Hiddink looking for a miracle with Anzhi
MOSCOW - Agence France-Presse
Guus Hiddink gestures during a training session of his new team in Belek, Antalya.REUTERS photoDutch coaching legend Guus Hiddink took to the training pitch yesterday with his new Russian charge Anzhi Makhachkala in the hope of working another miracle for a team of ambition but no past success.
The 65-year-old, who left his job as Turkish national team coach when the country failed to qualify for the EUEO 2012, will be joining a side that has only spent five years in the Russian Premier League and has failed to find spark despite signing the star tandem of Samuel Eto’o and Brazilian veteran Roberto Carlos.
The club heralds from one of the most dangerous regions of Russia and finds itself trailing in seventh a full 13 points behind leaders Zenit Saint Petersburg with just eight matches remaining.
But Anzhi’s billionaire owner Suleyman Kerimov feels Hiddink still has the touch he enjoyed when leading South Korea to the semifinal of the 2002 World Cup and then falling a game short of the EURO 2008 final with Russia.
Anzhi said Hiddink will be bringing his trusted assistants Ton Du Chatinier and Zeljko Petrovic along for an 18-month stint that will see the Dutchman draw a post-tax annual salary of 10 million euros.
The Moscow press and some top observers were surprisingly downbeat about Hiddink’s chances after watching his fellow Dutchman Ruud Gullit fail spectacularly with neighboring Terek Grozny last year.
“I am far from certain that everything will work out,” the Sovetsky Sport daily quoted former Russian Football Union boss Vyacheslav Koloskov as saying. “They have created a Massiah out of Hiddink and even started naming kids Guus. But all he is is a good trainer.”