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Marc Wilmots gets the boot following World Cup failure – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


by
Bertin Basson

Wednesday Nov 15, 2017. 16:30


Marc Wilmots dismal spell as head coach of the Ivory Coast has come to a premature end.

The former Belgium international has reportedly left his job “by mutual agreement”, but having failed to lead a star-studded Elephants outfit to the 2018 FIFA World Cup, it can be presumed that he was forced out of the position.

Wilmots, 48, had only been in charge for all of six months, but having failed to lead the Ivorian’s to a fourth successive World Cup he has duly paid the price.

His tenor started with a 5-0 defeat to the Netherlands and ended with a 2-0 defeat in Abidjan to Morocco this past weekend.

The Atlas Lions – coached by Herve Renard – booking their return to the world stage at the expense of the Ivory Coast.



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Ivory Coast coach Marc Wilmots: We must give everything – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


by
Graeme Jackson

Thursday Nov 09, 2017. 14:30


Ivory Coast coach Marc Wilmots has called on his team to “give everything” in their 2018 World Cup qualifier against Morocco.

The Elephants will host the Atlas Lions in Abidjan on Saturday evening for a do-or-die clash: the home side must win to qualify for Russia 2018, while any other result will see the North Africans return to the global tournament for the first time since 1998.

“We need a team that will go to the fight and that everyone is able to play 90 minutes at 200 percent, to give everything for his country and his nation,” said Wilmots.

“I call on the Ivorians to come to the stadium to cheer on their team to go to the World Cup.”

The Elephants coach has warned that Morocco will be difficult opponents, with the North Africans’ consistency in team selection giving them a strong foundation on which to build.

“First of all, this team [Morocco], apart from a change – [Younes] Belhanda who was suspended – has played the last five games with the same frame, the same defence, the same midfielders. so there is automation, there is a conversion that is very fast, especially defensively.”

Wilmots has also brushed off suggestions that his counterpart, Herve Renard, will have an advantage because he knows the Ivorian players so well, having coached the Elephants in the past.

“I have never seen a coach score a goal!” exclaimed the Belgian.

“Fear in us, it does not exist. We are at home. We will have the audience with us. There will be 30-35,000 people. It’s amazing.”

He added, “The pressure is on both [teams] since both can qualify. And Morocco, it’s been a while since they went to the World Cup.”

The match will be staged at the Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny, kick-off at 19h30 CAT.



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Ivory Coast coach Marc Wilmots: We must give everything


Marc WILMOTS coach of Ivory Coast

by
Staff Reporter

Thursday Nov 09, 2017. 14:00


Ivory Coast coach Marc Wilmots has called on his team to “give everything” in their 2018 World Cup qualifier against Morocco.

The Elephants will host the Atlas Lions in Abidjan on Saturday evening for a do-or-die clash: the home side must win to qualify for Russia 2018, while any other result will see the North Africans return to the global tournament for the first time since 1998.

“We need a team that will go to the fight and that everyone is able to play 90 minutes at 200 percent, to give everything for his country and his nation,” said Wilmots.

“I call on the Ivorians to come to the stadium to cheer on their team to go to the World Cup.”

The Elephants coach has warned that Morocco will be difficult opponents, with the North Africans’ consistency in team selection giving them a strong foundation on which to build.

“First of all, this team [Morocco], apart from a change – [Younes] Belhanda who was suspended – has played the last five games with the same frame, the same defence, the same midfielders. so there is automation, there is a conversion that is very fast, especially defensively.”

Wilmots has also brushed off suggestions that his counterpart, Herve Renard, will have an advantage because he knows the Ivorian players so well, having coached the Elephants in the past.

“I have never seen a coach score a goal!” exclaimed the Belgian.

“Fear in us, it does not exist. We are at home. We will have the audience with us. There will be 30-35,000 people. It’s amazing.”

He added, “The pressure is on both [teams] since both can qualify. And Morocco, it’s been a while since they went to the World Cup.”

The match will be staged at the Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny, kick-off at 19h30 CAT.



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Ivory Coast coach Marc Wilmots calls for unity ahead of Morocco clash – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


by
Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Oct 31, 2017. 16:30


Ivory Coast coach Marc Wilmots has called for unity ahead of his team’s 2018 World Cup qualifier against Morocco next month.

The Elephants will host the Atlas Lions for their decisive Group C clash at the Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny in Abidjan on November 11.

Ivory Coast must win the match to top the group and secure qualification for a fourth successive World Cup.

Morocco, meanwhile, need only avoid defeat and they will qualify for their first global tournament since 1998.

Wilmots recently took to his official Twitter page to call for unity from Ivory Coast supporters ahead of the match.

The Belgian has come under harsh criticism for the Elephants’ form since he took over in March.

“Exactly 2 weeks before the confrontation with Morocco. All united for qualification,” Wilmots posted on his account this past weekend.



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Marc Wilmots: The match against Morocco will be like a final – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


by
Graeme Jackson

Monday Oct 09, 2017. 21:00


The Ivory Coast v Morocco match in Abidjan match in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers next month has been likened to a final by Elephants coach Marc Wilmots.

The Elephants dropped off the summit of Group C this past weekend after they were held 0-0 by Mali in Bamako, allowing Morocco to leapfrog into first place with a 3-0 win over Gabon.

The top two teams will meet in Abidjan in the final round of matches next month, with Morocco needing only a draw to secure a place in Russia 2018.

Ivory Coast, meanwhile, must defeat the Atlas Lions to reclaim first place and secure a berth at their fourth successive World Cup.

Wilmots believed his defence did a superb job in keeping Mali at bay, and also cited their injury problems as a contributing factor in their failure to win.

“Overall, there was a dominance of Mali which is a very difficult team to play at home,” said the Belgian coach, as quoted by Fratmat.

“The defence was in place but I think it was the whole team that made the effort,” added Wilmots.

“The attackers participated in this work. Notably Roger Assalé and Maxwell Cornet.

“We had a lot of injuries before this game. We had to rebuild a team and quickly. This is the first time this midfielder has played together.”

The Elephants coach concluded, “We took a point on this game. We will have a final in Abidjan that we must win against Morocco.”



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Marc Wilmots – I won’t use injuries as an excuse – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


by
Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Oct 04, 2017. 19:30


The Ivory Coast’s spate of injuries will not be used as an excuse, according to coach Marc Wilmots.

Ahead of their penultimate 2018 World Cup qualifier away to Mali on Friday evening, the Elephants have been stripped of several key players.

Gervinho, Seydou Doumbia, Jean-Michael Seri, Adama Traore, Max Gradel and Wilfried Zaha are all out due to injury, while even the recalled Wilfried Bony is a doubt.

“I prefer to have the whole of my [selection] because there are players who have tremendous quality,” Wilmots told RFI.

“It is not necessary to say if you have Seydou Doumbia, Bony, Gervinho, Jean-Michael Seri, it is still players of quality.

“We do not replace quality players like that. We can not say that Ivory Coast has a nucleus with 250 players.”

The Belgian tactician added, “Obviously, it’s annoying. But I’m not a coach who complains. I make the observation and I go forward. I just made a statement.

“Since we started, there have been a lot of injuries. We put a medical service to help all the players, to work with the clubs, the little knocks that are there.

“How to care for them, how to be professional to try not to have them. That is what we are putting in place. But it’s a long-term job with the clubs.”



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Max Gradel’s character lauded by Marc Pugh – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers


Bournemouth’s Max Gradel celebrates after scoring against Swansea

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday Aug 04, 2017. 17:00



AFC Bournemouth midfielder Marc Pugh has been pleased with Max Gradel’s pre-season form.

The Ivory Coast international has recovered from a severe knee injury he sustained in August 2015 and he has been part of the club’s pre-season preparations.

Pugh praised the 29-year-old winger’s character as they prepare for the 2017/18 campaign which will start next weekend with Bournemouth facing West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.

“You never want any of your team-mates to go. It adds competition. You get injuries and you get suspensions and you need those people around,” Pugh told Daily Echo.

“Max has had a good pre-season and we want to be as successful as we can. To have competition in all areas of the pitch is important and if we want to finish in the top half of the table, we have to hold on to our players.

“I don’t know what goes on behind the scenes, I just crack on with my job and the rest of the lads do the same, and what will be, will be,” the English midfielder continued.

“He’s a great character. He’s had a tough time in the past few years with injury and then he had a long spell without playing as he got his match fitness back up.

“It’s testament to his character – he wants to work hard day in, day out – and it’s important for him to play football. He wants to be out on the field,” he added.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen but his attitude has been spot on in pre-season.”



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Cameroon midfielder Arnaud Djoum says they will play for Marc Vivien-Foe


Wakasu Mubarak of Ghana is challenged by Arnaud Djoum of Cameroon during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Finals Afcon semifinal football match between Cameroon and Ghana at the Franceville Stadium in Gabon on 02 February 2017 ©Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Saturday Jun 17, 2017. 13:00


Ahead of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia, Cameroon midfielder Arnaud Djoum says they will play in memory of their fallen hero, Marc Vivien-Foe.

The late Indomitable Lions legend passed away after collapsing on the pitch during the 2003 FIFA Confederations semi-final against Colombia in France.

Despite attempts to save his life, it was later discovered that Foe suffered from a heart condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Under the guidance of Belgian manager, Hugo Broos, Cameroon will end their 14-year absence from the Confederations Cup when they face Chile on Sunday, 18 June.

CAMEROON ARRIVE IN RUSSIA AFTER DEFEAT TO COLOMBIA

The African champions are in Group B with Chile, Australia and Germany.

“We want to play well for him – to honour and respect what he did for Cameroon,” Djoum told BBC Sport.

“We want to show a good image of Cameroon for him first.

“In the dressing room, we try not to speak too much about it out of respect for him and his family.

“It’s something we keep really quiet but we know from each other that we have to give everything and play from heart – like he did.”

The Scotland-based midfielder made his debut under Broos at the 2017 CAF Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon and feels the connection with Foe more than others as he wears the number 17 which was worn by Foe.



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Marc Wilmots calls for patience after poor start with Ivory Coast – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers


by
Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Jun 13, 2017. 15:00


Following a disastrous start to his tenure with the Ivory Coast national team, coach Marc Wilmots has called for patience.

The Belgian’s first two games in charge of the Elephants have brought a 5-0 loss to the Netherlands in a friendly and a 3-2 home defeat at the hands of Guinea in a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier this past weekend.

Naturally the pressure is now on the Belgian ahead of the resumption of 2018 World Cup qualifiers in August and September, but Wilmots is hopeful that Ivorians remain calm after his poor start.

“There is no need to be alarmed. We lost a battle and not the war. It’s a four-way championship [AFCON qualifying group] that is just beginning,” Wilmots told CAF’s official website.

“This is our first official game. The team is young and undergoing reconstruction. It will increase in power.

“I ask the Ivorians to be a little patient. If Guinea could beat us here, nothing says we can not beat her at home.”

The Elephants’ next competitive matches will be a double-header against Gabon in Group C of the Russia 2018 qualifiers.



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