Algeria are in ‘chaos’, report French newspaper L’Equipe, echoing comments from the African country. Failure to qualify for the World Cup is now confirmed and a team of talented players have failed to live up to their potential.
One man at the heart of that is Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez. L’Equipe believe there’s very much a feeling that going away for international duty with Algeria is a break from club activities, rather than something serious.
The Mahrez circus over the past week or so has been a prime example of that. On Wednesday August 30th, the Algerian football association announced, via their official Twitter account, that Mahrez had been given leave from the national camp.
Algeria made no secret, Mahrez was off to sort out a Leicester City exit, and the tweet was in excitable capitals and designed to get attention. An article backing up the same thing was also published on Algeria’s official FA website, but soon both disappeared.
— Sport Witness (@Sport_Witness) August 31, 2017
Before the transfer window closed on Thursday night, both had been deleted, but there was no way the circus was going to be forgotten. It became increasingly obvious that Mahrez had wanted a Leicester exit, didn’t have one lined up and was leaving his national team to try and drum up interest.
When it didn’t work, to delete the evidence made things all the more obvious.
Rather than concentrating on World Cup qualifiers, had Algeria been too keen to act as Mahrez’s PR, and had the player been too expectant he’d get such treatment? It wasn’t too hard to find yes as the answer.
Algeria lost 1-0 to Zambia this week, with Mahrez missing a penalty and being graded 2 out of 10 by DZ. The Algerian website said Mahrez clearly shouldn’t have played the full match, given his mind was elsewhere.
Leicester City will welcome a disappointed Mahrez back, but if he ever wants the big move he clearly feels is fitting then two things are important: Playing well for Leicester City, and making sure he has good representation ahead of the next suitable window, rather than relying on the social media team for Algeria’s national squad.