A regular series as part of our World Cup coverage under the Talent Radar banner is aimed at the tons of aspiring football hipsters out there. We will track the progress of all young players at the World Cup, focusing on each and every game and compiling a detailed analysis. The eligibility criteria for this is simple, the player must have been 21 or below at the start of the season (2013-14).
When Cameroon’s World Cup squad was announced, we were admittedly quite excited. We didn’t think they’ll emerge through, but six Talent Radar youngsters were named in the squad that led us to believe our focus on youth would be intense with the African side. Particularly, Vincent Aboubakar & Joel Matip were the players we were looking at. But as Volker Finke announced his side to face Mexico, we were quite disappointed.
None of the youngsters we expected to watch started and the one that we didn’t pay much attention to, Cedric Djeugoue, would get his place at right-back. A bit disappointing but exciting as we would be able to see a fairly unknown, and the only domestic based Cameroonian player in action.
On the other hand, we also expected to see young Diego Reyes, who initially caught our attention at the 2012 Olympics, to turn out in Mexico’s back three. Under disappointment for us as the Porto man didn’t make Miguel Herrera’s side. So just the solitary young player to concentrate on, and my god was he the focus of the attention.
Cameroon | Right-Back | 21
Djeugoue was brought into the starting eleven by Volker Finke with a clear plan, to keep the threatening wing-backs of Mexico under control. Herrera plays a proper 3-5-2 system, similar to what Conte has succeeded with in the Serie A, with these wide wing-backs a major point of attack. He would be required to sit deep, almost as a centre back and ensure the wide man got no space or a free run in.
If that was the plan, the result was completely the opposite. Mexican full-back, Layun, was constantly getting in behind the Cameroon back line, helped by the inexperienced Cedric Djeugoue. Layun had some three-four clear runs in from the wide areas, as he was offered acres of space and complete free runs with all the time in the World to measure his cross and play it in. It’s a completely different case that Layun was poor himself, failing to take advantage with poor cross after poor cross. On another day, Cameroon could have been more severely punished.
Volker Finker realised the liability in the back line that was Cedric Djeugoue, taking him off at half-time with his stats reading no interceptions, no tackles, and a World Cup debut that may well be he last appearance.