Lack of discipline, Aguirre's choices behind Egypt's AFCON failure: Former assistant coach Ramzy

Mahmoud Sheleib, Wednesday 17 Jul 2019,
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Egypt
Egypt's assistant Coach Hany Ramzy (AP)

Egypt's assistant coach Hany Ramzy apologized to the fans after their elimination from the Africa Cup of Nations, and listed players' lack of discipline as a main reason behind the failure as well as other factors.

"I'm not trying to avoid responsibility , on the contrary, I'm part of what happened, and the fans have a right to know," Ramzy told Egyptian reporters on Tuesday.

Hosts Egypt bid farewell to the 2019 AFCON unexpectedly from the first knockout phase (round of 16), after losing against South Africa.

The Pharaohs have qualified to round of 16 with three successive victories against Zimbabwe, DR Congo, and Uganda, but underwent severe criticism after a series of poor performances.

Late camp

The former Ahly defender, Ramzy, said that from the beginning there were mistakes. He requested from the national team head coach, Javier Aguirre, to start the preparatory camp for the AFCON on 1st June, but ended up starting on 6th June.

"When some players are coming in with different levels of fitness, it makes the mission much more difficult, and I told Aguirre's other assistant, Tito Garcia, that we should start the training camp on the first day of June," Ramzy explained.

"When I spoke with Aguirre I told him that if he persisted with his demands from the football association, everybody would have listened to him and would have forgotten about the local league since the national team is more important at the moment, but he refused and said that starting on 6th June would be enough time," the former Enppi coach added.

Selections conflict

Ramzy talked for the first time about the national team's selections, revealing the names he wanted on the squad like Abdallah Gomaa, Ragab Bakar, Saleh Gomaa, Mahmoud "Kahraba" Abdel-Moneim, Ramadan Sobhi, Amr El-Sulaya, and Mostafa Mohamed.

He also said that he wasn't convinced about including some called-up players for technical reasons like Ahmed 'Koka' Hassan, Aly Ghazal, Mahmoud "El-Wensh" Hamdi, and Arsenal's Mohamed Elneny.

"I was just a consultant. The coach had the final decision, and yes this does not clear me of responsibility, but it does not mean that I had to resign," the former Werder Bremen defender said.

The 50-year-old coach Ramzy surprisingly said that former Real Madrid star Michel Salgado and Aguirre's assistant had no role among the technical staff.

"Salgado didn't have a role with the technical staff, sometimes I saw him participate with the players during trainings in case of shortage, but he didn't have an advisory role and he didn't attend any technical meetings with us," he added.

Lack of spirit

Seeing players out of full concentration during the camp was a source of worry for Ramzy during the AFCON, but the assistant coach says his effort to solve the matter went in vain despite holding meetings with team stars to motivate them.

"I'm sure that Egypt will be in the 2022 World Cup, I believe that we didn't fail technically, but there were poor performances, lack of spirit, and responsibility on the pitch," the assistant coach said.

"The players were busy with many things off the pitch. I realized that after seeing how they were attached to their cell phones. From all of that do you really think the players are in a tournament atmosphere? ! I was very worried from this point," he added.

Ramzy also said that he requested from the Pharaoh's captain Ahmed Elmohamady to motivate the players which didn't happen.

"I didn't see the real team leader role in El-Mohamady. The leader should talk and guide the players toughly to motivate them," he explained.

"I respect El-Mohamady, but leadership is something different. It requires raising your voice in certain situations," Ramzy stressed.

Warda saga

Excluding winger Amr Warda after the first match in the group stage for disciplinary reasons by the football association, before forgiving him ahead of the last round of the same stage was a key reason of instability in Egypt's AFCON camp and Ramzy also spoke about this situation.

The former Wadi Degla coach Ramz, said that the technical staff didn't know anything about excluding Warda, revealing that the players were against the decision.

"The Players said their teammate didn't commit any mistakes during the camp. They felt that if Warda was excluded they would lose their concentration, adding it will affect them negatively," he said.

"I thought that the player's return could be in the sake of the team, but i can't deny that it affected the national team negatively," he added. 

Resignation

Ramzy also said that he was surprised with some technical decisions from Aguirre like substituting Marwan Mohsen during the half time of South Africa's round of 16 game, in addition to not starting with the team's striker Ahmed Ali in the last group stage game against Uganda.

He saw that the main problem was the staff's squad selections, as every time the team needed support from the bench there weren't any solutions.

Elimination

Directly after the sudden elimination, the football association board sacked all the technical staff members before lodging their resignation.

"After the elimination,  Aguirre took the blame as team coach and told us he's taking full responsibility before thanking the players and leaving," Ramzy said.

"After Aguirre's departure, I vented my anger at the players; telling them that everything was afforded, and all what they have requested was available, meanwhile the fans are grieving outside.

"I won't say that we lost technically, but we lost because of the lack of fighting spirit and manhood on the field. I hope that each team possess three or four players like Tarek Hamed, Mohamed El Shennawi, Mahmoud Alaa and Ahmed Hegazi," Ramzy concluded.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

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2 0 1 6
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Group E W D L P
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Angola
0 2 1 2
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Group F W D L P
Ghana
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Guinea Bissau
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