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Amrouche snubs Galaxy players

Publishing Date : 19 November, 2019


Adel Amrouche- the Senior National Team Head coach- continues to divide football opinion following his decision to drop selected few Jwaneng Galaxy players from the squad. The players will miss two crucial Zebras encounters, this after their parent club refused to release them when the senior national team travelled to Egypt a month ago, for a preparatory game.

The Zebras are playing against Zimbabwe before welcoming African Kings, Algeria at the National Stadium on Monday, as AFCON qualifiers begin in earnest. It is not yet clear why Galaxy were not able to let players go, but what comes into the open is that the coach was visibly irked by Galaxy’s stance. The players, Amrouche said, formed the present and future of Zebras squad but their absence at high performance training center in Egypt has taken him few steps backwards, as far as planning is concerned.

The players are; Lemogang Ditsile who plays as a defensive midfielder, Thabo Leinanyane who conquers the right back position and Fortune Thulare, who plays a defensive role. The fourth player, Gilbert Baruti, has been banned from the squad until further notice, Amrouche said. However, the Zebras mentor is optimistic that his squad will reach AFCON finals to be held in Cameroon in 2021. This is even backed by the fact that two teams from each group will automatically qualify.

With this in mind, it was also pleasing to hear the coach acknowledge the lack of cohesion in the attacking third and pledging to improve on the game against Egypt where he narrowly lost by a goal to nil. The evidence might point to a conservative squad constrained by Stone Age play and their thinking. Under former coach Peter Butler, Lebogang Ditsile appeared as an excellent footballer, who made his reputation as an unanswerable force in the midfield. Kabelo Seakanyeng is overlapping in the side territory. For the Zebras, he plays on his own, a more withdrawn role that often exposes him.

But because Ditsile is out, the coaches have recalled the experience of Ofentse Nato to marshal and protect the often erratic Zebras defense. But with the Zebras’ midfield core so deep, the creative responsibility falls to wide men who are essentially denied any opportunity to apply sustained pressure because they do not see enough of the ball. By extension, the center-forward is condemned to 90 minutes running in the wrong direction chasing down opposition full backs, this has been the story for Zebras even at the historic AFCON 2012 participation. But there are indications that Amrouche is looking to alter his tactics a little bit and is eager to do it now without Galaxy players.



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