So after the national team was in a coaching vacuum for what seemed like forever (3 and a half months) after Mousa Bezaz got canned, the PFA finally announced Jamal Mahmoud as the National Team Manager. Mahmoud had a distinguished tenure with Wehdat in the Jordan top tier before taking charge of Hilal AlQuds last season leading them to second place in the league. What is more impressive is the club's performance under him this year: they are on top of the league with a perfect record.
Knowing my co-blogger Bassil, and his attention to detail, Mahmoud is in for a thorough vetting. So I will focus on more general analysis.
Firstly, when I heard of the appointment, it immediately made sense! We considered many different candidates in our frustration and we even got in touch with former manager Alfred Riedl (we are big fans). But I'll be honest, I did not even think of having a WBPL coach take the reigns (though Bassil did mention Hisham al Zoabi in a previous post). I always maintained that we need a manager that understands Palestinian football and at the same time has technical excellence. Mahmoud should have been obvious had we considered the possibility of simultaneous jobs.
If Jamal Mahmoud's resume can tell you anything, its that hes a winner. He won multiple championships with Wehdat both as a player and a coach and is doing fantastically with Hilal. I don't care how many coaching certifications one has, a winning mentality isn't something that can be taught(I'm talking to you Mousa Bezaz, if it wasn't obvious).
Jamal also knows the league inside out..he practically lives in it! What better way to scout for players than by seeing them play every week?
Now this may be subjective, but I sense a charisma from him off the bench. During the South Africa games he was standing up and barking orders at the players on the pitch. Compare that to Bezaz...who if you mistook for a spectator during matches, you could be forgiven.
Lastly, Mahmoud will definitely have a stronger connection with the players than any foreign coach would have.
This is probably my most optimistic post in the past two years..My optimism however doesn't always translate..just for fun, heres the post on Bezaz's appointment back in '09.