Islam SLIMANI of Algeria Challenged by Leon BALOGUN (L) and William EKONG(R) of Nigeria during the Russia 2018 World Cup Qualifier match between Nigeria vs Algeria on November, 12th 2016 at Godswill Akpabio Stadium ©Kabiru Abubakar//Backpagepix©Kabiru Abubakar//Backpagepix
Thursday Nov 23, 2017. 18:00
Former Cameroon goalkeeper Joseph-Antoine Bell, better known by his nickname ‘JoJo’, says Algeria’s problems do not lie with their coach.
The Fennec Foxes are onto their sixth separate permanent coach since the departure of Vahid Halihodzic in 2014, with Rabah Madjer having recently succeeded Lucas Alcaraz.
The North Africans’ chopping and changing has done little to help their cause: they were knocked out of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations in the group stage and finished bottom of their 2018 World Cup qualifying pool.
Bell, who was part of three World Cup squads with the Indomitable Lions, believes there is something other than the issue of the coach which is affecting the Algerian team’s form.
“I know that he [Madjer] was already coach at one time,” JoJo is quoted by Le Buteur.
“Now, if he came back, I cannot believe that Algeria’s only problem is the team sideline [coaching staff], so I tell myself that when we see such a catastrophic course, we say there are still things much deeper than the sideline.
“Now, hopefully, Madjer will be able to unseal these things and it’s not just limited to the coach.”
Bell added his belief that Algeria have fallen back into old habits, stating that he was surprised to see them finish bottom of an admittedly tough Group B behind Nigeria, Cameroon and Zambia.
“We have the impression that the Algerian team has fallen back on its way. After the 2014 World Cup and even before, we felt the arrival of the Algerian team.
“In 2014, it was only half a surprise but it was especially a great pleasure to see Algeria again at this level. So it was a big surprise this elimination and especially this absolutely chaotic course.
“We can be eliminated, but Algeria was frankly bad, catastrophic in these playoffs [qualifiers]. One wonders if it was just an accident. There is food for thought for Algeria.”