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OPINION: 4 omissions that highlight problems with Egypt’s 29-man squad

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Andrew Sidhom gives his take on four problematic omissions from Cuper’s preliminary, 29-man squad for the in Russia.

While a nation remains in shock since seeing its brightest star leave the Champions League final in tears holding his shoulder last night, Egypt’s preparations for the planet’s biggest football tournament have to go on, and despite much doubt and speculation, Mohamed Salah looks set to play his part in it. He will remain a doubt over the coming period for the first group game at least, and Cuper’s thinking about which player from his chosen squad can potentially start in his place will come into focus over the course of the upcoming two friendlies, but for now, we can set aside the Salah question for a moment and more generally discuss Cuper’s selections and omissions of players for the preparatory camp before Russia 2018.

First, a disclaimer: I believe that this selection for the most part makes sense. And the starting XI, with the exception of the goalkeeper and possibly a winger against Uruguay, is pretty much set in stone by now. Two positions that witnessed changes from game to game in the past period are now clearer with the emergence of Trezeguet and Marwan Mohsen ahead of their teammates competing for their positions. That said, four omissions from the squad show four problems that could come to play a part in our chances at next month’s highly anticipated tournament.

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  1. Mark A

    May 28, 2018 at 3:00 PM

    Can anyone recall even ONE good game for Soliman for the NT that makes Cuper choose that 33 year old “local” player?

    I understand where people are coming from and we might not have great depth; but if we don’t do well in the world cup I don’t think it will be because we didn’t pick Soliman and Al Sulaya!!

  2. Sherif

    May 29, 2018 at 2:11 AM

    This is the most stupid ahly-biased article I have ever read! Saleh gommaa over shikabala? Are you out of your goddamn mind! I agree shikas mentality ruined his potential to be a top player in Europe but scoring against Ghana proved shika deserves to play and even start he played a fantastic season with a really bad team ! Walid Soliman had his chance when we were destroyed 6-1 by Ghana. Shahat and sulaya also had their chances and did nothing when played….so please have some knowledge before making an article

    • Andrew Sidhom

      May 29, 2018 at 7:24 PM

      After I wrote the article, it occurred to me that small minds who only think in terms of Ahly and Zamalek will probably respond with hot-headed comments like yours. It is to be expected. If it makes you sleep better, I believe both Tarek Hamed and Mahmoud Abdelaziz are superior players to Hossam Ashour and I think this was hinted at in the article. However, I don’t operate like that. I made the most logical choices (to me) and explained my reasoning. You didn’t give any counterarguments. For example, you say you want Shika over Gomaa because he scored against Ghana. I did say that he performs very well in inconsequential games and that was one. You’ve just confirmed my reasoning. Your thinking for dismissing Soliman is “We were destroyed 6-1 therefore every player who was on the field is crap.” That’s just the hot-tempered, knee-jerk reactions that I don’t subscribe to. Soliman wasn’t the reason we lost. Sulaya did nothing when played? I distinctly remember very good performances from him under Bradley.

  3. Pingback: Egypt coach Cuper to be offered new contract until 2022: EFA board member – Site Title

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