Thursday, December 5, 2019

Amrouche opens up, grills Nikola, players for rowdiness

When it comes to respecting the national team, Zebras gaffer Adel Amrouche takes no prisoners and no one will be spared if he feels the person is disrespecting the national colours.

For the Belgian tactician, the national team is all about respect, hard work and little talk while striving for results. While he preaches discipline for players on and out of camp, the newly appointed coach says it starts with respecting the national jersey.

The latest person to fall foul to the Zebras gaffer’s no nonsense approach to the national team is none other than Gaborone United coach Nikola Kavazovic and some of the team’s players.

Amrouche claims the GU head coach and some of his players who were called for national duty are big headed and disrespectful to the nation. These accusations come in the backdrop of the recent national team trip to Egypt for a training camp as well as the Afcon qualifier matches played a week ago.

The Zebras coach alleges that Kavazovic influenced some of Gaborone United to decline national team call up which he regards ‘disrespectful’.

“Kavazovic told players not to honour national team call up and I don’t know what his problem is, whether he wants to coach the national team. If he wants to coach the national team, maybe his time is coming. I just don’t understand why he is not respecting the people who are giving him food, this is national duty and everyone has to respect that,’’ a furious Amrouche told Sunday Standard.

Narrating on why he left some players out of the Zebras camp in recent Afcon qualifiers, Amrouche said they have to change their behaviour and correct their lifestyle while some will never taste national team call up during his tenure.

“No one here is cemented to the national team and I will give all deserving players a chance as it is open to quality players. Some players don’t respect national call up. Imagine a situation whereby a player does not honour a national call up with unreasonable excuses that they do not have a phone but when it is their personal matters, they have phones,” Amrouche queried.

While rumours were flying thick and fast that some technical team members are furious over team talk isolation, Amrouche said while they work as a team everyone has their duty to fulfil. This follows allegations that when the gaffer addresses players he only takes to the dressing room his assistant coach shutting doors out other members of the technical team.

“It is all lies that I shut people out, it is a matter of doing the right things. Why would I need the team manager and doctor when planning for the game. At that time, we will be talking tactics and everyone has to do their job. It is really bad when some things are leaked to social media during the team talk. We are here to work and some people want to come in just to eat and we don’t want that as all we want is to work,” said Amrouche.

Despite Zebras collecting a single point after two matches of the 2021 Afcon qualifiers, the tactician is confident that the race is still open with four games to play.

“Of course, we are working on qualifying. The quality between us and the likes of Algeria and Zimbabwe is not the same but we are building a strong mentality with believe to make it. We are building a team that has a fighting spirit with discipline,” said Amrouche.

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