Did Belmadi and Mahrez cause Algeria’s disastrous participation in the African Cup?

Did Belmadi and Mahrez cause Algeria’s disastrous participation in the African Cup?

The stay of the Algerian national football team in Cameroon did not last long after its early exit from the ongoing African Nations Cup until next February 6 and its return home with disappointment and only one point, which it gained from a 0-0 draw with Sierra Leone. The unknown, against two consecutive defeats against the humble Equatorial Guinea (1-0) and the realistic Cote d’Ivoire (3-1).

I will not address the technical reasons that led to the disastrous participation of the Algerian national team in “Cannes Cameroon 2022”, because I am not an expert in “tactics” and technical methods that develop from year to year so that I do not say from month to month, and I leave this task to specialists from sports analysts, but I can give my humble opinion about the other reasons related to this failure to coach Djamel Belmadi and his battalion.

Insufficient preparation for the continental competition

I think that one of the main reasons for the disastrous participation of the Algerian national team in the African Nations Cup finals in Cameroon is poor or lack of preparation. Last December until January 8, but many players did not join it until after January 3, which is the date set by the International Football Association (FIFA) as the last date for European clubs to release their African players interested in participating in the continental championship.

In addition, some players arrived at the camp tired, sick or injured, such as Islam Soleimani, Rami bin Sabaini and Sufian Feghouli, so they lost many group training sessions, as wasted by other players who were infected with the “Corona” virus, such as Youssef Blaili.

And the Doha camp witnessed the cancellation of one preparatory match against the Gambia team due to the latter’s apology for the outbreak of “Corona” among its ranks. The Englishman, who missed all the camp and arrived in Doha, one day before the scheduled travel to Cameroon.

Riyad Mahrez can be considered one of the reasons for the failure of the Algerian national team in “Cannes 2022”, so that he did not appear at his usual level during the three matches he played in the starting lineup, and until now the “official reason” that made him miss the Doha camp, is unknown. The British indicated, at the time, that he was preoccupied with his marriage contract with his girlfriend “in the Islamic way”, and despite the fact that the president of the Algerian Football Association, Sharafeddine Amara, had confirmed that Riad had received a license from Belmadi to exempt him from the camp, but the latter A Belmadi denied, yesterday evening, Thursday, January 20, 2022, after the Côte d’Ivoire match, that he had granted Mahrez a vacation.

Jamal Belmadi’s denial came in the context of his response to a question, during the press conference, about the reason for continuing to rely on Mahrez in the African Championship, despite the decline in his performance. And if the answer of the Algerian national voter was convincing to some and provoked some modest laughter in the hall, especially when he answered the journalist’s question in a sarcastic manner, then I personally did not convince me, especially when he said: “Mehrez has done a lot for the national team… Were you waiting for Mahrez to be put on the bench … I didn’t change it and I take responsibility.”

Yes, it is true that Riyad Mahrez has done a lot for the Algerian national team and contributed greatly to winning the 2019 African Nations Cup in Egypt, but if the player is not physically and mentally ready to appear at a decent level in official matches, it is better to replace him with a player better prepared than him, for the sake of the national team And the coach’s interest, then how Belmadi sees that it is not logical to put Mahrez on the bench or replace him during the matches (perhaps because he is a great international star), while Riyad does not show any public objection to his seat in the reserve chair in his Manchester City matches, and his contentment in some Meetings take a few minutes.

Dalal is exaggerated by officials and the public

The other reason for the Algerian team’s failure to defend its African title is the exaggerated “pamper” of the team and coach by the fans and the country’s sports and political officials, and to avoid criticizing the team after the first stumble against Sierra Leone and then against Equatorial Guinea, which relieved the players of the “positive pressure” necessary to wake up in front of Côte d’Ivoire.

Algeria left the African Cup early (Reuters)
Algeria left the African Cup early (Reuters)

No one denies the great role played by Djamel Belmadi in reviving the Algerian national team since he took over his technical management in the summer of 2018, succeeding Rabah Madjer, the article, and his leadership to win the African title in 2019, but criticism must be accepted, especially when it is constructive and in the interest of the national team We are all human, and man is not infallible, and therefore the sanctification of people must be avoided, no matter how important they are to the nation and the country.

Is the scenario repeated in 2013?

The important thing is that I hope that Djamel Belmadi will continue in his position at the head of the technical staff of the Algerian national team with the approach of the final round of the African qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, which is scheduled for two home and away matches in the second half of next March.

The scenario of 2013 may be repeated, when the “Greens” team came out in the first round of the African Nations Cup that took place in January in South Africa after two defeats against Tunisia (0-1) and Togo (0-2) and a draw with Côte d’Ivoire (2-2), during which the fans demanded the dismissal of the Bosnian coach Vahid Halilhodzic, but the head of the Algerian Football Association at the time, Mohamed Raourawa, stuck to him and bet on him in leading Algeria to qualify for the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil.. and that is what actually happened.

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