The June FIFA date is fast approaching and it will finally mark the return of EN to the green square. The return of football, the real one, will (definitely?) turn the page on the controversies born on the evening of Blida’s trauma after the defeat against Cameroon (1-2) on March 29, 2022. Since this terrible disappointment for football national, Djamel Belmadi was kept in his post and he has already announced adjustments. Adjustments are recommended.
Cameroon has been there…
After two consecutive fiascos (CAN 2021 and 2022 World Cup qualifiers) the Greens have fallen from a height. From very high even so much that they achieved since the arrival of Jamal Belmadi in August 2018 is unprecedented. A continental title in 2019 and a series of 35 games without defeat had allowed the friends to Riyadh Mahrez to climb all the levels of African football. The FIFA Ranking often decried remains revealing of the prosperous period experienced by the Greens. From 67th in the world in October 2018, Belmadi has raised Algeria to 29th place in 2021! The statistical, sporting and human progression was there! But the Cameroon and Gasama have been there and Algeria has fallen into line…
Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater!
However, it is necessary know how to lose and learn from failures to bounce back faster. In addition to the sympathy capital that the » Minister of Happiness “had acquired in 2019, it would have been far too simple and intellectually lazy to wipe the slate clean of this period by dismissing the coach. It is true that the state of the finances of the FAF would in any case not have made it possible to seek a coach with a high-sounding name. Keeping Belmadi means betting on the continuity of the sports project which had worked so well. It is to rely on its strengths. But adjustments are imperative and at all levels. First of all, they are necessary for the federation, which must regain control in all areas. Belmadi, even if he denies it, had taken up too much space outside the green square and this inevitably harmed the selection. Everyone must find their role for greater efficiency. So simple to say and yet so difficult to do as egos take up too much space in our “culture”.
Belmadi still the man for the job?
The national coach must gently admit his mistakes to progress. This profession constantly needs to adapt and reinvent itself. In the communication first, he must maintain control in all circumstances. Press conferences must take place in a peaceful manner where everyone must play their part. He can no longer, for example, content himself with brushing aside certain questions with the back of his hand with the » coach’s choice « . Communicating with the press is part of the job. It is an imposed exercise in modern football so you might as well carry it out smoothly. It will also take stop with the publications of the lists 24 hours before a rally. This approach, which does not exist elsewhere in the world, is considered disrespectful by some journalists and observers. It digs a gap between EN and the media. Just like matches behind closed doors which no longer take place anywhere, these practices no longer have any place in globalized football.
Use time to try, innovate
Belmadi knows football, the mentality of the Algerian player and now the African environment. This is an undeniable asset! And with a healthy vengeful spirit he has all the cards to succeed in delivering the Greens on the right track. And he will have time for it. We therefore expect something new on the choice of players where a new generation will shake up the hierarchies. In the game, too, something new and innovative will be needed. The coach knows he must have several arrows in his bow to avoid the scenarios of recent months. Indeed, despite being betrayed by his attackers, he had recalled Belfodil or brahimi to make new out of old with the success that we know. It was necessary to deal with the emergency and in these cases, lucidity can be lacking. The other axis of development consists of reaching out to dual nationals who can bring more to the group. It is not a question of privileging this or that player but of putting all the children of Algeria (the famous holders of the S12) on the same footing of equality. Only qualities should count.
No doubt that Belmadi is the man for the job to put the Greens back at the top of African football, he who now knows the ingredients of success but also of failure. It remains to be seen whether the necessary adjustments will be made at the right tempo. Much more than these recommended settings, it’s about winning again to quickly bring smiles to the millions of supporters who have also fallen from a great height.