Lion’s Den Needs Cleansing

After a failed campaign in Egypt, it’s time for stakeholders to make a proper diagnosis of what went wrong so as to better prepare for the future.

Cameroon’s national football squad, the indomitable Lions have been butted out of the 2019 African Nation’s Cup in Egypt. Playing at the Alexandria Stadium, the Lions were bashed by the Super Eagles of Nigeria 2 – 3. Though the Lions did put on a remarkable performance against Nigeria, their elimination was not surprising to many.

After the participation bonus wrangling that kept them for days without proper training, they arrived Ismailia with the determination of defending the trophy they won in 2017. With a 23-man squad, the five time winners of the trophy won one and played two draws against group favourite Ghana and little known Benin at the group stage.

The dismal performance ignited a lot of debate and criticism among sports gurus and fans who felt the team’s tactical play style was wanting. Apart from doubtful choices of players and replacements, coach Clarence Seedorf did not inspire confidence even during and after his pre-match conferences.  On the pitch, one could easily see that the team lacked cohesion, a master planner at the midfield and a goal poacher.

Though against Nigeria at the eight finals, the boys fought hard, a few tactical errors and lack of concentration played negatively against them. With such a performance, the outcome can only be disastrous. After four matches played, the current African champion could only net four goals and conceded five. On the disciplinary sheet, though no player picked a red card, the Lions registered eight yellow cards.

Offensively, the Lions had a negative balance sheet. Against Guinea Bissau, the Lions shot eleven times with only one on target, ball possession 39%. Against Ghana fifteen shots with only one on target and 42% ball possession. Benin their last group opponent they had eleven shots with only two on target and 72% ball possession. Against Nigeria for the round of sixteen, twelve shots were recorded with only three on target despite a 63% ball possession.

With Jöel Tagueu gone because of health problems, coach Clarence Seedorf surrounded by a 23-member staff made use of 19 out of the 22 players in the Lion’s den in Egypt.

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