Algerian National Football Team Focus on Victory in Liberia
Supporters of the Algerian national football team admit to having mixed emotions as their team heads off to Liberia on 9 October in preparation for their critical match against the Liberian team on Saturday for combined qualifiers to the Africa Cup of Nations and 2010 World Cup. In order to proceed in the tournaments, the greens (as the team is often referred to) need the three points that a win on Saturday will give them.
The members of the team have been kept busy with matches in their own leagues, both in Algeria and abroad, and have not had much time to train together. However, the team’s manager Rabah Saadane, appears unconcerned by their apparent lack of preparation, as he believes that individual players have shown themselves to be more competitive within their own clubs. Speaking at a press conference in Algiers on Monday, Saadane emphasized that the greens will be setting off for Liberia focused on the goal of winning, and nothing else. While expressing some concern over the high level of humidity experienced in Liberia, as well as the inconsistencies of African refereeing, Saadane is optimistic that the team will return from Liberia victorious.
Pointing out that Liberia has not lost a single home match so far, Saadane does not share the commonly held view that Saturday will be an easy ride. The loss of central defender Antar Yahia, who has been suspended for yellow card conduct, must also be taken into account. However, the team will consist of the eleven players that had a resounding victory over Senegal a few weeks ago and it is likely that the winning teamwork will continue.
The Algerian national team’s performance has proven to be somewhat of a disappointment to football fans for some time now, and there are widely varying opinions on the team’s chances for victory on Saturday. Some Algerian football enthusiasts continue to throw their support behind the team out of loyalty to their country, while others support them based on a sense of nostalgia for the success Algeria had enjoyed on the football scene in the 1980s. A large number have had a measure of faith restored following the team’s last game against Senegal, but many more are unhappy with the inconsistency of the team’s performance and are adopting a “wait-and-see” attitude.
While enthusiastic fan support is an important aspect of playing competition football, it remains up to the team to deliver – and the Algerian national football team is intensely focused on doing just that.