Discipline, creativity key for Cameroon By Sunday Oliseh

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Cameroon are by far Africa’s most “familiar face” at the Fifa World Cup.

To date, The Indomitable Lions have made six appearances football’s biggest showcase.

They shocked the world in 1990 (ITALIA ’90) as they marched on to become Africa’s first quarterfinalists, spearheaded by the legendary Roger Mila.

Ever since it has been a gradual but steady backslide at the event, with Cameroon failing to impress on most occasions.

Cameroon will be making their record-setting seventh appearance at the Fifa World Cup in Brazil.

Coached by German Volker Finke, Cameroon’s preferred playing formation is the 1-4-2-3-1, which the team always employs in different variations.

Currently ranked as the 59th best team in the world by Fifa, Cameroon are in Group A with Brazil, Croatia and Mexico,

STRENGTHS

FAST AND PHYSICAL

The Cameroon team has always been a physical side and this time out it will be no different. They are solid in one-on-one contact duels and quick on and off the ball.

Concentrated strength in the central areas of defence, midfield and attack saw them qualify for the 2014 World Cup in style as they crushed Tunisia 4-1 in the playoffs.

EXPERIENCE OF ETO’O

They have Samuel Eto’o! Like him or not, he is the most decorated active African player.

At the age of 32, he is not only very experienced, but he is also still showing he has all the class as witnessed at club side Chelsea at the highest club competition level, the European Champions League.

The inclusion of players like Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Benjamin Moukandjo is an added boost to Eto’o in Cameroon’s attack.

WEAKNESSES

IN-FIGHTING

sunday-olisehUnfortunately, in recent years Cameroon’s national team has been riddled with factions in the team, often causing them to stumble in major events due to in-fighting. Sadly, reportedly this is still the case.

OVER-RELIANCE ON ETO’O

Eto’o is an exceptional player, but he is not getting any younger and although he excels at Chelsea, he enjoys the help of other quality world-class players who bear the burden of attack with him. This, unfortunately, is not always the case with the Cameroonian national team.

ONLY A FEW WORLD-CLASS PLAYERS

Though a talented team, Cameroonian players are not present in numbers at the highest level (of club football) in the world and though they have Alexandre Song playing for Barcelona, he has suffered from a lack of playing time and definitely will struggle to be at his best in Brazil.

MY TAKE

Ranked 59th in the world, in a group where you have the hosts, Brazil, as the favourites to lift the Cup, Cameroon will be up against it from the word go.

However, I feel Croatia and Mexico are teams Cameroon can steal points away from and even dominate with their physical style of play.

Disciplined play will be key for Cameroon, but they will have to find a way to improve their creativity, because I fear that due to their physical-play orientation, should they come up against a team that sits back and forces them to play they could struggle.

Opening Game: Cameroon v Mexico – June 13 at 1pm (local time) at Estadio das Dunas, Natal, Brazil.

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