Abdul Qadir Saeed
Tuesday 23 March 2021
Egypt is preparing for the penultimate match in the 2022 African Cup of Nations qualifiers against Kenya in Nairobi, in search of a qualifying ticket for the Cameroon Championship in less than a year.
The Egyptian team has suffered in the recent period from a scarcity in the position of the striker, especially after the retirement of the trio Imad Mutaib, Amr Zaki and Mohamed Zidan, and before them Hossam Hassan, the first scorer of the historic African champion.
At the moment, the Egyptian national team includes one of the best attackers in the Turkish league, the player Mustafa Muhammad Najm Galata Saray, Hosam Hassan, the top scorer of the Egyptian league so far, Ahmed Yasser Rayan, the top scorer and the star of Ceramica Cleopatra, and Mohamed Sharif, the top scorer of Al-Ahly and one of its most prominent stars.
In addition to the chosen attacking trio, the Egyptian national team includes Mohamed Salah, the top scorer in the English Premier League and Liverpool, who has 92 Premier League goals and is close to breaking Didier Drogbas score of 104 as Africa’s historic scorer in the world’s strongest leagues.
Al-Badri used to play with Al-Ahly and the Egyptian national team (4-2-3-1), relying on a major striker, a clear playmaker behind him, two wingeries, and behind all of these two defensive midfielders.
But the offensive abundance may push Hossam El-Badry to change his playing style to (4-3-3), or (4-2-2) to take advantage of the offensive abundance and the distinctive cards in the front line that may give him many goals.
In the presence of Lionel Messi in Barcelona, there was no player in the position of the main striker, the owner of the number 9 shirt, who participated continuously for several seasons and turned into the star of the team or even one of its stars.
The Swedish Zlatan Ibrahimovic was one of Barcelonas most prominent deals in the summer of 2009, but he quickly left after his coach Pep Guardiola was in a crisis, because he was forced to give up on Lionel Messi’s goals.
Zlatan says in an old interview with the French newspaper L’Equipe: “All playing in Barcelona was about Messi, and this is normal because he is a great player, but I got to the team and scored more goals than him, so Lionel spoke with Pep and asked him not to play as a right wing and participate in Rear as a striker. ”
And Zlatan added: “Guardiola changed the way, and put Lionel Messi as the second striker late, while I played in the depth of the attack, and became in the shadows, disappeared, due to the passage of all the balls through Messi, and compete in my position, I did not play as I wanted.”
Pep Guardiola had an excellent striker, but he had a better player in the right wing position who could transform into a striker by entering the depths, and he realized well after that that the duo could not be used together, and he tried to change ways of playing more than once, until finally he decided to sacrifice his attacker for the sake of Lionel.
This crisis is similar to the one Hossam El-Badry may suffer from with the Egyptian national team, by owning a wonderful striker, which has become a rare currency in the world of football today, and Mustafa Mohamed is one of the last 9 strikers in the world.
And with the presence of one of the best three or five players in the world, Mohamed Salah, one of the most prominent scorers in the world and a constant competitor for the English and European Golden Boot, the Egyptian national team coach has to find a solution for the duos participation without a competition between them in the center of the attacker.
The Club Experience
In Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp, the classic number 9 striker, relies only on Roberto Firmino, who falls behind as a playmaker to clear the way for the duo Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane to go into depth and confront the goalkeepers and defenders in front of the goal.
But in the Egyptian national team, Mohamed Salah will not find Roberto Firmino, and if Mustafa Mohamed participates, he will play as a classic striker looking for balls to finish in the net, which may affect Salah’s scoring chance and limit his danger.
Among the names chosen in the Egyptian national attack, Mohamed Sharif may be the closest to playing the role of the late striker, who pulls one or more defenders with him outside the penalty area or in part, to clear the way for Mohamed Salah to enter the depth and exploit his danger in front of the goal.
Al-Badri may rely on playing with a clear offensive duo (4-2-2) or (4-4-1-1) or any other schematic diagram that allows for an offensive duo, or an attacker in the depth and a little behind him.
Al-Badri seeks to take advantage of the great goalscoring capabilities of the two Mohammed Salah and Mustafa Muhammad, without a competition between them for balls inside the penalty area, or for one of them to be affected by playing the other in the same position.
And Mohamed Sharif will be the best option if Hossam El-Badry wants to play in the same way Salah used to with Liverpool, by sharing playing with a late striker who opens the door to the opponent’s defensive box.