Whoever continually develops their team and its players will get to celebrate success.
Wherever my job as a coach has taken me, right from the start I have always made this clear: continuing development is the number one priority for a team and its players, regardless of whether they are young professionals or top-ranked stars, because the only way you are going to win titles and championships is by permanent continuing development. For example, I see my work as successful if I bring U21 players into the first team and develop them into skilled players for the team, and if they then win championships and become national players – as has been the case with many players at Al Hilal. In my opinion, the key to success is development, which also means I want my team to play football and to improve little by little. Continual improvement is how titles are won and success is guaranteed in the long term as well.
We all know – and I include myself in this – that long-term actions and continuity in professional football are unfortunately seldom in the spotlight. Nevertheless, I maintain my approach and have – especially in my work in Saudi Arabia – proven that by constantly developing each player, whether experienced or young, the team as a whole advances – and ultimately this leads to titles.
However, I have also learned that in Saudi Arabia, when you sign a contract, development aims are often agreed together at the beginning, only to be thrown out after a few weeks and replaced with new, completely unrealistic ones. This has unfortunately happened several times... Anyone who knows me knows that honesty, reliability and loyalty represent basic values for me, as do professionalism and discipline. This is one of the reasons why I have decided to leave Saudi Arabia and establish myself again in Germany. Not only am I returning to my home region but I am also going back to my sporting roots: heading Offenbacher Kickers’ youth academy. Although some may not believe me, I am doing this on a voluntary basis this year, partly because I still have business to attend to in Saudi Arabia and therefore can only be in Offenbach for a limited time. However, this solution still allows us to set the course for certification in the coming year, because it is important to maximise the effectiveness of the youth academy’s work, to create structures and to promote the development of children and young people in a goal-oriented, professional, disciplined and sustainable way. A big task, a magnificent task! Let’s get to work!