Marwijk's faith in youth working like a charm
BACK TO WORK: The UAE squad flew out to Bangkok soon after the game against Indonesia on Thursday night and were immediately back in training on Friday night. - UAE FA
Dubai - The UAE coach surprised by quick progress after team swamp Indonesia 5-0
Bert van Marwijk may come across as someone who doesn't show emotions, be it in the dugout or a press conference room.
And it is perhaps this very quality that is holding the UAE football coach in good stead as he pens a new chapter for the country's football.
There is no room for emotion, be it the omission of the old guards, from the squad. He's a man who knows what he is doing as he plots the road towards qualification for the World Cup in 2022 and the AFC Asian Cup in 2023.
The Dutchman has been ever so keen to blood youth and these youngsters have ensured that his decisions have been proven right.
Quite clearly, Marwijk's decisions have worked like a charm thus far as he imposes his imprint on this team. For Marwijk, it is not about the individual but about a team and the 67-year-old tactician has been taken a bit by surprise, by how quickly his players have responded.
"It is almost 50 per cent a new team with very young players and this is the second game in the qualification. And when I now see the performance of this team, I can be satisfied because I think we played a good game. A lot of the things I wanted them to do, they did. They also showed a lot of discipline on the pitch. We had control of the game through the 90 minutes," Marwijk said after The Whites swamped Indonesia 5-0 in their second Group G fixture of World Cup qualifying.
The UAE were almost caught out by a spirited Malaysia in their opener last month but quickly turned things around to come away with three valuable points.
Marwijk, who oversaw the Netherlands to a runner-up finish at the 2010 World Cup, said things have fallen in place much faster than he had expected it to be.
"It is a young team and in our first game, it was a bit difficult to play our game, our way of playing, on that pitch. But this game, they were much better. The young players have to get used to this level. We are going in the right direction and maybe quicker than I expected," said the former Saudi Arabia and Australia coach.
Marwijk said throwing young players into the deep end will make them better from the experience.
"Young players can become better players when they play on this level. So, they need to play such games," he said.
The UAE, who are top of the table, next play Thailand away on Tuesday.