Adlène's Algeria Assessment
There’s no denying the Algerian national team’s ambition.
Expectations are such that there was a sense of disappointment at only securing a 1-1 draw with Cameroon on Sunday, but Adlène Guedioura has great confidence in the Desert Warriors’ potential and the Watford midfielder is sure they’ll achieve their goal of World Cup qualification.
“We wanted to win this game and we expected to win, so it was a bit of a disappointment to draw, but we faced a good team and especially a good goalkeeper,” he said, speaking to watfordfc.com today before news broke of Algeria coach Milovan Rajevac’s resignation.
“That was our first game of World Cup qualification so we still have five games to go and we have a really good team. I have a big trust in my teammates and in the team.
“It’s been a good moment for Algeria recently. We performed well at the last World Cup and we’ve been at the last two World Cups, so we want to continue and go to the next one.
“People are saying we are maybe the best team in Africa recently, so it’s good for us, but we want to keep that and improve.
“We have big players in our team – people like Riyad Mahrez and Islam Slimani are playing for the team that won the Premier League last year – so hopefully we will keep improving and qualify.”
The result may have been a source of frustration, but there was no such dissatisfaction at the incredible efforts of Algeria’s passionate supporters, who packed into the 35,000-capacity Stade Mustapha Tchaker long before the game was due to kick-off.
“The fans were amazing. We played there at 8.30pm and the stadium was full already at 1pm, and we see that before each game now,” said Guedioura, who played for the full 90 minutes.
“When we arrived the stadium was full of lights, full of atmosphere and it’s always like that in Algeria because football is something huge. It’s the best sport in Algeria.
“I always say to the lads here, when you play one game in Africa it’s like two or three games in the Premier League with the atmosphere and the condition, so it’s quite interesting and it’s quite different.
“When you go to Algeria you see things you will never have seen before in your life as a fan. The atmosphere is amazing, we have such good fans and we know that we have a big responsibility to try to qualify for the next World Cup.”
Next up for Algeria is a trip to Nigeria during the November international break, and Guedioura is excited by the prospect of coming up against two Watford teammates in Odion Ighalo and Isaac Success.
“I said to them I won’t talk to them until next month because they are my enemy now,” smiled the 30-year-old.
“Of course it’s a joke, but it will be a pleasure to play against them. It’s special to meet teammates who you are used to training with every day and to play against them in one game, so it’s quite good and strange at the same time.
“It’s going to be an important game for us. I’m sure we’ll have a good welcome from the Nigerian people and from Ighalo and Isaac, but when we go into the pitch they’re not going to be my teammates or my friends any more.
“It’s going to be a tough game and I can’t wait for it.”