2022 World Cup: Senegal on the brink of renewing its legend
OrContrary to England, Senegal, released from the weight after passing the first round of the World Cup, want to stay in the tournament as long as possible. Champion of Africa, he will face in this round of 16 no less than the vice-champion of Europe, who, in the event of victory, will have a particular flavor, the Lions of Teranga so make two stones with a rock shot by repeating the success they achieved in South Korea to reach the quarter-finals of the World Cup. In other words, more than ever, Senegal will wear the colors of the continent, where the year 2022 has been prosperous.
For Leos, finding the right formula
Aliou Cissé has been sick for the past few days, it is the assistant coach of the Lions, Régis Bogaert, who took over to lead the press conference. A special moment for the Senegalese coach’s trusted man, whom he has known for almost thirty years since they met when Aliou Cissé was training in Lille.
The coach of US Lesquin between 1997 and 2009, Bogaert, a reference in amateur football, brought his club from 10e on the 4the division. According to him, the first point where Senegal needs to watch out is the set pieces, a phase of the game where England is leading. Remember that Southgate’s men scored 75% of their goals through this practice in 2018. Not to be surprised, the Senegalese made it their important axis of preparation. “We worked a lot on set pieces because we know that this team has a lot of arguments in this area. We studied a lot the different formulas they use in matches. When it’s tight, set pieces can be decisive. »
Another equation to solve for Senegal in this match: make up for the absence of Gana Gueye. Positioned behind the striker, with the role of pressing the opponent high on the ground and densifying the midfield, Hana Gueye is not far from having his best international competition. Offering activity and mobility, the Everton player will find life difficult when he has to stay on the sidelines due to his suspension. To replace him, the young Pape Matar Sarr (Tottenham) seems to be the one whose characteristics remain more in a position-for-position approach. Problem: the latter played only a few minutes against Qatar. Suffice it to say that a strong decision will have to be made between him, Pathé Ciss, Nampalys Mendy and Pape Gueye to compose the midfielder who will still be missed by Cheikhou Kouyaté as he is not yet available.
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Further strengthen the quality of African football
In what will remain a landmark World Cup for Africa, with all representatives in the race for qualification, and this, until the last moment, Senegal, in the company of Morocco, must now push back the ceiling set by forecasts. “African countries must have the ambition to compete with everyone and tell themselves that they can beat everyone. We know that we will still lose games, but, in any case, when we enter the field, we enter with this idea, “we advanced to the Lair.
With five African coaches for five teams from the continent present in the competition, also including quality players playing at the highest level in Europe, Asia and even clubs operating on the continent, the gap between of African football and the rest of the ever-shrinking world. “African teams have now developed an African identity carried by African technicians. I remain convinced and convinced that, in a relatively short time, African teams will indeed have an important role to play on the stage of world,” said Regis Bogaert, reassuring about Aliou Cissé’s presence on the bench for this round of 16. between Senegal and England. His contribution must lead his players to sublimate themselves and perform at their best level: “The coach (Aliou Cissé) has many qualities. He has the ability to give and send confidence to everyone of his players. His contribution at this level is invaluable. When he speaks, he relies on the facts, which are right there. The illustration that the influence of the former Teranga Lions captain of the 2002 generation will be decisive and no longer fresh off Senegal’s remarkable run since taking charge of the national team.
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Favorites in England, but watch out
Beyond that, ironically, a parallel can easily be drawn between the Senegalese coach and his English counterpart. Both manage their national teams in a similar context and have a certain similarity in their management approach. Both former international players, each returned to the national team following disappointing campaigns. Each managed to put the choice on the path to success. Although their style of play and their conservatism don’t necessarily go together, their toughness and their ability to create a cohesive group have allowed them to get results with great regularity over the years .
If many media are already looking at a possible poster of France-England in the quarter-finals, Southgate certainly refused to project more than the next match, aware of the potential of the Senegalese players playing in the main European championships . “We know some players who play in the major leagues, especially in England. Of course, we are considered favorites, but that is not important in a knockout game. We must not forget that we will be playing against a very dangerous team. »
According to the former player of Aston Villa and Middlesbrough, the absence of Sadio Mané is an evil that allows the team to grow and the players to take more responsibility: “He is an incredible player and everything will want to have him in their team. But Senegal have grown stronger in his absence. They have shown incredible spirit since he was gone. »
A statement that is not true. Senegal have done very well by managing to secure their qualification without Liverpool’s former number 10, enough in any case for England, perhaps one of their toughest opponents, to take this match seriously. serious and refused to sell the skin of the lion before having dominated it.
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