Last Update 22:17
Friday, 15 November 2019

Egypt's assistant coach explains exclusion of Ahly's Sobhi, Pyramids' El-Saied from squad

Mahmoud Elassal , Monday 11 Mar 2019
Egypt
Tunisia's midfielder Ferjani Sassi (R) fights for the ball with Egypt's midfielder Amr Warda (L) during the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier football match Egypt vs Tunisia at the Borg El Arab Stadium, near Alexandria, on November 16, 2018. (Photo: AFP)
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The Pharaohs’ assistant coach Tito Garcia has justified the exclusion of Ahly's winger Ramadan Sobhi and Pyramids' attacking midfielder Abdalla El-Saied from the national squad during preparations for the 2019 AFCON qualifier against Niger and a friendly game against Nigeria.

"It's difficult to persuade everyone why you pick some players and leave others. We choose the squad formation according to the way of playing and the opponents' performance," Garcia told a television programme on Sunday evening.

"Abdalla El-Saied is one of the best players in the Egyptian national team but his position in Pyramids squad differs from our way of playing so we didn't call him to take part in the March camp," he said.

"El-Saied's achievements always refer to his performance so he could join the squad in the future but now we only need two strikers," he added.

Under the helm of coach Javier Aguirre, the national team has named 10 new faces and has dropped familiar names like Sobhi, Liverpool’s winger Mohamed Salah and West Bromwich Albion’s centre-back Ahmed Hegazi from the squad for the Nations Cup qualifier against Niger and the friendly against Nigeria on 22 and 26 March.

"Sobhi is not currently in our plans but he may join the squad in the future as there are hundreds of players who deserve to take chances," Garcia said

"We don't speak Arabic so we don't follow what other people say about our squad choices, as we only choose players according to our demands," the Spaniard coach concluded.

Under Mexican tactician Aguirre, who was appointed in August last year, Egypt have secured four straight wins in the African qualifiers: against Niger at home, eSwatini both home and away, and Tunisia at home, scoring 15 goals and conceding only four.

Getting ready for the Nations Cup, the Pharaohs are eyeing a record-extending eighth title win when the country hosts the flagship African competition in June.

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