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FEATURE: Stubbornness and incompetence mares Javier Aguirre’s time with Egypt

The Pharaohs Round of 16 exit at the Africa Cup of Nations on Saturday proved costly for the Mexican manager and his staff.

Hosts suffered a shock exit from the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations following a late defeat to South Africa in the round of 16.

READ: Javier Aguirre takes blame for AFCON exit, proud of players

The Bafana Bafana were the better side and deserved the victory, which came thanks to an 85th-minute winner from Thembinkosi Lorch.

Following the humiliating exit, EFA president left his position alongside a number of board members, including Hazem Emam and Ahmed Megahed.

The EFA also announced the sacking of as the Egyptian national team manager after the disappointing 2019 AFCON campaign.

READ: Gomaa: “Aguirre has no personality, took Egypt job because he was jobless

Aguirre was appointed as Egypt manager in August 2018 and since then he took charge of the Pharaohs in 12 games across all competitions.

During his time in Egypt, the Pharaohs won nine games, drew one, while losing only twice. The national team scored 25 goals under his charge while conceding seven.

At AFCON, Egypt were solid defensively, with their only goal conceded being Torch’s winner for South Africa. But can this be attributed to Aguirre? Mohamed El-Shenaway was MOTM for Egypt 3/4 times, which is never a good sign for a manager, let alone a team trying to win a tournament.

His contract which saw him earn a monthly salary of $120,000 was supposed to run until the 2022 World Cup, but a disastrous AFCON campaign saw him depart early.

Egypt regressed under the tutelage of a coach who neither understood tactics nor the mere task of deploying players in their rightful position, which was rather embarrassing for a country famed for producing exquisite and winning tacticians.

Javier Aguirre lacked flexibility, he remained stubbornly devoted to a conservative approach. While Senegal, Algeria, and Ghana are playing with easily definable styles, Egypt’s remains inconsistent. A lack of intensity means they rank well below their rivals for sprints and distance covered. Aguirre never appeared to know his best team, either. Performances were often disjointed.

In order to prosper against such intense competition – as Hassan Shehata so often did against his rivals – is to act boldly, decisively and with intelligence in order to gain and hold ground.

Who should the EFA hire next?

It’s time for Egypt to hire a local manager such as . From his long journey with the national team, he understands the team play of the Pharaohs and what it means to fight for your nation. The former international forward led Al Masry to a top-four finish in the league for three consecutive seasons. Hossam had a big effect on the Green Eagles since joining them, as he was able to a lead a young unskillful team battling relegation that previous year to a top-four finish the next season.

His experience in international football includes working with the Jordanian national team in 2013 where they impressed and finished third in their group beating Uzbekistan in a playoff, however, they did not make it to the World Cup as they eventually lost to Uruguay despite an impressive draw at home.

Managing Egypt wouldn’t have been his first time leading an international team. From past experiences, it is proven that local managers were able to guide the national team for greater success, for example; Egyptian legend Mahmoud El-Gohary, who managed to guide Egypt to their first World Cup appearance in 56 years – the 1990 edition in Italy. Another example is the general of African football, Hassan Shehata, who led Egypt to three successive titles at the Africa Cup of Nations in 2006, 2008, and 2010. Egypt became the first African nation to achieve such record. As a result of this, the Egyptian team were ranked as high as 9th in the FIFA World Rankings.

Hossam Hassan would be a great successor to Aguirre, as he is well known for his attacking type of play which the national team could have benefited from that a lot.

Who do you think would be the rightful heir for the manager job?

Since I was a kid, I dreamt of being a sports journalist. My journey began a year ago when I created my first sports news page on Facebook, called "Sports Unlimited News" and from there on my passion for sports journalism grew stronger. Now, here I am a Sports News Reporter and Features Writer at where I will strive to add value and learn as much as I can.



  1. Space1

    July 7, 2019 at 4:16 PM

    Egypt’s failure is down to the administration, Egypt FA for poor preparation pre-tournament, poor friendlies against weak opposition, and getting involved with team selection, as what i have heard through the media. Aguiree’s just the scapegoat for there inept ways, this problem has been pre-World cup nothing new. Football is based on good preparation and confidence in one another.

  2. Ali

    July 7, 2019 at 8:47 PM

    Aguirre is no tactical genius by any stretch of the imagination but I think the larger problem is the players. They’re just bad. You could get guardiola or klopp and they wouldn’t do significantly better. There’s too many players stuck in Egypt who aren’t progressing with how poor the league is. Clubs need to allow their players to play abroad so they can improve like Salah and Trezeguet.


      July 10, 2019 at 8:26 PM

      I completely agree. We have known for the past 2 decades that the key to a great Egyptian team is players playing abroad but clubs and players to some extent are refusing to make this happen.

      The fans and media basically expect an Egyptian team entirely made of locals to win the AFCON so that they can still enjoy the Egyptian league but the reality is… can’t have both. You want a good N.T, you have to have players playing in EUROPE!

  3. Henry AbuO

    July 7, 2019 at 9:55 PM

    Agree, the author of this article is obviously biased. Egypt has been struggling for several years now. We held the 9th position in 2010 back when the afcon tournament was in the winter. Things changed. We haven’t.

  4. Mo Hamdy

    July 7, 2019 at 10:48 PM

    Hossam Hassan would be disastrous to Egyptian team. The guy is a troublemaker in his own right.

  5. احمد

    July 8, 2019 at 3:31 PM

    They deserve to lose, corruption everywhere in Egypt. Aguirre is payed $120000, on the other side, citizens get very very bad health care and the education is going down, people are suffering. What do you expect?!

    • Ali G.

      July 10, 2019 at 2:28 PM

      Agree! What do you expect from a corrupt government and federation.

      And they really think they can organise a World cup in Egypt like Qatar 😀 😀 😀

  6. M.Az

    July 10, 2019 at 1:30 PM

    Nonsense article.

    The real reason is the media and idiotic articles such as this!

    Aguirre Should have been a good choice. Experienced, successful international manager, what else do you need? Then we make ridiculous claims that he doesn’t understand tactics while some guy sat at home thinks he can do a better job? He still only lost twice in 12 games and drew once and played some great football before the AFCON – great record but the real issues is as follows:

    Media is the number 1 culprit. Their constant pressure and criticism has been unnecessary and negative. Since appointment of Aguirre, people called for other less experienced coaches without even giving Aguirre a chance even though he was a sensible choice.

    They criticised every player choice unfairly (Like implying that not picking El Soleya was one of the reasons we lost – The guy is so average, he wouldn’t get into 90% of the teams in the AFCON)

    The media criticised Aguirre after losing AWAY in NIGERIA with just one goal with a team full of debutantes, which is actually a great result.

    The media criticised the team after EACH SINGLE VICTORY IN AFCON, which is insane. On reflection, how crazy is it that the media says that our team is weak and yet get annoyed when we fight for victories. The madness and arrogance in anticipating 5-0 victories in each match is disrespectful and destructive.

    Because of their criticism, the media eventually got what they wanted.
    Aguirre DID choose some of the players who the media have been pushing for and we all saw how Walid Soliman was UTTERLY USELESS.
    The media successfully got Warda banned for one match because someone released a video, without even proper fact checking or allowing the matter to be solved internally as it should have.
    The team was clearly SO scared of losing that you can tell that they weren’t playing with the freedom they had been playing with before the tournament.
    Because of the pressure, the team was so scared and desperate for the RSA game not to go into extra time that they foolishly pushed the defence forward in the 85th minute, when they had no reason to do that whatsoever.

    At the end of the day we lost because we played a team who played very deep and we lost our discipline and they counter-attacked in a match where we were on TOP for most of it and the opposition was starting to make mistakes, thereby helping RSA in defeating us.

    There were other issues, but in my opinion the influence of the media was the no.1 reason and I really hope that all sports websites/newspapers in EGYPT just report on the matches and stop giving their opinions, because at the end of the day, they do more harm than good and NO-ONE cares about their opinions.

    • Ali G.

      July 10, 2019 at 2:35 PM

      Agree with you! Every coach will be criticised by our media. Even after we beat Tunisia 3:2 they did it. And now Tunisia will beat Madagacar and win the cup in Egypt 😀 😀 😀

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