By Tarek El Goweiny of Kingfut.com
If Egypt hope to reach the World Cup for the first time in decades, Bob Bradley must take 10 important actions.
For Egypt, being in the final round of World Cup qualifications with a full 18 points from six matches is already a great achievement. Unfortunately, this achievement will be meaningless if Egypt doesn’t qualify through the play-offs for the World Cup.
“My personal objective is to take Egypt forward to Brazil 2014,” said Bradley in September 2011. Bradley took on a huge responsibility back then, and now, he is so close to achieving his goal.
In the next three hours of international football for Egypt, Bradley will likely face an amount of pressure that he hasn’t seen in his 32 years of coaching football. That’s why he must make his plans now, and not wait for the draw to start thinking about what he & Egypt should do. Proactively, he must take the following 10 actions if he wants to enjoy the 2014 summer in beautiful Brazil for his 2nd consecutive World Cup:
1. Prepare his team psychologically for all five possible opponents.
2. Set his preparation plan that matches with all 5 options, including alternative travel plans and schedules to the away matches (preferably with chartered flight to avoid the players fatigue of the classical African transits and long flights).
3. Isolate his team 100% away from all kinds of media, so as to avoid distractions or media fights that might emotionally affect fans and players.
4. Fix his main players list, taking in consideration the possibility of injuries or red cards in the first leg of the play-off round.
5. Forecast the attitude and competences of his competitors in all scenarios with data analysis of their performance throughout the last 12 months.
6. Forecast the attitude and competences of his team in all scenarios with data analysis of their performance throughout the last 12 months.
7. Impose his style and game plan on the matches and select the 11 players who can execute his game plan regardless of the history or fame of the players, along with a substitute list that can change the game should the game plan need to change during the matches.
8. Focus on harmony between the players, and establish a mix of diversified skills that can help in all expected and unexpected situations.
9. Be brave with well-calculated risks from the first minute of the first match till the end of the second match.
10.Do not allow any interference of Egyptian Football Federation administration or management in his plans, as he knows and we all know well who they are and their capabilities. Their role in Egypt’s U-20 2013 World Cup was a clear example of how they can negatively influence the national team.
As the old saying goes, ”the easiest way to predict the future, is to create it yourself.” We wish Egypt and Bradley all the best in fulfilling the hopes of millions of Egyptians around the world and making it to the 2014 World Cup.
Mr. Tarek El Goweiny is a writer and sports analyst for Dubai Sports Channel. He is also the son of the former EFA president Ibrahim El Goweiny.