Paul Le Guen’s tactics look to be heavily scrutinised after the lacklustre showing against Japan.
Amidst the blast of horns jutting into the Free State Stadium, fans and pundits alike were left wondering what Samuel Eto’o was doing on the right wing. Played out of position, the Inter forward has so far appeared disinterested and has not exerted his leadership enough through the team. The Lions’ star man has recently been accused of not replicating his prolific club form on the international scene by legend Roger Milla, Eto’o dismissing the allegations, but so far (including the warm-up matches) failing to prove Milla wrong.
Paul Le Guen has claimed he aims to emulate the history-making Cameroon side of Italia 90 and while this is what every Cameroonian wants to hear, the possibility of the Indomitable Lions reaching the quarter-finals on the strength of Monday’s performance seems doubtful. Many feel that Cameroon have the best chance of the African sides at the finals but the Lions have not looked so indomitable, the cautious start needs to gather pace and wield confidence. The image of Paul Le Guen in the dugout hands clasped in prayer hoping for a miracle sums up his tenure as Lions Coach but one cannot help thinking he is his own worst enemy. Le Guen’s reformation of the national side has not stabilised, experienced outfield players Achille Emana, Geremi and Mohammadou Idrissou were introduced late as the Coach almost realised his errors, Idrissou inserted experience but his clambering heavy feet contrasted Eric Choupo-Moting’s wiry sharpness. Le Guen must realise that the starting XI against Denmark will need more familiarity of the World Cup and Eto’o’s position must be cemented in the centre of the attacking 4-3-3.