Kourichi ‘The responsibility for elimination lies with the players’

Nourredine Kourichi, member of the EN who marked the history of world football in 1982, was engaged in the analysis of the elimination of the Greens at the 2022 World Cup in the columns of the Maghreb FC blog, hosted by Nabil Djellit in the French sports daily L ‘Equipment. An analysis delivered without concessions in the words chosen and hard with regard to the players, the former, in the responsibility for this failure which is still just as traumatic.

It all happened in ten seconds. That’s the chorus that the Algerian public seems to have clung to since the final whistle on that disastrous evening of March 29. This speech, initiated by Djamel Belmadi at a press conference, has since captured almost all public opinion which, in the list of designated culprits, puts Referee Bakary Gassama first among the accused. Sujet de discussions intarissables, cette elimination demeure au center des conversations de millions d’Algériens, qui au delà du pourquoi, s’interrogent désormais sur le comment d’un scénario que l’on pensait inimaginable y compris pour les moins’entremistes -we.

The moment for the analysis came, Nourredine Kourichi was questioned by sports journalist Nabil Djellit about the reasons for Algeria’s elimination from the World Cup in Qatar. An interview in which the former Algerian international (30 caps, 2 goals) is exhaustive and direct about the responsibilities to be drawn from this debacle. For the former LOSC player, the main responsibility for this disappointment rests with the players. “10 seconds before the end we were in Qatar… Everything was done. These 10 seconds are the fault of the players, not the coach. After the goal, emotional management is absolutely bankrupt so immediately cuts the former deputy of Vahid Halilhodzic.

A responsibility to put on the shoulders of the players, who he says have not shown a mindset adapted to such a deadline. According to his words, the national team showed nervousness and for some players he indicates that they have accepted the permanent challenge of the arbitration. An observation from which Nourredine Kourichi spares Islam Slimani, who according to him was the only player at the rendezvous that evening. However, a criticism that Captain Riyad Mahrez does not escape: “Everyone knows the quality of this player. We should not be ungrateful, we know what he did in 2019. But he was not there at all. (…) In the selection, with the captaincy, we always hope that the big players make the decision about these kinds of matches. It was not the case”.

“The truth is we lacked humility”

Debate just yesterday on the set of the ENTV, the impact of the arbitration on the result remains the first reason put forward when speaking about the real causes of this elimination. Nourredine Kourichi, for her part, provides an analysis that sounds the opposite of what one would read or hear in Algerian public opinion. “For the referee, apart from maybe a penalty, it would be simplistic to make him a scapegoat for this defeat. I remind you that everything was fine 10 seconds after the end. If Toko Ekambi doesn’t score, then we’ll have it about the referee? (…) The arbitration argument is inadmissible. We can only blame ourselves.” so los Kourichi still bruised by the elimination of EN. Once again, the responsibility of the players is taken with regard to their behavior during the match and the impact that this attitude may have had on Bakary Gassama’s behavior and decisions.

Continuing his analysis, he traces the origin of the problem to another equally painful elimination: that of the first round of CAN 2021 contested in Cameroon a few months earlier. Another equally unexpected disappointment in the context of a 24-team CAN, where Algeria must defend its title and finish last in a group within its reach with a sad record: just one goal and four against. A draw and two defeats seal the Algerian unbeaten run after 35 games, while the dream of overtaking Italy was almost within reach.

A scenario and a state of mind unlike the coronation of 2019, which he believes would explain the deep malaise that has affected the roster since the beginning of the year 2022. I didn’t see the ghost of 2019, I didn’t see warriors. Frankly, there are a lot of players who don’t have what it takes. We had to forget success and go back to basicshe assured on the subject before adding in a frank and direct tone: We just moaned: the terrain, the heat, etc. But it’s the same for all teams. We are not outside this continent. The truth is we lacked humility

If the words of the illustrious stopper of the Greens will not fail to respond, the former player who participated in the World Cup 82 and 86 will not fail the coach to take his responsibility in light of the prepared report. When asked about the responsibility that Belmadi should take on in the current situation, Nourredine Kourichi again shows no ambiguity on the subject. The responsibility does not lie with the coach, with 10 seconds to go he was right and would have been commended. The players are 100% responsible.” cuts the one who advocates keeping Belmadi at the head of the Greens

For Kourichi, Belmadi must continue his mission

If Algeria has been lacking in humility since its failed CAN in Cameroon, the future of the roster must be in the command of the current Greens coach. In any case, this is the view of Nourredine Kourichi, who recalls the positive magnitude of the work the latter has done since his appointment as head of EN in the summer of 2018. I think Djamel Belmadi should continue. There was drama with this elimination, there’s no denying it. But all his work should not be questioned. I am very disappointed for him. He invested himself in a remarkable way. He gave happiness to the Algerians with this CAN 2019he points out, emphasizing the psychological resources that must be mobilized to move toward continuity of work over the past four years.

Reinforced by the outgoing FAF president, retaining Djamel Belmadi at the head of the 2019 African champions is largely a matter of his own personal decision. The information shared this week on the subject shows the complexity of the reflection he is currently conducting at his home in Doha. A reflection to which the former deputy from Vahid adds another problem, that of the workforce renewal, which will be one of the most important projects of the next months of the EN. Thus, the evocation of this element of regeneration of a working population with an average age of around 30 years remains a crucial issue for Kourichi in Belmadi’s final decision-making process.

However, despite these elements, Nourredine Kourichi is optimistic about the announcement close to the former Al Duhail coach about his continuation or not to head Algeria. For me he has to stay, I’m sure he will get over it.” he concludes:It is now up to Djamel Belmadi to speak out about his future, all in a climate marked by doubt and uncertainty about the future of the FAF, and more generally of Algerian football. In such a damaging context, there is no doubt that the announcement by the current coach of his desire to continue the work done would allow the Algerians to recover little by little from a trauma that is still just as important. There’s always a cleanup after the storm…


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