Tunisia coach says Arab teams need to ‘work harder and improve their performances’

Tunisia coach says Arab teams need to ‘work harder and improve their performances’
Tunisia's coach Nabil Maaloul feels Arab nations have a long way to go before they can compete properly at a World Cup. (AFP)
Updated 29 June 2018

Tunisia coach says Arab teams need to ‘work harder and improve their performances’

Tunisia coach says Arab teams need to ‘work harder and improve their performances’
  • Tunisia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Morocco all exit at the group stage
  • 'We need to have more of our players in professional leagues'

SARANSK, Russia: Tunisia failed to reach the knockout stage of the World Cup at the fifth time of asking in Russia and coach Nabil Maaloul says they will continue to struggle on the biggest stage without drastic changes to the game in the country.
While the North Africans won their first World Cup game in 40 years on Thursday, a 2-1 win over new boys Panama, it counted for little after defeats to England and Belgium.
Maaloul said Tunisia and the other Arab countries at the tournament — Egypt, Morocco and Saudi Arabia — were just not equipped for success.
“We have four Arab teams that are not yet at the required level for the tournament, they still have to work harder and improve their performances,” said Maaloul.
“In order to do that, we need to have more of our players in professional leagues so they can learn and grow.”
All four sides exited the tournament in the first round, winning just two games between them, and no Arab country has ever reached the last eight.
“I don’t think we have high-quality performance, we need to change our lifestyle because it is not in line with high-level football, we need to change the way we train,” he said.
“We need two more generations to reach (the top) level of performance in terms of fitness and physical strength. We are far from the required level.”