The much-awaited list of the 25 Algerian players bound for South Africa has finally been revealed by Rabah Saadane the Algerian national coach.
It is controversial to say the least. This list has raised some eyebrows in Algeria and among the fans of the Desert Foxes around the world. Why include seven new players with no international experience whatsoever when you only have two friendly matches (against Ireland and UAE) prior to the World Cup?
Will these new players have time to gel with the others, showcase their talents and prove to the doubters among the coaching staff that they are World Cup material? And which two players will have to head home when this list of 25 is trimmed down to 23 players on June 1st to accommodate FIFA regulations?
These are all serious questions that Mr. Saadane must have thought of before making up his mind. Before the list became public, many journalists in Algeria were proposing players’ names and drumming up support among their readers for their choices.
Some sceptics would argue that, because the national coach has clearly stated his decision to leave the national team after the World Cup Finals, he has therefore tried to please everyone with this list, especially the press to get them off his back during the World Cup Finals.
After the World Cup, he could then ride into the sunset and retire in glory, having led Algeria to two World Cup Finals, which is no mean feat.