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Soccer. Vahid Halilhodzic, the unloved winner

Rarely has a coach been so unanimous against him. Taken in dislike by a large majority of the public during his 30th match on the bench of the national team against the Liberia, Tuesday, June 14, Vahid Halilhodzic was entitled to a broca memorable that the victory did not attenuate (2-0).

The enthusiasm that reigned at the time of his appointment in August 2019 seemed a long way off. Almost three years have Qatar. But the native of Jablanica doesn’t sound convincing.

His victories are celebrated as defeats, and these rare setbacks are experienced as tragedies. “I do not understand your expectations”, he also confided during his last press conference, on the evening of June 14, displaying a misunderstanding that he struggles to conceal.

A week later, the breath of protest died down without anyone really knowing why. Vahid Halilhodzic was in the eye of the storm. If the elimination in the quarter-finals of An uncompromising coach

At 70, Vahid Halilhodzic no longer seeks to conceal his reputation as a man of character. Wherever he went, he carried the same rigorous anecdotes. The character’s intransigence is served by his powerful accent and a sense of the formula that the French show has taken hold of. The horns of info by dedicating a puppet to him.

“He makes no concessions. He is able to go after things even if we can think that it puts the team in difficulty”, said of him the former defender Arnaud Le Lan, in the columns of L’Crew.

Huge goalscorer heart rate Nantes in the 80’s, Halilhodzic was coach of Côte d’Ivoire,Algeria and Japan. With results at key but one shortened experience. He has qualified for the World Cup each time.

After attacking Ivorian egos (2010), he scratches the statutes in Japan (2018) and sponsors tremble at the idea of ​​not seeing Japanese stars in Russia. Results, the manager takes the door a few months before the start of a competition that he will not have finally disputed than with the Fennecs in 2014, out in eighth by future champions of the German world.

From one country to another, the globetrotter does not seem to change method. “Beyond a pseudo-arrogance during press conferences, he is accused of Vahid Halilhodzic case management Ussair Mazraoui and Hakim Ziyech”, explains the sports journalist, Amine Rahmuni.

In conflict with the Bosnian without anyone really knowing why, the attacking midfielder of chelsea has in fact no longer set foot in the sports center of Maamoura since June 2021, unlike Mazraoui, selected without playing in the last rally. But the absence of Ziyech is less penalizing that it seems.

Morocco performing well without Ziyech

Author of 17 goals and 10 assists in 40 selections, “Ziyech is a great player, but I do not have the impression he left an indelible mark in the national team”, underlines Amine Rahmouni, citing the example of his lackluster displays at the 2018 World Cup and his missed penalty in CAN 2019, against Benin.

some ensure that if the blues reappeared, he would be the catalyst for a much more engaging game and a more alluring collective identity. On the first point, the statistics reveal a completely different reality. Without Ziyech, Morocco scores more goals (2.4 goals against 2), create more chances (8 against 7), shoot more (15 shots against 11) and presses the opponent more effectively (10 pressings succeeded against 8 ).

When it comes to the game ID, it’s a fake debate, because “aside from Spain, there is not a single team in modern football that can be proud of having a playing identity own to her. The players don’t train enough together in the selection to have one”, shade Amine Rahmuni.

And to wonder: “Basically, do we prefer a team that plays good but who loses, or a team that plays Halilodzic?” Despite a fuzzy game identity, Morocco nevertheless exudes an impression of collective strength.

As evidenced by the qualification for the 2022 World Cup. In eight meetings, Saiss and his teammates suffered no defeats, had the best defense and the second-best offense.

Little trust granted to players local

Failing to create the necessary conditions to develop a beautiful game, Vahid Halilhodzic can however boast having given back nobility at the national team, and the players have always appreciated the fairness of his decisions.

“He formed a disciplined group unlike his predecessors. At the time of Hervé Renard in particular, the internationals came to the national team as if it were a holiday club”, remember Rahmuni.

By putting the institution and performance back at the center of concerns, Halilhodzic succeeded where many before him failed. In contrast, he lost the same bet as his predecessors, that of integrating the players of the championship.

In view of the results of Moroccan clubs on the continent in recent yearsthe lack of Vahid to the players of Botola flirts with blindness. And for good reason, the Raja, the Wydad and Berkane have ruled the continent for the past two years after winning three African Confederations Cups and a Champions League.

But the eight local players summoned by Halilhodzic since taking function, who are still residents of the Botola Pro, accumulate 475 minutes of playing time for 11 appearances only. That is less than Faisal Fajr (511′) alone, whose performances have never left an imperishable memory.

In other words, coach Vahid is far from being in phase with the sports policy established by the Federation. “It consists in having a national team made up of approximately 70% local players and 30% came from Europe”, found Ahmad Chouari, former scout in France for Morocco, in the January 5, 2022 edition of the newspaper The team.

But are these grievances enough to sack the Bosnian less than five months from the World Cup?

A hierarchy with absent subscribers

“The answer is in the question,” says Amine Rahmuni. “When it is difficult to build a team in three yearsit is not possible to do this in five months. For those who bet on a hypothetical psychological effect on the players after the change of coach, they seem to omit the results which plead for the technician in place, but also the reality of selection football.

In a club, the change of coach is generally accompanied by a psychological shock beneficial to the players. This is rarely the case in selection. But such a scenario, however radical, could at least contribute to lighten the heavy atmosphere which reigns around the selection, whose Vahid Halilhodzic is not solely responsible.

“Leaving doubt, the FRMF weakens the coach. We should make a decision as soon as possible and stick to it”, recommends Amine Rahmuni. “Either the Federation keep him in place and the support, either she feels that he is no longer the man for the job and replace it as soon as possible.”

But from there to to orchestrate a cabal and to persist in this way against a 70-year-old man. We have always behaved well with the coaches, there is no reason for that to change. This case does not convey a good image to theinternational, because Morocco is the only team participating in the World Cup, whose coach was booed on the evening of qualification,” he concludes.

We will refrain from speculating on the future of Vahid Halilhodzic out of respect for the position and for the man. But no doubt in the history book of the national team, the Bosnian is sure to leave the contrasting imprint of an unloved winner.

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