2015 Cup of Nations Review: Algeria

By Maher Mezahi

The Good

A remarkably talented young nucleus of players are clearly progressing as a unit. Nabil Bentaleb and Saphir Taider, for instance, formed a dynamic partnership in central midfield. Faouzi Ghoulam and Aissa Mandi were unfaultable during all four matches and will surely establish a monopoly on the full-back positions. Factor in Algeria’s attacking midfield and the youthful quality of this side becomes conspicuously apparent.

The Bad

Algeria’s main strength – the attacking midfield – failed to perform when all was on the line. Sofiane Feghouli, Riyad Mahrez, and Yacine Brahimi are supremely talented players, but they failed to impose themselves on divot-littered pitches and under stifling humidity.

The Ugly

Les Fennecs have a soft underbelly and it was exposed on several occasions during the AFCON. The North Africans have four slightly-above-average centre-halves, but each has an exploitable weakness. Rafik Halliche was unfit before the tournament and that was painfully evident against South Africa. Madjid Bougherra’s return to the side was positive, but he was at fault for Wilfried Bony’s first goal in the quarter finals. Carl Medjani was solid as per, but he was burnt by Asamoah Gyan in the group stages. The search for an elite, young centre-half in Algeria and abroad will now take place after Bougherra announced his retirement.

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1 Comment on 2015 Cup of Nations Review: Algeria

  1. This team can very well be a poor man’s version of Germany. We should be decrying their semifinal failures not these early exits.
    In my assessment the thing for this team to improve is to add width when attacking. We need Ghoulam (or the other fullback) to be playing high as a wingback because more often than not Algeria will be dominating possession.
    As a side note Let’s not get carried away by African teams reactive super displays at the world cup. It only masks the fact that we don’t have midfield.

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