World Cup: Who will advance to penultimate stage

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Added 5th July 2018 05:05 PM

Should we expect more shocks, or it will be the traditional giants marching on.

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Should we expect more shocks, or it will be the traditional giants marching on.


By Patrick Kabuye

MOSCOW - As the quarter finals kick off, the big question is who will advance to the penultimate stage.

Should we expect more shocks, or it will be the traditional giants marching on.

Following, are my views on the match ups and more about the tournament.

France v Uruguay: This will be a match up between experience and youth. The key players here will be vastly seasoned Luis Suarez and upcoming star Mbape. All in all both teams fair evenly leading an extra time expected encounter.

Brazil v Belgium: This game will be a display of "team oriented Brazil, " versus "Individualistic Belgium". Based on previous performances between the two, Brazil seems to have an upper hand with a 2-1 win.

Sweden v England: Look is likely Sweden to employ a similar approach to that it previously applied, that is a "strategically defensive game." Why? It worked for them. Needless to say, Kane's heroic display may be the difference with a slim 1-0 win.

Russia v Croatia: Croatia has steadily built a strong squad capable of achieving greater results all the way. Despite the home crowd, Russia’s journey might stop here. However, this might be settled in spot kicks.

Fallen giants: The likes of Germany, Spain and Argentina share similar trends that is, "an aging squad" with a 27.1, 28.4 and 29.3 average age respectively, the signs were visible for a dismal performance from the three giants.

Then, there was also an issue of "millage." Take a case of Thomas Müller of Germany.

He has played a total of 380 games for Bayern Munich and national team since 2010. This takes a toll, hence a need for a mixture of youth. These should have included Sane of Manchester city.

African football: all the indicators are visible that the football game on the African continent is in detrimental state. Surprisingly, the decision makers and stakeholders are not paying attention.

Some of the contributing factors in the current world cup are; lack of coaching staff that comprehend the African culture.

This element has led to coaches failure to develop and create "an identity and philosophy" suited for African teams on such a global platform.

Weak domestic leagues. African teams suffer and continue to suffer. This will continue until more stronger oriented domestic and continental leagues are developed.

Take a case of Uganda when a national team player plays a in "Drum" league game. How can such a game or competition prepare a Cranes player or players to face the likes of Sane, Salah or Neymar, Ronaldo and so forth?

Failure to develop "Indigenous coaches" not until CAF stakeholders embark on developing the coaching pool of local coaches, The struggle will still continue.

In case of Cisse of Senegal, he lacked the "Diverse concept thinking approach" meaning, adjusting games based on opponents’ weaknesses and strengths.

Lack of long-term strategic plans: African football leaders have failed to map up a long term plan to cover all international competitions.

This grand plan must include creation of full-time national youth teams from U14-U23 and academies.  As long as the above are not reassessed.... African national teams will continue to pay the price at the elite world class stage like the world cup.

The author is a former KCCFC, Ugandan international Youth player (U18-U23), Graduate of US soccer coaching education system. He is currently attending a UEFA "A" license in Wales and holds a Master of Science degree in Kinesiology & Sports Science.

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