● In about a month after Cameroon Indomitable Lions were booted out from the final qualifying phase of the African Nations Cup 2013, the football authorities are working hard to put all hands on deck to regain its famous position in African soccer history. To make this happen, football big guns has set up a time table for the team to start with friendly games during special FIFA breaks.

Joslain Mayebi © HE Picture Agency

In this regards, Cameroon will be facing Albania in an international friendly scheduled for November 14, 2012 in Geneva, Switzerland. Head coach Jean Paul Akono has called up 24 players to prepare for this friendly encounter.

A critical review of the list of some players called up for this friendly game send some soccer pundits scratching their head as per the choice of the coach. Aware of the fact that onlookers may agree that the head coach should do his job without any interference, many may doubt the criteria used to call up some of the players. The claim to inject new blood into the squad has incited some soccer fans to wonder if the selection is based on efficiency or relationship. A vivid run down of the list of players called up for this game highlight some names such as Frank Songo'o, Joslain Mayebi, Achille Webo and a host of others.

Frank and Joslain have not been able to convince coaches with their play style in most 2nd and 3rd division leagues in the football power house of Europe. Frank in the heat to make himself known in the realms of World soccer, vamoosed to the unpopular league of North America (MLS) playing with Portland Timbers (USA). Joslain is a middle rank juggler when it comes to goalkeeping, playing in a 3rd division league in England (Stockport County). Even with the drop in performance of goalkeepers like Idriss Carlos Kameni, Joslain does not seem to be able to demonstrate such reflexes badly needed to salvage and revamp the Cameroon goalkeeping sector.

The performance of players like Adongcho Mbuta Mathew is supposed to have sent warning signals that Webo's time was over with the squad. One may be tempted to ask if some of the selected players for the Albania friendly have been called up to build a better team to defeat Albania or to please some FECAFOOT officials and team managers (David Mayebi and Jacque Songo'o)? Is this the team that we are hoping to build to stand the qualification challenges of the 2014 World Cup? Many questions may continue flow unending, but giving that Cameroon is Cameroon, the answer can best be answered by the coach and the entire technical squad.

Not being an advocate for the squad that played the return leg against Cape Verde a forth night ago, it is strongly believed that the team had more tactically experienced players. That was one of the most thrilling encounters that Cameroonian saw the fighting spirit of the indomitable lions coming back. This performance seems not to have sent any positive signal to the strategic planning for future team building (physically, technically and collectively).

Also, questions may further be asked regarding Albania as a sparring partner to play against Cameroon when there are better teams in Europe or South America that could be contacted to play a classic international friendly. Given this choice, one may further be tempted to ask whether the indomitable lions of Cameroon have barely been reduced to paper tigers?

Patrick Tanyi

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