The Vahid Halilhodzic method continues to raise many questions. The coach of the Atlas Lions unveiled on Thursday his list of the 26 players called up for the friendly matches of the national team. After many weeks of speculation, with the announcement of new faces, the Bosnian put an end to the suspense, offering something warm, with only two new recruits.
While he has repeatedly expressed his desire to “Move up a gear”, with the ambition to qualify for the 2022 World Cup, the Bosnian technician, appointed in 2019 at the head of the Moroccan selection, still has a lot to prove.
With a view to forming a homogeneous group and reshaping the workforce in order to be able to reach the top, Vahid Halilhodzic seems to have trouble getting the machine going.
His last list of players summoned is proof of this. The coach seems to be resting on his laurels, without succeeding in finding his ideal eleven. The latter has been the subject of strong criticism in the last 24 hours from supporters who criticize him for his lack of creativity.
The clock is ticking for the national team, which will face Ghana and Burkina Faso in a friendly manner, on June 8 and 12, respectively, on the lawn of the Moulay Abdellah Complex.
The matches are expected to prepare the Atlas Lions for the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, which have been postponed until September.
Two months ago, they sealed their qualification for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon without losing a match as they finished ahead of Mauritania, Burundi and the Central African Republic in their group.
Vahid Halilhodzic will be able to count on the main protagonists of the last matches of the Atlas Lions. The regulars are all present: Sevillian goalkeeper Yassine Bounou, Nayef Aguerd from Rennes, Romain Saiss from Wolves, Champions League finalist from Chelsea Hakim Ziyech, and thunderous Achraf Hakimi, Italian champion with Inter Milan.
A conquest of new talents that falls apart
For several months, Vahid had been looking for new talents, especially in the four corners of Europe. Several names had been announced close to the selection, including that of Amine Adli, Issa Diop, Imran Louza or Anouar Ait Lhadj. Discussions which apparently did not succeed since none of his players were called to join the den of the Atlas Lions.
If the absence of the players mentioned above remains unknown, the choice of sporting nationality may have played a predominant role in their presence on the list, none of them having made a clear choice as to which country they were from. they want to represent.
However, the former FC Nantes coach has two new recruits in his workforce, one of whom is from Botola, they are Ayoub Amloud from Wydad de Casablanca, and Iliass Chair from the English second division, in the Queen Parks Rangers.
If the first has already evolved under Jamal Sellami with the Moroccan team against Mauritania in a 4-2 victory, the second will make his first steps in the jersey of the Atlas Lions.
Belgium-born Ilias Chair, who has scored eight goals in 45 league appearances for Queens Park Rangers this season.
A workforce without new flavor, choices questioned
Despite these new additions, Vahid’s workforce management continues to cause a stir. Indeed, since the communication of the list, the supporters have denounced the presence of players considered to be uncompetitive within their respective clubs, starting with Achraf Lazaar, currently without a club.
Indeed, the player long absent in the national team under the leadership of Hervé Renard marked his return under the era of Halilhodzic, but his legitimacy has been questioned since the termination of his contract. with Watford, England, immediately after the latter’s rise to the Premier League.
The summons raised a surprise in Moroccan sports public opinion, as the player lacks competitiveness due to his continued absence from the competition.
Moreover, the Bosnian coach admitted during the press conference that the player did not play much last season, although he has confirmed, on several occasions, that there are no place in the national team for players who lack preparation with their clubs.
On the other hand, many sports enthusiasts indicated, on social networks, that Yahya Attiat-Allah, the left-back of the Wydad Sports Club, and Hamza Moussaoui, the Moroccan player from Tetouan, who had been chosen in the eleven type of the last CHAN won by Morocco, would have had more credibility to be on the list than Lazaar.
Banoun’s absence hits the mark
Another player summoned who seems to pose a problem, that of Ferencváros TC, Samy Mmae, whose presence is also denounced because of his modest level in past matches he played with the Hungarian team, unlike Badr Banoun who is currently shining at Al-Ahly.
Benoun joined Al Ahly at the start of the 2020/21 season and has been one of the team’s defensive stalwarts ever since due to his composure and ability to play the ball from behind.
Benoun has appeared in a total of 27 games in all competitions since joining the Red Devils and has also scored four goals.
“Badr [Benoun] is a good defender, he has good technical skills. However, there are a few small details missing, we all know that African football requires good physique and that is what it needs to improve ”Vahid said to justify his choice.