Posted October 15, 2013

Egypt coach Bob Bradley says he hasn’t been fired after 6-1 defeat to Ghana

2014 World Cup, World Cup qualifying
Bob Bradley said he hopes to remain Egypt's coach through the second leg of its World Cup playoff versus Ghana.

Bob Bradley said he hopes to remain Egypt’s coach for the second leg of its World Cup playoff. (Scott Nelson/SI)

Egypt’s hopes of making its first World Cup since 1990 took a major hit Tuesday when Ghana beat the Pharaohs 6-1 in the first game of their home-and-home playoff. Some reports surfaced in the Egyptian media after the game that Egypt coach Bob Bradley of the United States had been fired.

But Bradley later sent SI.com an e-mail at 4:49 p.m. ET on Tuesday that said otherwise, at least for now.

“At the moment I’m still the coach,” Bradley wrote. “If it’s up to me I will stand with the team for the 2nd leg. Obviously that’s not my call.”

STRAUS: Egypt’s World Cup dream hits roadblock as Ghana routs Pharaohs 6-1

6 comments
cbarlow
cbarlow

Sometimes there is no fairy tale.  Players have not play in any games since June, totally unfit, did not get paid, plus all the daily life stress because of the political situation.  The domestic league was suspended in June.  No cup competition either.  So the only teams that kept playing were Al Ahly and Zamalek because they were still in the CAF Champions League, but two games per month were not going to help.  Zamalek players have not played a game for three weeks as they were eliminated.  ENPPI and Ismaily were eliminated in the CAF Confederation Cup even before the league were suspended.  So the players from those two clubs were just as rusty as the rest of the league.

The fact that they managed to play a GAME as a team is a miracle.  The pitch was bad.  But they were not just unfit, but ridiculously unfit.  They were not one step behind, but at least three.  From the highlights you can see the opposition dribbled and bullied the players.  It is not like Egypt has no talent on the squad, but at the end of the day you need to be fit.  It is also hard to gauge how unfit the players are from the few friendlies they play.  Only three friendlies, all against Uganda, made no sense. Maybe Uganda is the only country who is willing to risk the lives of their players to play against Egypt in Egypt.  All three matches. Uganda acted more like punching bags or sparring partners.  Might as well not play those games.  One cannot gauge the fitness of the players by playing against a team like Uganda. In any case, that was not the coach fault, he did not have any choices when it came to picking opponents.  The Egyptian FA did.  Why did they not play against quality opposition away from home as friendlies I do not understand.

If one were the coach, and got the sense that the entire team simply is not fit, he should simply pick every single overseas players that are available, plus a couple of domestic players as team leaders, and create a make shift team. He may end up having a lot of 19 and 21 years old, but at least they are fit.  Their only goal was courtesy of their Swiss based 21 year old forward Salah being fouled in the box.  If he were to partner with another two foreign based youngsters, the 20 year old Koka who plays in Portugal, and the 18 year old Alexander Jakobsen, who plays in the Netherlands, they may have a better chance in attack; or put in the 22 year old Hegazy who plays in Italy and the 20 year old Ghazal who plays in Portugal in defense, they may have a better chance in defense. Put in an 18 year old  Ibrahim who plays in Spain they may have a better midfield play.  Six of them as starters.  Lack of experience, but at least not three steps behind.

The less desirable alternative would be dropping every single domestic players who are not from Al Ahly and replace them with Zamalek players simply because they are more fit than the rest.  Then only pick those that are young, from both teams.   The fact that the entire defensive line right now was made up of Al Ahly players spoke much about the lack of fitness.  One game per two weeks is not going make you competitive.

Another coach might do a better job, but I'm afraid it will still ended up as a big loss.  Maybe 0-4. 

sportsGuy12
sportsGuy12

Bradely had troule vs Ghana when he was the US coach, so why is this any different?

DerekOsley
DerekOsley

Poor guy.  What do people expect... his players mostly play at home in Egypt, and haven't played in months at that.  Meanwhile Ghana boasts several Europe-based stars.  I will say this, though: Bradley should have pressed Ghana in their half instead of playing defensively.  It's the obvious tactic when the pitch is in absolutely disgraceful condition, which it was.

jimnie
jimnie

Feast or famine - poor guy.  Seriously, he has been a hero until now.  1 loss makes him a goat?  Some pretty ungrateful people for sure.

DanBee
DanBee

@DerekOsley 

It has nothing to do with the pitch.  Egypt got hammered!

DerekOsley
DerekOsley

@DanBee You forget that it's a two-leg series.  Egypt didn't merely get hammered... the whole thing is essentially over because the score was 6-1.  (With a better pitch you may have seen a score like 4-2, which would have at least given Egypt a ray of hope back on their home field.)