On Life, love and Politics

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Paul Le Guen: I am 3 or 4 players short for WC April 17, 2010

Filed under: Sports — kikenileda @ 8:18 AM

The Head Coach of the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon Paul Le Guen has said he is all set for the summer World Cup in South Africa. The Frenchman disclosed that he is only three or four players short to release his final list ahead of the global fiesta.


Excerpts of his interview with cafonline.com are as follows:

: What is the aim of organising a camp for local players in Yaoundé?
Paul Le Guen: The aim of the camp with local players is to try to look for one or two surprise packages. I think it is the least we can do to give local players their opportunity to play for the team. After this if we see that the best 23 are playing abroad, we would rely on them. I have no problem with the criticisms. 

I think it’s just normal because only the best shall be selected. But we are trying to put them under observation, to do exercises, and play friendly games so we can do a proper evaluation. After this we shall select the best. Be rest assured that I will not select 5 of them to satisfy Cameroonians. I will do only what I think is good for the national team.

I want to tell you that we can no longer hide anything concerning the list of 28 or 29 players we are hoping to summon for the camp. We already have about 23 or 24 now and for the World Cup we already have 19 or 20 of them.

You do not reside in Cameroon and your assistant Yves Colleu just spent a week in the country before the list of 26 players for the Camp was rendered public. What was your criteria for the selection?

I think we have done our work well. Yves who has my total confidence was in Cameroon saw the players. What we have done is unique. We counted on the experience of club coaches and we also talked to some people. And also the choice of this people also counts. I really have no problems talking about that because I am really proud of the work we have been doing and which we are continuing this week. I think we are working in a very professional manner.

You have also been prospecting young players in Europe. What has been the result this far?
I now have some good ideas in my head. With Yves Colleu, we divided the number of stadiums to supervise these players. And we have discovered a couple of players who interest us like Choupo Moting or Marcel Ndjeng that Yves supervised. These are young and upcoming players. For example Choupo-Moting who is Germano-Cameroonian can bring a lot to strengthen our team. I think it is our responsibility to see how he fits in. We selected Matip for example because he interests us and is almost a regular with Schalke. We returned to Germany to watch him during matches with Stuttgart and against Bayern.

What is important is that my choices should go beyond the World Cup. These are players who have as span of 8, 10 or 12 years. And I think that it is our responsibility to make them play for Cameroon early enough.

During your last friendly match against Italy in Monaco on March 3, you did not summon the most capped players of the team Rigobert Song and Geremi Njitap. Does it mean that you have taken them off completely?

I made that choice for the game. Geremi and Rigobert are still in the race for the World Cup. Every weekend, I look at their performance as they play. I remain very vigilant and will move to watch them. But you should take note that I will make the best choices for Cameroon and the national team. Note that not seeing them selected for the game with Italy does not mean that they will not be in the 23man list. I made that choice because I know them very well and because I wanted to give a chance to other players who are playing in the same position. They have not been excluded for the national team.


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