Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Is Clarence Seedorf Doomed To Fail With Cameroon?

When Cameroon appointed Clarence Seedorf on August 4, it appeared like a decision driven primarily by glamour and status rather than by practical on-field reasons.

Certainly, the 42-year-old enjoyed the kind of playing career that would be the envy of the vast majority of his peers, winning four Champions League titles and five major leagues, yet his coaching career has done little to inspire confidence.

Stints with AC Milan, Shenzhen FC and Deportivo La Coruna, the last of whom were relegated under his watch, were as brief as they were muddled, and the Dutch great has done little to suggest that he can translate his playing qualities to the dugout.

Had he been taking over an African national team without internal ruptures, a recent track record of underachievement, or the pressure of a major tournament on home soil, he’d have been a questionable pick.
Is Clarence Seedorf Doomed To Fail With Cameroon?
However, Cameroon—considering their challenging condition—represent a mammoth challenge for a young coach with no notable managerial track record and no prior experience of African football.

He’s walking into a particularly tough job, even if reigning champions Cameroon—for now at least—are guaranteed a spot at next year’s Africa Cup of Nations.

Their Nations Cup success in Gabon in 2017 represents something of an isolated island of achievement after two underwhelming World Cup campaigns—in 2010 and 2014—in which they were the first team eliminated.

The side imploded in Brazil, hinting at the ongoing problems of governance and structure, and then missed out on qualification for the 2018 tournament – the first time they’ve not made it since 1986.

This failure, coupled with a sub-par showing at the Fifa Confederations Cup, prompted the dismissal of Afcon-winning coach Hugo Broos in early December, and interim manager Alexandre Belinga held the fort until Seedorf’s appointment.
His opening match, Saturday’s game away in lowly Comoros—ranked 149th in the world—represented, on paper, a relatively straightforward assignment for the Central African giants. Is Clarence Seedorf Doomed To Fail With Cameroon?

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