Djamel Belmadi’s selection of players has shown that he is solid and serious about the Algerian national team. He attends matches regularly, as shown by his pick of Mustapha Zeghba from the Algerian League. And he is right to make Zeghba his only domestic pick – players in the Algerian League are simply not good enough and do not deserve to be selected. The likes of Bedrane and Benguit should be nowhere near the squad, and it is refreshing that Belmadi recognises that.
He has been given the freedom to select the right players and pick players on merit, rather than reputation and propaganda. Ishak Belfodil scored in the Champions League against Man City, and rightly gets included. The choices of Adam Ounas and Yassine Benzia show that he is building for the future, as he looks to fulfil his objects in a contract that runs until 2022.
Belmadi is getting the people excited again. There is nothing to cheer about in Algeria at the moment, but football can bring the people together. Suddenly, the Algeria squad looks like it can be a real attacking force in Africa. Mahrez, Brahimi, Bounedjah, Feghouli… the list of attacking options goes on and on.
He has also taken the decision to play home games in Blida, a stadium where the fans are much closer to the pitch and where Algeria have never lost a single match. Hopefully, we will see a sold out and packed stadium with the fans getting right behind the team. This is the start of something special.