When Paul Le Guen arrived in Cameroon on the 25th of July 2009 to sign his contract as coach of the national team, he had, seated on his side Samuel Eto’o who both traveled from Paris.
The problem of ‘captaincy” in the national team was recurrent. The fact that Samuel Eto’o became the vice captain of the national team before Geremi Njitap started changing the serene atmosphere of the national team. Hence, division ensued.
With his title of ”pichichi’‘ and the poor performance of Rigobert Song, power was shifted.
Paul Le Guen did not call, meet or speak with Rigobert Song. Rumors of change of captaincy accumulated until the first friendly match against Austria. “Rigo”, the boss, heated the bench while Samuel Eto’o was the new captain.
“Before the game, the coach never said ” Rigo ” will no longer be captain” . Things started degenerating from there.
The Lions however qualified for the African Nations Cup and World Cup.
CAN Angola in January 2010 was a disaster.
For the friendly match in Monaco on March 3, 2010 against Italy, Geremi and “Rigo” are were not invited. Within the group, part of the team did not appreciate this gesture. In the dressing room, some players expressed their discontentment.
Players who expressed their discontentment were targeted. Rumors of them being discarded from the team began circulating.
We were several weeks before the start of the World Cup. Achille Emana became more uncomfortable.
Under pressure, Le Guen finally decided to invite Geremi and Rigobert, but indicates that he did not definitely count on them.
During international friendlies before the kick-off of the World Cup, Paul Le Guen decided to give ten days vacation to Samuel Eto’o, while the Lions were on intensive training in Lienz, Austria. The atmosphere was full of serenity and well-being.
The Young and newly recruited players were happy, the old too. The Lions in this state however secured draws.
From the match against Portugal and the arrival of Samuel Eto’o, a stale atmosphere was established in the den.
Less than 24 hours after the group arrived in Durban Cameroon, we perceived the absence of “the old lions” and of Achille Emana and Alex Song in the group. The evil was deep. Paul Le Guen did not care.
The result against Japan aggravated the situation.
Between the first two games, authorities spent time reconciling clans to ease tensions.These efforts were futile as some players hated others.
The rift between Eto’o and Alex Song was evident. Some players did not mingle with others. The Media also kept putting undue pressure.
Paul Le Guen finally lost control of his team which led to ”Mighty” Cameroon’s debacle.
Cameroon lost millions and lost honour.