FEATURE | The players that fell into Hector Cuper’s Mouse Trap
I will be honest here, it took me around 30 minutes into the first half to realise what Egypt manager Hector Cuper was doing as the Pharaohs lost their second friendly in less than a week against Greece.
Cuper started out the match making several changes to the team that almost beat European Champions Portugal last Friday. Mohamed Awad, Ahmed Elmohamady, Saad Samir, Omar Gaber, Hossam Ashour, Mohamed Magdy ‘Afsha’, Ramadan Sobhi, Momen Zakaria and Marwan Mohsen all started for the national team in place of Mohamed El-Shennawy, Ahmed Fathi, Ahmed Hegazi, Mohamed Abdel-Shafy, Tarek Hamed, Abdallah El-Said, Mahmoud Trezeguet, Mohamed Salah and Ahmed Hassan ‘Kouka’.
Chances galore, right? Well at least that is what everyone thought… In reality it was a trap for many players and as bad as it may sound, it was a good trap to expose the players that are not capable of representing Egypt at the highest level. If it wasn’t apparent before, it surely is apparent now that there are three players that are absolutely irreplaceable for the Pharaohs and not one person between 104 million Egyptians can replace them, namely: Ahmed Hegazi, Abdallah El-Said and finally Africa’s finest Mohamed Salah Ghaly.
It is a fact that changing the core of the team would never help. If Cuper had at least kept Abdallah El-Said, that would’ve given some players in the forward line a chance to perform but unfortunately they were left to rely on the inexperienced Mohamed Magdy ‘Afsha’, who did well on his debut despite the result, a lost and outpaced Hossam Ashour to shield the defense, where they could not rely on him for one minute.
When you’re passing through a police checkpoint, they often can separate the good guys from the ones that are up to no good. Tonight, the Argentinian manager was the police and he set out his plan to expose players that he is regularly criticized for not giving them game time like Hossam Ashour, Saad Samir, and Momen Zakaria.
The following are a list of players that have most certainly lost all hope of catching the plane to Russia with the rest of the team.
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