Algeria: Petkovic the eagerly-awaited new coach

Petkovic sélectionneur ALgérie
Algeria: Petkovic the eagerly-awaited new coach

After several days of rumours and uncertainty, Vladimir Petkovic has been chosen as Algeria's new coach. He will make his official debut on March 22 and 26, against Bolivia and South Africa.


His first list, expected in a few days' time, will launch the second wave of comments, after the one that broke in the hours following the official announcement of his appointment as Algeria coach. On March 22 and 26, the Fennecs will face Bolivia and South Africa in Algiers, as part of a FIFA-sponsored tournament that also includes Andorra. And of course, Vladimir Petkovic is likely to make some changes to the players selected by former coach Djamel Belmadi for the AFCON in Côte d'Ivoire.

First list without several of Belmadi's key players?

Bosnian Vladimir Petkovic (60), who also holds Swiss and Croatian nationality, has announced that there will be a few new additions to this first list, which will be the subject of much comment. Some new faces will appear, but not Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Yacine Adli, who has announced his intention to play for France (Adli was born in Béziers, ed. note?) de , a decision which earned the former Bordeaux man a logorrhoea of insults on social networks.

And there's a good chance that some of the team's long-standing stars (M'Bolhi, Feghouli, Slimani...) will be sidelined by the former Switzerland coach. "It's the logical thing to do: a new coach comes in with his own ideas and game plan, and Petkovic wants to build for the future with a partially renewed squad. Not everyone is necessarily convinced by this choice, after almost six years with Belmadi. That's normal, and only results will count," explains former international Bilel Dziri.

Fergani would have preferred Renard

Until this famous list is published, all the players and observers of Algerian soccer will continue their debates on the appropriateness of the choice made by Walid Sadi, President of the Federation. Sadi's decision came after being turned down by Carlos Queiroz, who had been approached, and Zinedine Zidane, who kindly rejected the Algerian proposal.

Petkovic was preferred to Portugal's José Peseiro, a finalist at the AFCON 2023 with Nigeria but who did not wish to continue his adventure with the Super Eagles. "Personally, I'd have liked Algeria to have hired Hervé Renard, who knows Africa very well and would undoubtedly have been interested," says former midfielder and coach Ali Fergani, who is less than enthusiastic about Petkovic's arrival.

This would have required the FAF to appoint an interim coach for the March and June 2026 World Cup qualifiers against Guinea and Uganda, and for Renard to take up his duties at the end of his contract with the French federation in August. Renard had the ideal profile.

But Walid Sadi did not accept this solution, despite the existence of contacts between the two parties.

Kourichi: "Let him work before judging".
The former coach of Young Boys Berne, Lazio Rome, Switzerland and Bordeaux made a good impression during his brief stay in Algiers, which included a visit to the Sidi Moussa Technical Centre, the signing of his contract and dinner with a number of FAF members, including the President, and with Nabil Neghiz, who is expected to be one of his assistants.

"I met someone who is pleasant, a good listener, curious and very sharp on tactical issues. He understands French and expresses himself quite correctly in that language, even if he said he was going to make progress," explains Neghiz. "He has experience, he managed Switzerland with whom he got results, including a quarter-final at the last Euro, he won the Italian Cup with Lazio Rome in 2013, he's a coach who's used to the high level and pressure."

Even if Petkovic has asked for a little time before being judged, the Sarajevo native knows that he will quickly be subjected to the first judgments.

Former international Nordine Kourichi calls for a little patience with the new coach. "We have to let him arrive and work, make his choices. We mustn't jump to conclusions. I personally don't want to pass judgment on a coach I don't know very well. He's been appointed, let's respect the federation's choice. In time, we'll see if he's the right man for the job..."





SNA tells you more!

No recommendation
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram