Basil Afoni-A few days ago, the Indomitable Lions witnessed some changes in the technical bench,as well as a major overhaul of the squad by the Minister of Sports, Adoum Garoua and Volker Finke respectively.
The Minister’s appointed Alexandre Belinga and Bonaventure Djonkep to replaced Martin Ndtoungou Mpilé and Alioum Boukar as a replacement for Jacques Songo’o for goalkeeper trainer. Also, Tamo Philémon was appointed Chief Physician, team press officer, Atangana Vincent de Paul who replaces Raphaël Nkoa and finally, Oyomo Pierre Clavert was appointed acting Administrative Director.
This was a good move, but is his decision not to touch Volker Finke and his assistant Ibrahim Tanko, makes it some sort of gamble. This, to some Cameroonians is seen as a gamble as they believed the problem plaguing the lions’ den is yet to be solved.
First and foremost, maintaining Finke seems to be a mistake after the poor show in Brazil. Cameroonians were expecting that the German tactician should be sack or better still, resign. However, they were surprised when he was maintained and those around him all replaced. Out of all the teams that participated at the World Cup in Brazil, almost 16 coaches were either sacked or resigned after failing or making history with their respective teams. In Cameroon, it was the members of the technical bench that paid the price, while Finke smiles as he takes salary for no work done.
Also, stripping Samuel Eto’o ,Enoh Eyong and Nicolas Nkoulou of their role as assistant captains and replacing them with Stephane Mbia, Choupo-Moting and Aboubakar Vincent respectively, might still fuel a new camp in the den. Just like many Cameroonians complained about the manner in which the arm band was taken from Rigobert Song to Eto’o with the later still in the squad, so too is the same to Enoh Eyong and Nicolas Nkoulou.
Finke dropping 13 experienced players, who were part of the Brazil expedition for inexperienced players, is a real gamble as the squad now runs dry of experienced players to help guide the new lions.
It is no longer news that Finke just like the new players he has called lacks knowledge in international football. Cameroon now runs the risk of been outsmarted by his opponents due to lack of experienced. One will have expected a slow but steady integration and not a total overhaul of the squad. Brazil failure at the World Cup is due to the fact that Scolari when he was building his squad neglected the likes of Kaka, Robinho, and Ronaldinho who could have all bring experience in the squad.
The problem with the lions’ performance is at the level of grassroot football management in the country. A professional League that is plague with strikes, poor management, empty stadia during games, months of recess, embezzlement of funds, neglect of the “benjamins”, cadet and youth level among others all contribute to the Lions poor show.
Many Cameroonians were expecting that with the upcoming changes at the level of FECAFOOT, the whole technical bench including Finke should have been wipeout and also the overhauling of the squad to give the team a new beginning. Cameroonians are anxiously waiting to see if the Adoum Garoua and Volker Finke’s gamble will pay-off as Cameroon confronts DR Congo in Kinshasa on September 6, in their opening game and the Elephants of Ivory Coast, four days later, in their second outing.