Friday, April 3, 2009

Amr Zaki Cares Not for Your Rules

Every season, a few players come out of nowhere (or, in this case, Egypt) and become the "Hot New Thing." This year it's Amr Zaki, the on-loan striker who has made a splash at Wigan. But Zaki hasn't scored a goal since December and seems destined to ply his trade for the highest bidder this summer.

And maybe Zaki has been reading his own press clippings lately. How else could you explain the fact that he returned late from international duty for the fourth time this season. To be fair, this time Zaki came with a doctor's note -- from the Egyptian physios, that wasn't backed up with the requisite scans. And, it appears that Zaki still has not turned up at Wigan.

Zaki is set to be fined two weeks' wages and, more hilariously, Steve Bruce unleashed the following diatribe on Wigan's official website:

"I really am at the end of my tether with him. Before this latest incident, Zaki had already been fined considerably more than the average person in Britain earns in a year and he will now face another heavy fine."

"I just feel it's time that we went public on just what a nightmare he has been to deal with because I can honestly say that in all my time in football I have never worked with someone as unprofessional.

"This is the fourth time he has not reported back on time from international training.

"I have already fined him the maximum allowed but this just seems to have no effect. I am now fearful that if I don't take firm action, it will disrupt the rest of my squad, who - to a man - behave totally professionally.

"I am right behind my players representing their countries, it is a tremendous honour for the club. This is not the issue here.

"But my South American players, for instance, have to go much longer distances but I have never had a problem with any of them.

"In Zaki's case, it really defies belief from a player who is on loan and trying to earn himself a long-term contract."

Bruce added that he feels personally let down after the effort that he made to clinch his signature in the first place, and for the way the club has behaved towards him.

"When his daughter was ill before Christmas, I gave him extra time off, while I know my staff have worked very hard to help him settle in England.

"I'm sick of answering questions about Zaki's whereabouts and I don't want anything to distract the players from preparing for another massive game for us on Sunday against Everton.

"Zaki's behaviour has shown total disrespect to the club who pays him a very good wage and equally as importantly, to the fans who sing his name from the stands. I think it's time for them to know the truth about the man.

"This situation needs to be resolved as soon as possible and I don't feel it's appropriate to say anything more at this stage, apart from how let down I feel, personally and professionally."

I'm on Steve Bruce's side here, the club comes before any player, especially when that player has one foot out the door. Next year he'll be someone else's problem, let's say, oh, Harry Redknapp.


ü75 said...

Given the length of that quote, I'd say Bruce is plenty pissed.

Spectator said...

Released on the official website no less!

Andrew said...

I too side with Bruce. I respect what he's done with Wigan, and how the players have responded to his leadership. Now, I have spent time in Cairo, and it's a phenomenal city, but I would never willingly stay there longer than is necessary. It's really hot. And the camels spit. And when I say "camels" I mean "Egyptians"

The NY Kid said...

Zaki has been screwing my fantasy team for months, so he obviously doesn't respect anyone.

30f said...


I too was cashing in on the end of the early season Zaki hot streak. But then it went bad I just got rid of the Nacho Vidal (NSFW) looking m&^%f&%#r.

The NY Kid said...

@30 - ahh, but on the Premier League version of the game, if you release a player you lose some of your previously accumulated points from that player.

I just sucked it up and switched formations to only 1 striker up top. I'm in 5th place, barely ahead of TFA, so I need to maintain my UF dominance.

ü75 said...

Oh 30f, you can say motherfucker here, if you like.
NYK-you are behind me on the Barclays fantasy page. No UFer is beating TFA on the Yahoo board.

30f said...

@NYK -

losing points? I play in the BPL game as well (sponsored by Budweiser) and I have not noticed that.

They do work the prices so if you buy and then sell a guy too quickly (to cover a week with no games for a particular team) that you get less back in return. Unless I have been losing points all along and missed that.

The NY Kid said...

@u75 - dammit, that is you in 4th, isn't it?

@30f - when you transfer out a player there is a little message that says something like "this will cause you to lose 'x' points" - there is an option to get 1 week of free transfers (i.e. without losing any points), but I used mine already. I think it's too encourage having to really think about who you pick initially, whereas with Yahoo you can change all willy-nilly

30f said...

@NYK -

I think you are misunderstanding the rules. In the official BPL game you can transfer one player per week with no penalty. That means you can switch out one player EVERY week for all 38 weeks with no penalty. The -4 points you are talking about is when you try to move two players in a week (-8 for moving three guys and so forth). This is a set penalty amount and not you giving back any of the points a player has scored for you.

There is the one wildcard week where you can trade your whole roster without penalty.

I am impressed you are doing well, without making moves.

Rules -

The NY Kid said...

@30f - well, shite! I'm an absolute idiot, thanks for clarifying. Perhaps I should have read the rules more closely in 1 of the past 5 years that I have played (seriously, I'm a moron).

Now I will be unstoppable!

ü75 said...

Unstoppable like all of the opposing teams you face.

Ibracadabra said...

Bruce is amazing. I wonder if Zaki's buddy Mido came back on time? They sound a bit similar if the past is any indicator...

Mido was (at Ajax, Tottenham, Boro, etc.) considered the laziest and most temperamental player of all time for years - wasting his talent and never growing up...

Now his fellow countryman seems to have attitude issues as well.

What are they teaching the school kids in Cairo and Zamalek?

Where is the respect?

Spectator said...

Yeah, it was reported that Mido turned up on time... I think that is just part of the reason that Bruce exploded.

Jason said...

Doesn't Mido also hate Zaki?

The Fan's Attic said...

there were rumors of a dustup this week.