the short term. His reflexes are on par with Mohammed Shbair but both are weak in dealing with crosses. Saidawi's experience gives him more confidence but Shbair has more upside in the long term.
Ismail Amour: The best player in the WBPL bar none. Has been preforming at a very consistent level for the past two years now.
Khader Youssef: Competent but not awe-inspiring.
Ma'ly Kawre': As long as his defensive responsibilities are kept to a minimum he is capable of putting together a solid, if not spectacular game.
Ashraf Nu'man: Not consistent enough, drifts in and out of games, and sometimes holds onto the ball too long.
Mousa Abujazr: Played 90 minutes out of position at left-back against Sudan. Might have a future with the national team because of his versatility but the jury is still out on him.
Eyad Abugharqud: Provided assist to Zatara on equalizing goal against Libya. Sat out the rest of the tournament with an injury.
Toufic Ali: He cannot take a goal kick. Tall but prone to clumsy errors (See: Palestine vs. Bahrain 2nd Leg Olympic Qualifying) and cannot get down fast enough to stop shots.
Khaled Salem: He has a lot of potential but must learn to adapt to the international level. His finishing also needs work.
Murad Alyan: After scoring seven goals in seven games there was nowhere to go but down. Departing the tournament without a goal will leave him bitterly disappointed but if he keeps scoring at club level Mahmoud will call him back despite his age.
Atef Abu Bilal: Could not provide a spark in his two substitute appearances. Looks like he struggles playing against non-minnow nations.
Suleiman Obeid: Mahmoud has come to the realization that Obeid is not a 90 minute player, something I have been saying for the past year.