The dominant force in the history of African Cup Of Nations, boasting the record of 7 time champions, is conspicuous in its absence from CAN 2012. Having won the last 3 African Nations titles in a row, a feat unmatched by any other side in the history of the tournament, the Egyptian National team failed to qualify outright for 2012, managing just 1 win from 6 games in the qualifiers. In this piece I’ll try to delve into some of the reasons for their shocking absence:
Ageing Core Squad- The average age of the Egyptian Squad called up for their last match (a friendly against Brazil 1 month after their exit from the qualifiers) was 28.8 years. Peak age you might say? Slightly above average? Consider this though, out of a squad of 20, only 6 are below 25, and none of them are below 20. Of these youngest players on the team, 5 have a combined total of 12 caps between them. Signs that there is a wildly ageing core of the team, with a few young players introduced recently as an afterthought. A shame considering Egypt have many talented youth players who could be introduced into the 1st team and allowed to gain caps gradually, thus avoiding the oft repeated “golden generation” and then a period of drought. Boom and bust in football terms.