Botola, News

Botola 18/19: The flagship of Tétouan slowly sinking

The Botola is finally upon us again after a long summer break. Maghrib Foot are proud to give you a team-to-team preview ahead of the 62nd season in Morocco and predict how the clubs will fare.

Full name: Moghreb Atlético de Tétouan (MAT)
Founded: 1956
Stadium: Stade Saniat Rmel
Manager: Abdelouahed Ben Hssain
Position last season: 11th

It feels like ages since Moghreb Tétouan took part in the FIFA Club World Cup, despite the fact that it’s less than four years ago. The work of Aziz El Amri and Sergio Lobera is just memories now and only a miracle saved them from a devastating relegation last season. Neither Fouad Sahabi, Abdelhak Benchikha or Youssef Fertout were able to lift the spirit of the team and with 12 games to go they were rock bottom on the table with only 10 points.

But then Abdelouahed Ben Hssain came in with two months to go and somehow pulled off a miracle. After his appointment, MAT registered eight wins and two draws in their next ten games and sensationally climbed from 16th to 10th on the table. They lost their last two when survival was secured, but it was definitely one of the most impressive turn-arounds ever in Moroccan football.

Unfortunately that hasn’t really cured Moghreb Tétouan of all the underlying problems. Long-serving president, Abdelmalek Abroun, resigned after the season because of health concerns and the general assembly was a mess. Vianney Mabidé disappeared and had to apologize to the club after his return, before ultimately leaving for MC Oujda. Recently a fire broke out in their training facilities, destroying equipment and other valuables.

In the transfer window, they’ve signed guys like Youssef Bouchta from CRA, second-choice goalkeeper at FUS, Aymane Majid, and Mario Mandrault on loan from DHJ. Nothing that would create much excitement at all. Key players Anas Jabroun and Hamza Moussaoui have been sold to Raja Casablanca and FAR Rabat respectively, while Abdelouahed Chakhsi (FAR), Mohamed El Yousfi (DHJ), Mourtada Fall (FC Goa 🇮🇳) and mentioned Mabidé are also gone.

We predict another disappointing season for “Los Rojiblancos”, despite the Ben Hssain effect. Although his presence at the club proved vital, it’s a whole different task leading a team from the start of a season and he has not received any help what so ever from the club’s leaders. They are dependent on youngsters like Zakaria El Wardi and possibly the Driouech brothers to take the next step, because the rest of the squad looks very pale. Maybe a relegation could be what they need in order for a fresh start after all.

Prediction: 14th

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