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El-Hussieny reacts to Levadia’s slips from top of the table in Estonia


El-Hussieny in action against Flora – the rivals jumped back on top following Levadia’s home debacle (Gertrud Alatare Photography)

Founder and editor-in-chief of Estonian football website Rumori di Spogliatoio Angelo Palmeri caught up with Egyptian midfielder on behalf of following Saturday’s heavy loss.

When I meet Omar in the aftermath of the loss against Sillamäe, his facial expression tells enough about the delusion following a bitter result that cost FC Levadia the top of the table. It took over nine months for the 2013 Champions to get back on top and only one week to hand it back to FC Flora.

Levadia suffered the opening goal forty-five seconds after the kick-off whistle and did not manage to pull level in the remaining eighty-nine minutes plus injury time. Eventually, they suffered two counter-attacks goals in the dying minutes of the challenge for a round 3-0 inflicted by Sillamäe, Eastern club currently fourth on the table. A full match report is available here at ‘Rumori di Spogliatoio’.

If delusion is evident, then what did not work? I forwarded the question to Omar. “I think we were not prepared enough,” stated Omar without showing any doubt. “It was already evident in the first minutes,” continued the FC Levadia number 5 “we suffered the early goal and accepted it without reacting.”

The goal was very quick, just forty-five seconds into the game. Isn’t generally a penalizing circumstance also considering the weather conditions? (a heavy rain fall hit Kadriorg Park Stadium since the kick-off –edit)

I think we could have come back, we needed to recover faster from the shock suffered in the first minute of play. We needed a shake-up that would make us realize that it was just a small mistake. We could have recovered.

As we talk, FC Flora are leading with Paide Linnameeskond (the full time result was 3-0 – full match report here) and back on top with just a one-point gap from you guys. Is it too early to talk about who could win this tight race? Have Levadia jeopardized their chances by undoing the work of weeks?

It’s too early in my opinion. Every week we have to wait for each result (also Nõmme Kalju, one point behind Levadia, is in the title race –edit) and the third round is not over yet. Look what happened last week, FC Flora had what seemed an easy game

(Gertrud Alatare Photography)

(Gertrud Alatare Photography)

(away to relegation fighter Tartu Tammeka –edit) and no one expected a scoredraw (1-1) to come.

Let’s focus on your personal performance. In this game you were back on the left flank, however in the previous one you were deployed on the right. How do you feel in switching sides from game to game?

I understand where it comes from and I totally accept it. I feel that changing is required sometimes, even during the game. For instance, today I played seventy minutes on the left side and I switched to the right in the remaining part of the game. It is actually not bad that I can manage to play in more than one position. If I can adapt fast, it shows that I have this flexibility and the coach believes in my ability. I don’t mind to play either position, whatever helps the team.

Back in May we were figuring out chances for you to play in the center as trequartista in a different formation (4-2-3-1) however it did not happen yet notwithstanding a left-flank player was signed. Do you think there’s a chance too see this before the end of the season?

I don’t think so, we will play the same formation until the bottom (start of November –edit). We’ve been consistent with that and have won so many games. Additionally, players are used in using it so there is no point to change it now. Maybe it will happen during a game according to circumstances.

As we met last time in May, the summer brought the European campaign in the Champions League preliminaries for Levadia (a 8-0 aggregate win against San Marino’s La Fiorita followed by a 8-1 loss to Czech Champions, Sparta Prague –edit).
How do you evaluate your first European experience?

It’s brilliant for me that I can play in what is the top European clubs competition, even though at preliminaries level. I see it as a positive thing despite the fact we lost seven nil to Sparta Prague in the away tie. That was a day to forget. In general, I enjoyed it and I look forward to repeat it.

Omar in action against FC Santos Tartu in the Estonian Cup final (Gertrud Alatare Photography)

Omar in action against FC Santos Tartu in the Estonian Cup final (Gertrud Alatare Photography)

Levadia need to win their ninth title in order to access the Champions League preliminaries again next Summer.

Meanwhile the title race continues as three clubs are wrapped in two points. The direct clashes will be like real finals no one can allow the luxury to lose.

Before the international break, FC Levadia will play one more game home against Paide Linnameeskond (30th of August) and on the resume (12th of September) they will travel away at the same club located in central Estonia.

Current leaders FC Flora will expect an easier job having a double confrontation with bottom-of-the-table Lokomotiv Jõhvi.

Nõmme Kalju might lose points in the toughest tie against FC Infonet.

As the fourth and last round of the Premium Liiga will get going, the title fight might get restricted to the only FC Flora and FC Levadia.

Estonian top-flight table available here.

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