The keeper produced a good performance in the final’s second leg against Coton Sport. However, this one specific game was more than enough for Egyptian media to dub Amir as the game’s man of the match.
The guardian became a regular guest on nearly every television and radio program celebrating Ahli’s win. Everyone started to agree that Ahli’s future without former keeper Essam Al-Hadari will be brighter with Amir between the Cairo giants’ posts.
Ahli players and technical staff were the first to hail Amir. Even goalkeeping coach Ahmed Nagi was hurry to confirm that Amir will be Egypt’s best for the next ten years to come (totally ignoring the fact that he is already 29).
Two months on, Amir is the same man he was when he played against Coton. Nonetheless, bitter World Cup losses and mediocre performances from the goalie against Pachuca and Adelaide, forced some Ahli fans to go as far as saying that their team is playing without a keeper.
The same fans, pundits and commentators, who lifted Amir high in the sky before, are the ones admitting that he’s not worthy of being Ahli’s number one now.
In return, the player responded angrily to his critics by saying that he is the club’s first choice no matter what they think or say, and the whole situation has become a mess.
Let’s take a deeper look few months back, when Amir and after years of living in Al-Hadari’s shadow, became a club regular following the latter’s departure to FC Sion.
Before even considering replacing Hadari, Ahli officials and technical staff came out and assured that Amir can easily fill the void left by Hadari’s exit.
Every single save, catch or even pass from the keeper was called on as a sign of his excellence.
After unprofessionally feeling betrayed by Hadari’s exit, most team players unintentionally wanted to tell the world that they will be better off him.
That was not right, Amir is a good keeper but neither his abilities nor his experience can match Hadari’s. We all knew and still know that.
However, Ahli fans, players, board and the media were just concerned with teasing Hadari on his travels by showing the ex-skipper that Amir will be better than he was, and that put Amir under so much pressure from day one.
Why didn’t anyone come out and admit that Amir was not an established keeper yet? Why didn’t anyone say that he is good but will need more time to be the country’s best? Why were people so keen on creating a hero of the lad just to call him a villain now?
Now it is obvious that Amir has lost any confidence he ever had. More than focusing on improving himself, he is just thinking of what people will say about every save he does or doesn’t. He indulged himself into a war of words with everyone and no doubt this will have a severe effect on his displays.
The making of Amir as Ahli’s first choice wasn’t dealt with professionally from the very first start. Now the keeper himself has become the victim, and god knows if he will be able to get back and track and bounce from the storming criticism he’s currently facing.