Let’s talk Tactics

As we all know there are almost 16 million coaches in Cameroon right now :), so we thought it would be a good thing to talk about our national team tactics and with important qualification matches around the corner, the timing is right too. Your own ideas and comments on this topic are very much welcome, and this paper only reflects my humble vision and is, in no way, reflecting Camfoot’s position.

Following the news about Overtoom joining the ranks of the indomitable lions, the question that rises immediately is where will he fit in. The current roster of the team is pretty much based on very young players trying to play their trade and achieve something. The success of Choupo Moting could serve a great source of motivation for the young lad, but that success is mostly based on his great versatility as he can play on either wing, supporting striker, main striker and even behind a lone striker and it’s from that kind of area between the opponent’s defence and midfield that he scored the vital winning goal against Capo-Verde after a tremendous solo run, highlighting his great technical abilities and composure in the process.

Now that we have another technically gifted young player modelled in a very highly rated dutch football’s system, the coaching staff should find a system that would allow both of them to blossom and put the lions back in the place where they belong.

In the past couple of years, one of the most successful playing system features a double anchor in the midfield, a great ball handler and passer in front of them, with two flying wingers and a lethal striker. That is the system that allowed Inter to win champions leaguein 2010, Bayern and Chelsea to be this year’s contenders, Germany to trash England in the world cup’s quarter final, Holland to reach the final and Spain to eventually win it.

So let look at how the last two teams lined up and how we could apply that system to the lions based on player currently available.

World Cup Final 2010


Van Der Viel Heitinga Mathijsen Van Bronckhost
Van Bommel De Jong
Kuyt Sneijder Robben
Van Persie


Ramos Pique Puyol CapdeVilla
Busquets Alonso
Pedro Xavi Iniesta

These are the final’s lineups of the most important football’s tournament in the world ; the fact that both team opted for the same system shows how good it is, the match eventually went to extra time, thus emphasizing how even and balanced teams were.

Now let’s look how we could project it to the lions. Again, this is just an example and for debate purposes. There is no intend to dictate anything to the coaching staff nor to point that the listed players should even get a call up and/or start the next match.

Ndy Assembe
Nyom Nkoulou* or Mbia Chedjou Assou-Ekotto
Song Enoh
Aboubakar Overtoom Choupo-Moting
Eto’o* or Kweukeu

* Injured

** Suspended

The good about this system is that it’s almost impossible to “park the bus” against. It features 4 attack minded players almost guarantying isolation in one on one situation, which creative players with a lot of trickery will relish.

One of lions biggest dilemma is that we have a bunch of good ball winners and defensive midfielders (Matip, Song, Enoh, Mbia, Nguemo even Nkoulou and Chedjou could play there). The coaches have tried to play with three of them in the middle of the park but that allowed the opposition to just seat back and invite the lions to try and break them if they could. With limited creativity in midfield, lions couldn’t create enough chances.

The qualifying phase of the previous ACN is a very good illustration of that, we were eliminated but conceded only two goals in 4 matches against Senegal and DRC and scored a mere two.

Barcelona is the only successful club nowadays that almost never field that formation. One or two reasons is La Masia (Barcelona’s Youth Academy) where most of their players graduated, the other one, perhaps the most important is Lionel Messi, who can go dribble pass players and score. But his struggles while playing for Argentina shows that the right system is fundamental to get the best of any player, the best player on earth included. So let’s hope that our coaching stuff will find what fits the players available to him and allow all of us to cheer and be proud of the indomitable lions.