Many people were happy to see Mohamed Raouraoua leave his role as head of the Algerian football federation and to see Kheireddine Zetchi replace him. Zetchi came in from his role at Paradou, where he helped create one of the best academies in Africa. Paradou have since been promoted to the top tier of the Algerian league.
Zetchi’s first promise was a heavyweight manager to come in and build. Targets included Claudio Ranieri and Aitor Karanka, who would have been fantastic additions to the coaching staff, but were Algeria really going to have any chance of appointing such big names?
Lucas Alcaraz was the man he appointed. A man who had been sacked by Granada was deemed to be good enough for Algeria? It then became apparent that Alcaraz was a Spanish acquaintance of the current Paradou manager Josep Nogues; so it barely took any work at all to find a new manager.
Then came the World Cup qualifiers. The first real test for Zetchi’s and his dawning era. It went horribly, horribly wrong. The decision to let Riyad Mahrez, the best player in the squad, to leave in order to find a new club on the day of a crucial game against Zambia was a pathetic move by the FAF. It showed Zetchi did not care and the lack of ambition. Raouraoua would have never sanctioned that decision. Not a chance.
No World Cup for the first time since 2006 was a real disappointment to the entire nation. The current squad on paper is extremely better than the one that qualified for 2010, yet it has failed miserably without winning a match.
Alcaraz was sacked, meaning Algeria had more managers than points in the group. Raouraoua gained one point from two World Cup qualifying matches, whilst Zetchi gained one point from four with much easier fixtures.
When Madjer came in, he organised a friendly against the Central African Republic. Yet Zetchi did not even attend the match. He was too busy organising his tiles business that he owns in Morocco. Another sign that he is in it for the money, and not for the benefit of the national team.
In addition to this, he is always trying to bring in Paradou players into the team, in order to gain a percentage profit on selling them to European clubs. Selecting players from the Algerian second division, although they may have done well, was a sign that his choices were influencing the manager.
We all want to see Algeria take things seriously, and put in 100% effort, but under Zetchi it has been the complete opposite. It will only get worse.