Schu1150
6 months ago
4 hours ago
50

Hello.  My name is Qamar Morceli.  I am 44 years young, and have begun my career as a football manager in the town of Bordj Bou Arreridj, leading Les Criquets of Chabab Ahly.  The club has a checkered history, and is coming off a very difficult season in the Algerian League 2.  The club has been around since 1931, and doesn't have much hardware to show for it.  Most recently, the club has bounced between League 1 and 2, having spent 3 seasons in League 1, before relegation at the end of 2021.  I dismal 15th place finish last year has put the club on the verge of relegation to the amateur leagues.  We are a semi-professional club, with but a single rival - ES Setif,  a 1st Division club who is located about 60 km East of here.  Our Derby, the ESS-CABBA Derby, hasn't been played for three seasons.

 

Our league is fairly restrictive.  We have 16 teams, with the 1st place team being promoted, 2nd and 3rd entering into a promotion playoff, and 13th through 16th seeing relegation.  We are in the Algeria League 2 - East, one of 2 second division leagues.  We are allowed 5 subs in 3 windows during match play, with 1 match bans every 3 yellow cards, and 1 match bans for red cards.  We can have only a single foreign player, and our goalkeepers must be domestic.  We are allowed 35 registered players.  Our transfer windows are from July 5th (now) to October 12th, and January 26th to February 25th.  The minimum salary is $1,700 p/a

 

We only have 14 players at present, and only five on contract.  I'd like to introduce them to you:

 

Goalkeeper

 

Salim Hadded - A 16 year old young goalkeeper is our only 1st team net minder.  He's a very determined lad, but a bit eccentric, which causes a fair amount of worry.  He's fairly competent at handling the ball, and does a decent job at rushing out at the right times.  However, he has a horrible first touch, has almost no field vision, and lacks strength

 

Defenders

 

Haroun Bordji  - A 23 year old local best classified as a fullback.  He's fairly determined, and is content at our club.  A decent tackler, with a acceptable ability to cross, he also brings a fair amount of aggressiveness to the match.  He's an above average fitness player, who shows skills in acceleration, natural fitness and pace.  He has no propensity to lead, and struggles with finishing, and lacks strength.  This is his 4th year at the club

 

Tarek Slimani - 22 years old, also local, and a centre back.  He is not contracted, and plays for appearance fees.  He lacks ambition, and is a pretty poor technical player.  About the best he brings to the game in skills is his crossing, but it would be classified poor at best.  he is catastrophic on free kicks.  He is very determined, which I like about him, and is a pretty solid decision maker.  He is naturally fit, but lacks strength

 

Abdelkader Benamara - 24 year old unambitious centre back.  He also is uncontracted, and plays for appearance fees.  Like Slimani, he is a poor technical player, with acceptable tackling and technique, but atrocious at corners, crossing, and finishing.  He's a good aggressive defender, however, but is particularly poor off the ball.  That said, he is the finest specimen of natural fitness, and has decent jumping reach, but struggles to accelerate and has boor balance

 

Midfielders

 

Younes Belferoum - A 24 year-old Winger, with a balanced personality.  He's a good passer and finisher, but poor at heading.  He does show good leadership skills, but that is marred by his lack of vision.  He has good fitness traits, such as acceleration, agility, and  pace, but like many in this squad, lacks strength.

 

Tarek Toumi - a young 15 year old midfielder, with a low determination.  A shame, as he is a very good heading midfielder, who makes good decisions and makes for a good teammate.  He also has good natural fitness, but is a very poor leader, and again, lacks strength.

 

Youcef Haddou - 25 years old, a pay per appearance midfielder with a balanced personality.  Good at marking and with good football technique, but lacks on set pieces and throw-ins.  He is another good teammate and has above average aggression, but lacks flair.  A good natural athlete, but again, poor in strength.

 

Mourad Mahsas - 24 years old, an unambitious winger.  Good technique, but pretty poor technically aside from first touch and crossing.  He is a very aggressive player, but struggles with knowing where to be on the pitch.  Another natural athlete, but he is also a good jumper.

 

Islam Rachedi - 25 year old, balanced attacking midfielder.  An excellent level of natural fitness, with a good first touch and a good instinct to make decisions.  Again, poor with strength and poor with determination

 

Adel Sahraoui - 24 year old, an unambitious attacking midfielder.  He is an average player at best, with good technique, flair, and natural fitness.  He is an atrocious tackler

 

Abdennour Meziane - The old man of the group at 26 years old, he is a determined winger, with phenomenal determination and excellent natural fitness.  He is definitely one of our better players, with good aggression and leadership.  Thad said, a poor set piece player who also lacks tackling ability.  He has decent strength, probably the best on our team, yet far from strong.

 

Strikers

 

Younes Belhadj - 18 years old, Younes is a balanced young striker.  He is an excellent penalty taker, and an above average all around player, with good balance, natural fitness, and work rate.  He struggles with marking and tackling.

 

Abdeslam Zerrouki - 21 years old, an unambitious striker with excellent bravery.  He is a good leader, plays with flair, has good technique and finishing.  He plays off contract, and is stressed by the number of teams that are interested in him, albeit the teams are all of equal calibre to us.

 

Noureddine Aribi - Our team star, and our best physical player, with good acceleration, agility, balance and stamina, as well as good mental skills such as aggression, determination, and flair, as well as good finishing and technique.  He also plays off contract, and is also pressured by the interest in him at present.  He has been offered a role on a free transfer to League 1 USM Khenchela, as well has rumoured interest from USM Alger

 

That's the team.  We have 20 players on the U21 team, and certainly we will introduce them as the season progresses.  We have 5 firendlies to get our team ready for a long, 30 match season!

 

Schu1150
6 months ago
4 hours ago
50

Getting to Know the CABB Staff

 

Our staff have a myriad of traits, but by and large the staff has a very high level of discipline.  After that, the team is good at adaptability, and determination.  As you can tell from the teams lack of strength, this leadership lacks ability in Physiotherapy and Sports Science, as well as poor at analyzing data.  I guess this team has the will to win, just not the skills

 

Chairperson - Hichem Boudiaf

General Manager - Lyes Benamara, 40 years old and local to town, he has French nationality and some knowledge of French football.  A bit temperamental

Technical Director - Younes Yahiaoui - 47 year old from Barika, Algeria.  Very spirited member of the squad

Assistant Coach - Lahouari Bouzidi - 30 year old from El Affroun.  He likes a 5-2-3 DM wide formation.  A scholar of the game, but displeased to not have been given the reigns

Head of Youth Development - Sofiane Bensalem - 41 years old and a local, but not very ambitious.  He is excellent with the youth team

Goalkeeping Coach - Yacine Hammouche - 31 years old, from Dellys.  He is fickle, which doesn't bode well for a team lean on kepper talent

Set Piece Coach - Abdelkrim Medane - 34 years old, from Constantine.  He is level-headed and determined.  He has a lot of work to do.

Fitness Coach - Ali Bouzar, 29 years old.  He also has a lot of work to do to build strength.  I have been told he is unsporting, always looking to cut corners.  and likes to play mind games.  Might be short lived here…

Performance Analyst - Faycal Bouzar - A very ambitious 22 year old recent university graduate.  

Physio - Laid Slimani - A local 25 year old finishing in medical school.  He is loyal to the team, and level headed.  This is his dream job as a child.

Sports Scientist - Khaled Yahiaoui - 27 years old, son of the Technical Director.  He is balanced but likes to create controversy and drama

Scout - Karim Touati - 39 years old, outspoken professional.  He is looking to mine Algeria for talent, but knows African football well.  He is hoping to get to Europe in the near term.

Recruitment Anlayst - Yacine Amrane - 31 year old local, with a balanced personality

Loan Manager - Billel Salhi-Masmoudi - 43, local level headed and ambitious.  Spent time in France in university.

 

Karim Tuoati brought be an interesting potential winger, Rachid Haddad, a 21 year old from Bejaia, who also has a tie to Qatar.  He is fluent in Berber and Arabic.  He is a strong mental player from the scouting report, with a good work rate, flair and teamwork.  He is also being offered from IB Khemis-El-Khechna.  We will put an offer in and see how it goes.

 

Our first firendly is tomorrow, and we are on the road to the south side of Algiers to take on amateur team WR Bentalha.

 

 

Schu1150
6 months ago
4 hours ago
50

FRIENDLY - WR BENTHALA - 3:1(1:1)

 

The first view of the team was a rousingly positive one!  It was a pleasant opportunity to see the mastery of Younes Belferoum score a brace with a pair of headers in the 60th and 80th minutes, as well as watched Youcef Haddou score a missile from the top of the box in the 27th minute.  Despite dominating possession 59/41, it was clear we struggle for solid opportunities - which is auspicious given this was an amateur squad.  Belefroum was by far the star of the game, with Haddou also having a great game with an assist to go with his goal.  I was not pleased with Haroun Bordji, he was beat regularly by the defence.

 

Either way, a good start, we have a week off, before travelling back to ALgers on Friday for a match against RC - Kouba, a team in the West Division of league 2.

Schu1150
6 months ago
4 hours ago
50

July 27th, 2023

 

Tragedy.  Nourredine Aribi, has left our squad.  Our best player, played a single friendly, our best striker, left.  Effective immediately.   Aribi has moved to the first division, which good for him.  He will play with USM Khenchela, on a contract of $9,750 per year.  We didn't have that kind of cash, and its football - I get it.  He wil lgive up his playing time with a chance at the dream.  THis will put us in a bind for sure.

 

We have another flight risk with U-21 goalkeeper Ahmed Talbi receiving an offer from amateur club CR Village Moussa.  Not sure why he'd want to move beyond PT, but he is uncontracted here, so I could understand the alure.  

 

We also lost out on the winger Haddad, who chose to pursue other options.  All in all not a great way to come off a friendly victory this week!

bigmattb28
10 years ago
4 days ago
1,499
Premium
By Schu1150 20 May 2024 - 22:57 PM UTC 

July 27th, 2023

 

Tragedy.  Nourredine Aribi, has left our squad.  Our best player, played a single friendly, our best striker, left.  Effective immediately.   Aribi has moved to the first division, which good for him.  He will play with USM Khenchela, on a contract of $9,750 per year.  We didn't have that kind of cash, and its football - I get it.  He wil lgive up his playing time with a chance at the dream.  THis will put us in a bind for sure.

 

We have another flight risk with U-21 goalkeeper Ahmed Talbi receiving an offer from amateur club CR Village Moussa.  Not sure why he'd want to move beyond PT, but he is uncontracted here, so I could understand the alure.  

 

We also lost out on the winger Haddad, who chose to pursue other options.  All in all not a great way to come off a friendly victory this week!

 

That's what happens at clubs where you can't give contracts out. You'll get a replacement no worries  

Schu1150
6 months ago
4 hours ago
50

Friendly, RC KOUBA 4:0 (2:0) CABB Arreridj

 

Our trip to Algers could not have gone much poorer.  A completely lacklustre performance showed what a loss Aribi will be at striker.  THe opening goal in the 7th minute game from a direct free kick 3 yards outside the box, blasted over our wall giving Salim Hadded no chance.  From there it was us chasing the ball, never landing much possession of any meaning.  In fact, for the middle 45 minutes. we failed to place a shot on goal, and chased Le RCK all around the pitch.  Islam Rachedi took a cleat to the foot and played on a sore ankle for about 80 minutes.

 

Though RCK had the far better finishing, both teams could only manage 5 shots on goal.  We conceded in the 35' with a bouncer from just outside the box.  It wasn't until late in the match, with fatigue set in on  25 degree evening, that we took to sloppy again, allowing two within the span of four minutes in the 80th and 84th.  

 

With the temperatures as hot as they've been, and this mashup of so many friendlies in the span of 18 days, we have been getting some of the U-21s on the field to get some experience.  I figured it was good to do so against a team from the same division as us (League 2), but in the Western league.  We put 6 teenagers on the starting XI, including first team regulars GK Salim Hadded and our replacement striker 18 year old Younes Bedhadj.  Along with them were a trio of 15 year olds - barely old enough to be on the pitch!  These included DC Kada Bacha, DMCR Tarek Toumi, and WBL Azzedine Derbal.  At the ripe age of 16, Antar Benyahia anchored the right side of the defence.  Great experience in front of a decent crowd for a friendly - 1630 showed up for the match, including our loyal cadre of 133.

 

That said, there was not a single player who performed anything better than mediocre, with Hadded having an atrocious performance with conceding 4 goals and a single save.  Not good when we have no depth at keeper.

 

We will lick our wounds on the 2 hour+ bus ride back home.  After the weekend, we have another match on the road this upcoming Tuesday, making the 2 hour journey to the desert town of Sidi AÏsa to take on amateur squad Ittihad Riadhi Baldiat Sidi Aisa. We then have a pair of friendlies at home over the next week before our6 week break before the season.  

 

Last news, two of our U21s are considering dropping down a level to play with CR Village Moussa - both GK Ahmed Talbi and left defender Hamza Bensalem.  WIll be interested to see what they do!

Schu1150
6 months ago
4 hours ago
50

FRIENDLY - IRB SIDI AISSA 2:3 (1:2) CABB ARRERIDJ

13' - Tarek Toumi (CABB)

17' - Zouari (IRBSA)

33' - Younes Belhadj (CABB)

53' - Islam Rachedi (CABB)

90+4' - Medane (IRBSA)

 

A far superior match today against a much inferior club.  I have to say, I am disappointed by the final score line.  I recognize giving a goal up in stoppage time of a friendly match is pretty insignificant, but I was disappointed by sloppy play by right defensive center Antar Benyahia who earned a yellow card with a cynical foul in the closing moments of the match - a foul neither necessary nor prudent that allowed a set piece as the closing act of the match.  The goal was justly earned, but was a deflection that Salim Hadded didn't have much chance on.  Still, we looked the better sides - as we ought - and after our disappointing 4-0 defeat a few days prior, it will help with morale a bit.  Much kudos to Younes Belferoum, our captain, who played a phenomenal match, with 5 key passes, 2 clear cut chances created, and an assist.  We pulled him off after 83 minutes, as the night time temperature was still a blistering 35 degrees - such is Sidi Aissa, nestled on the edge of the Sahara.  It was my first time seeing striker Abdeslam Zerrouki in action, who I brought in at the half to see what he was made of.  He played ok, nothing magical, but was decent on his passing.  Starting striker Younes Belhadj was much stronger today, and he delivered a beautiful direct free kick goal over the wall into the top right corner in the 33rd minute.  All said and done, we'll take the experience - again much for the teens - and enjoy our late night bus ride back home.

 

I have yet to see any real viable players that interest me, but I have been slacking a bit on the scouting side of things, just getting to know this team.  I know we will be in for a long season without some significant help in goal - Hadded is ok.  I'd say he is doing well for 16 years old - but pinning our hopes on a young teen is not the path to avoiding relegation in the regular season.

 

There continues to be a lot of recruiting of our non-contracted players by amateur squads in the region.  CR Village Moussa is now talking to Abdelaziz Madi, a 22 year old on the youth team…this along with Talbi and Hamza Bensalem would be a bit of pain to lose as young up an comers.  All three could see some minutes on the senior squad this season.  Hamza has also been approached by two other amateur squads - WA Rouiba and USBB Arreridj - our amateur side stadium partner.  Will be interesting to see which of these boys wants to chase the dream of a pro career, or who become weekend amateurs to pursue their other life passions.

 

We now head home for our remaining two friendlies, with a match this upcoming Saturday afternoon against amateur squad NRB Teleghma.

 

Schu1150
6 months ago
4 hours ago
50

FRIENDLY - CABB ARRERIDJ 1:1 (0:0) NRB TELEGHMA

 

59' - Younes Belhadj (CAB)

62' - Hadj Aissa (NRBT)

 

NRB Teleghma was a much more challenging team than I had anticipated.  They came prepared to play possession football, and they controlled the flow of the game.  It was, for all intents and purposes, a snooze fest of a match.  If the goal of the game was to send the ball anywhere over the end line, not just between the goal posts, it would have been a roaring affair.  We had a single shot on goal - and did we make it count!  Combines there were just 13 shots in the match, 4 on goal.  CABBA counted for 6 of those total shots.  THe first half was painfully dull.  The only excitement came in the opening couple minutes when striker Younes Belhadj picked up a yellow for a fairly soft foul - but the official wanted to make clear who was in charge.  Belhadj's goal in the 59th, was set from a phenomenal throughball from young 15 year old Mohamed Benyahia.  Mohamed was very much the player of the game, despite being a 52nd minute substitution for Younes Belefroum.  Benyahia had a 95% pass completion rate, along with a key pass and a clear cut chance.  Belhadj was unimpeded to the keeper, and buried it to the keepers left, chest high.  Our lead as short lived, as Tarek Slimani was simply burned by a sprinting Hadj Aissa, who dribbled for 20 yards and bashed past Salim Hadded.  Outside of that, very little in terms of action.  NRB Teleghma owned possession, with over 58% which did not please me a bit - especially as they play a full tier down below us in the amateur leagues.  We had an impressive 7,004 fans at the stadium today - which is lot considering the calibre of opponent.  I do feel Les Criquets will have strong support this season - which always helps the boys play better!

 

Ahmed Talbi politely declined Village Mouss'a offer, just to be offered by another amateur side - CRB El Mila.  Two additional offers came in for free transfers - CRB Dar El Baida has offered a role to Hamza Bensalem and E. Sour El-Ghozane were looking into Youcef Haddou.  Both players are not with contract, however both interested teams are not professional teams either.

 

One more friendly to go.  We have three days off from match play before we again play at home, this time against ES Ben Aknoun - a middle table side in the western division of the Algeria League 2.  I think they'll be a tough match for us, though they will be without their left midfielder Habib Derbal - who suffered a torn calf last week.

 

I know I must get active in this transfer window!!!

Schu1150
6 months ago
4 hours ago
50

Some actions have been taken on making some offers to potential new Criquets!  First, we share some of news of a departure, which while never pleasant, is part of the game.  After much soul searching, Hamza Bensalem has chosen to depart CABB Arreridj to get on with his life.  He told me he didn't forsee a long term future in football, and that he needs to get on with his family and career desires.  He opted to depart to CR Village Moussa where he will be able to have fun playing regular first team football that isn't too serious.  We wish him well on his career.  I only saw him play minutes in our last match against Telghma, and he performed ok so I am not too concerned on his departure.  He would have spent most of his team in our reserve squad.

 

I have gone and made 3 offers for free transfers to bolster our depth a bit.

 

Sofiane Belhadj - GK - 24 years old - Currently on roster with amateur squad USM Setif, we approached Sofiane to join our squad as an amateur, with the intent of helping him develop his career.  At 24, he likely is not headed to global fame, but he is a very determined player, and this opportunity would challenge him against tougher competition.  I like his tendency to rush out of the net to cut off attacks - I've always valued that approach from a keeper.  He's also got a good punch, is agile, and has decent jumping reach.  

 

Akim Moussaoui - D(C) - 21 years old  - Currently on an appearance based contract with fellow 2nd League East squad US Chaouia.  By all reports he is an above average tackler, who plays well in a team.  He carries solid balance and is keen on being a good athlete and practices fitness as a hobby.  He has quite a bit of other offers on the table, so might be a longshot to woo him to Arreridj, including an offer from 1st tier side US Souf.

 

Zakaria Ghalem - M/AM(L) - 22 years old - Currently playing amateur ball with USM Blida, Zakaria peaked my interest with his physical abilities.  The match I observed him in he played with good pace, had strong conditioning, stayed on his feet well, and changed direction effectively.  Again, another amateur offer, but I am not certain how keen he is to commit to football, despite his physical attributes.  Our fellow League 2 East club IB Lakhdaria has also offered him an amateur contract, and he hasn't been quick to jump on it.

 

I also received word that League 2 club JSM Bejaia has made an amateur offer to striker Abdeslam Zerrouki.  He told me he gets anxious with the thought of leaving the team, but it will come down to the minutes available.  I advised him that though we have been giving Younes Belhadj a lot of match time in these friendlies at striker, I believe Abdeslam will have plenty of opportunity.  I am toying with moving to a more simpler 4-4-2 wing play formation for the season, which will put more minutes available for strikers.

Schu1150
6 months ago
4 hours ago
50

FRIENDLY - CABB ARRERIDJ 1:1 (1:1)  ES BEN AKOUN

 

3' - SAADI (ESBA)

21' - YOUNES BELFEROUM (CABB)

 

With a conceded goal in the first 3 minutes, I was very concern we were going to be in for a long evening.  We had a very healthy 7,000 fans turn out for our final friendly against ES Ben Akoun, a fellow 2nd division team (though of the Western Division).  To be honest, other than being unmarked, the first goal was a low probability shot, put in from a very small angle through a lot of traffic.  The boys settled down pretty quickly after that, and like the match before, we bled the air out of the ball with solid defending and pushing the ball up the field.  Our goal came from an attack and cross, where midfielder Hicham Zouaoui crossed the ball into the box and striker Abdelsalem Zerrouki headed it down to the foot of Younes Belhadj.  Belhadj flicked the ball up to Younes Belferoum, who was less than a yard away, who bashed the ball off a volley into the net.  

 

The second half was a dirgey affair, with very little activity.  Another match with not a lot of productive shots, 3 for us on goal, and only 2 from ES Ben Akoun.  Possession was dead even, and our passing performance was ok - it left a bit to be desired.  Belferoum was player of the match, but the match was not much to write home about.  Antar Benyahia, Islam Rachedi, and Tarek Toumi all disappointed me in their play today.  This was our first match in a 4-4-2; it definitely did not get us any additional offence.

 

Abdelaziz Madi has opted not to head with Hamza Bensalem to CR Village Moussa.  There are some other squads rumoured to be interested in him, but I don't think they are too serious.  Likewise, Youcef Haddou indicated to E. Sour El-Ghozlane that he was not interested.

 

We now have about six weeks without a match to prep for the start of the season.  We will host JSM Skikda on the 23rd of September.  May we get our rest and find some additional support on the transfermarket over the coming few weeks.

Schu1150
6 months ago
4 hours ago
50

Mid August Transfer Market News

 

So a lot of action over the last week plus.  Let's start with new offers to our existing players

 

Offers for CABB Arerridj Players

  • Ahmed Talbi - 24 year old Reserve goaltender - after rejecting the offer of CR Village Moussa, League 2 team IB Lakhdaria has made an amateur offer to Ahmed.  Also, USBB Arreridj, an amateur squad, has also offered.  Ahmed has aged out of the U-21 team, and we need to decide whether to call him up to the First Team for good as a backup to Salim Hadded.  Talbi had an offer from CRB El Mila, but he has turned them down.
  • Younes Belhadj - 18 year old striker - Younes has been offered by League 2 West club WA Boufarik who are desperate for a striker. I have advised Younes playing time will not be an issue here.
  • Abdeslam Zerrouki - 21 year old striker - Abdeslam had an offer from JSM Bejia, but he has rejected that change, telling me he is content to stay here

 

Offers to players 

  • Sofian Belhadj - 24 year old goalkeeper - Sofiane opted to remain at USF Setif and was not interested in moving to Arerridj.  With this news, it seems like Ahmed Talbi may need to be our reserve keeper.

 

New Offers to Players

  • Ali Messaoudi - 22 Year Old Centre Back - MSP Batna - Ali is an intriguing player who is very aggressive on the ball.  He seems to have very good balance, jumping reach, and natural fitness.  In talking with him, he is inspired to develop and is determined to commit to football as a priority.

 

New Signings

  • My very first new signing!  We have had a commitment from Zakaria Ghalem, a 22 year old winger from Blida.  Zakaria will likely be a regular starter for us on the left wing.  He brings some very solid physical skills such as natural fitness, agility, and pace.  He brings good aggression and dribbling skills to the team as well.  Zakaria has signed a 2 year contract with us.  I am excited to add some new talent!
Schu1150
6 months ago
4 hours ago
50

Late August Transfer Market News

 

Not a great couple of weeks news to report.  First off we offered 20 year old attacking midfielder Adel Soltani an opportunity to join our team as an amateur.  Soltani plays for MO Bejaia, but as struggling for playing time there.  Alas, Soltani opted to stay put.  A shame given that two days later Younes Belhadj our striker who scored a pair of goals in the firendly series let me know he was moving on, joining league 2 East club CA Batna.  THis will definitely be some hurt, as we are running lean on striker talent now, without much in the pipeline of offers.  Lastly, goaltender Ahmed Talbi. who I had hoped would be Hadded's back up this season announced his departure to join IB Lakhdaria.  Thinks are looking tough this season - looks like a lot of U-21 minutes will be available on the first team.  Still about 3 weeks to fill some roles before the season starts!

Schu1150
6 months ago
4 hours ago
50

Early September Transfer Window

 

Good news in the fact that we have locked down Younes Belferoum for the next two seasons, with Younes agreeing to a two year contract worth 805.000 Dinar a year.  As a semi-professional team, we aren't able to offer much to many, but this will make Younes the top paid player in our squad.  This makes for a challenging League as we have 3 full professional teams in our Eastern Division, and 13 semi-professional teams.  

 

Over the last week Abdelaziz Madi - a winger who has recently aged out of the U-21 squad - was approached by AB Chelghoum Laid, however Abdelaziz indicated he would rather stay here at CABBA.  He was definitely flattered by the interest!  

 

The other player gathering a bunch of interest is Abdeslam Zerrouki - our lone remaining striker.  He has been approached by two League 2 - West clubs for an amateur contract, similar to what he is on here with CABBA.  Both WA Boufarik and A. Bou Saada have indicated interest.  Abdeslam told me he is content playing for CABBA, and is a bit pressured by the interest in him.  Again - all the minutes are here for the taking!

Schu1150
6 months ago
4 hours ago
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Mid September News

 

It has been a pretty quiet week or so.  Not much movement on the recruiting front for us - nobody has really sparked much intrigue, and I'm thinking we'll go into the season with most of what we have.  A big decision point in that was Abdeslam Zerrouki's decision to reject all oh his offers and stay as our main striker option.  I wish we had more depth there, but with only a week or so before the season starting, I don't fathom anyone will make much of a difference at this point.  Our training has been very solid of late, and I feel we will be ready to be competitive this season.  Abdelaziz Madi also rejected his offers and is looking set to come up to the senior squad full time.  Our U-21 squad is now 5 games into the season, so I've had an opportunity to watch some of them.  They are 2-2-1 and 9th in the table.  Among the strong performers include M/AM (R) Mohamed Benyahia, Defender Azzedine Derbal, and Centre Back Kada Bacha - all of whom I used during the round of friendlies.  Also showing promise is Abdelhamid Maouche, striker, who has performed well in the minutes played.

 

Not long before the matches start to count.  We are close to being as ready as we're going to be!

Schu1150
6 months ago
4 hours ago
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Injury Strikes

 

Our already thin team received a blow a few days ago when central defender Abdelkader Benamara suffered a sports hernia in training.  Head physio Laid Slimani broken the news to me after practice when Abdelkader came to see him complaining of a very painful mid section.  It was thought to have occured when running down an errant long ball as we worked through defensive transition pieces.  Benamara though he had pulled a muscle, but Slimani told him straight.  Its likely a 4 to 6 week injury - the worst of which means very limited mobility for the first 10 days or so, and then 3 to 5 weeks of physio.  Abdelkader has spectacular natural fitness, so I am optimistic he will be on the short end of that prognosis.

 

Other news saw IB Lakhdaria approach midifelder Youcef Haddou for a free transfer.  I know Youcef is happy here, but I also know he makes decisions rapidly, so if he is going to move he'll decide before we kick off in two days time. Lakhdaria is our second match date of the season, so that could get interesting.

 

With the season upon us, the season previews have been finalized.  We are not picked to perform well, but we are expected to dodge the relegation realm.  We are picked 12th out of 16… the last four getting relegated.  We will likely be in a battle all year.  Recently relegated RC Arbaa are the odds on favourites to return to the premier league, with AS Ain M'lila and JSM Skikda picked for the promotion playoffs in the East division.  We open at home against Skikda this Saturday.

 

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6 months ago
4 hours ago
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League Match Day 1

 

CABB ARRERIDJ  0:5 (0:3)  JSM SKIKDA

4' - Taffni (SKI)

13' - Bouchareb (SKI)

19' - Ladouri (SKI)

73' - Kada Bacha (OG) (SKI)

89' - Remita (SKI)

 

That banging noise after the opening whistle was CAAB Arreridj's anchor bouncing off the cellar of the Algerian League 2 - East.  We fell to the bottom of the league without a blink.  It was a humiliating defeat.  It's ont thing if he had just been promoted, but we made Skikda look like Real Madrid - in the second league no less.  THe team put in a poor performance, netting us a poor results, and there are no shortage of mistakes to explore in game film.  I'm not yet ready to change our tactic or approach.  Though an atrocious start, it is far from the time to throw away what I know is right.  We could not put a single shot on goal, and in fact didn't have an attempt at all until after the 60th minute.  I won't expect to see that from this team again - nothing but speculative through balls or oversent long balls with no hope of an attacking threat.  The disappointment to the career start is definitely there.  After the embarrassment, it is no surprise the supporters are already rumbling.  We had a crowd of just under 21,000 attend to watch that debacle.  Worst performer of all was U21 central defender Adam Medjahed who put in an absolute abysmal performance…though not a soul impressed today.  On the flip side, Skikda looked like world beaters, in particular attacking midfielder Amine Aissa El Bey.  Two 15 year olds started today - making them the co-youngest players in club history - Azzedine Derbal and Tarek Toumi.  And they looked like children amongst men.  If anything, this will build some character and experience with them.  We are off to IB Lakhdaria next Saturday.  They won today as well and put 3 past NRB Touggourt.  

 

In other news, that same IB Lakhdaria offered Younnes Hadou prior to the match.  Younes opted to decline - I'm just glad he made his decision before the match.  ESM Kolea is looking at Abdelaziz Madi as well right now.

 

I need to go to bed and hope to wake up from the nightmare!

Schu1150
6 months ago
4 hours ago
50

League Match Day 2

 

IB LAKHDARIA (1-0-0, 5th)  0:0  CABB ARRERIDJ (0-0-1, 15th)

 

180 minutes without a goal.  Oh boy, are we in for a season.  I actually don't know who is more unfortunate to come away with the draw.  Lakhdaria was the far more prolific team on the day.  In the 3rd minute Lakhdaria missed a point blank wide open shot, ricocheting off the right post.  A 5th minute corner that we took short resulted in Younes Belferoum drawing a foul in the box - a questionable call to say the least.  We opted to put our super young striker - 15 year old Rabah Moussaoui on the spot.  Despite his age, he seemed very confident…up until the point of taking the kick.  Moussaoui took a chip shot to the upper right, but it clattered off the cross bar for nought.  On the ensuing throw in, after coughing up possession, Lakhdaria took the ball coast to coast - in an attempt to exploit our deflated morale, and cracked a shot right off the cross bar.  In the span of 6 minutes, two woodwork shots and a missed penalty.  From there the game calmed down.  The remainder of the half was dreary, and we entered the half scoreless.

 

I brough Adam Medjahed on for Azzedine Derbal in the 56th minute.  Adam waited a whopping 14 seconds to pick up a yellow card on a rough shove.  Tragically in the 80th, Medjahed fouled again and was sent off, leaving us to play the final 10 minutes and 5 minutes of extra time down a man.  It was a harrowing 15 minutes and we walked away with a single point from an otherwise uninspiring match.

 

Medjahed was handed down a one match suspension for his lack of control, and will miss our next league match against AS AIN M'Lila.  League 1 manager Rui Almeida of JS Kabylie was present, most likely with his eye on Tarek Toumi, who he has been eyeing for a bit.  Also, the offers keep coming in for Abdelaziz Madi, but he continues to turn them down stating CABBA is where he sees himself for the future.

 

Next up is the Algerian Cup - the second round.  We will face a long road trip to play MC Saida of the League 2 West.

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6 months ago
4 hours ago
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ALGERIAN CUP, ROUND 2

 

CABB ARRERIDJ   3:1(2:0)  MC SAIDA

12' - Zakaria Ghalem (CAB)

33' - Abdeslam Zerrouki (CAB)

61' - Boussaid (MCS)

81' - MCS Own Goal (CAB)

 

I did not carry high expectations into the match given our recent form as well as the 7+ hour bus ride to Saida.  I told the boys before the match that the cup games are important to me.  I know we will struggle in league, but we get a shot for a one and done match only a few times a season, and asked that we try and outpunch our reputation and win a right to play a top tier squad.  MC Saida is in League 2 West - so not an opponent we come across often.  There was a fairly sizeable crown north of 11,000 in Saida's farily cramped stadium - only two sides have stands, adjacent to one another - the other two sides are simply a plaster wall and fence.  It was nice that he had over 250 of our own supporters nestled away in the corner. 

 

THe boys game out to play.  For the second straight match, Abdeslam Zerrouki picked up an early yellow card.  We have been talking about his aggression, and how he spoils his ability to use it so fast playing on yellow much of the match.  Our first goal came off a throw-in; Younes Belferoum curled in a beautiful cross from the right channel to a marked Zakaria Ghalem.  Ghalem simply out jumped the defender and headed down into the left corner of the goal.  We contineud to play fairly physically, and Rabah Moussaoui picked up a yellow in the 21st.  In the 33rd Belferoum was chasing down the same right channel from the half line.  He again fired a cross - this time a low skidder - that MC Saida got a slight foot to deflect…right into the path of a sprinting Zerrouki, who one timed it into the the lower left - the keeper had no shot.  At the half we held a 2-nil lead and the boys were pretty fired up in the locker room.

 

We opened the second half with some solid possession,  however in the 61st Kada Bacha badly read a looping long ball and lost site of his man.  It was an unopposed goal for Saida, as Salim Hadded was left stranded in goal.  Pressure mounted as Saida picked up momentum.  Towards the closing 20 minutes, we had resettled possession and played to keep the ball.  Our 81st minute goal was a 2 on 1 with Haddou a single player to beat.  Rather than pass down to Moussaoui, Haddou kept the ball, and the defender cut the angle.  Haddou put enough mustard on it to allow the defender to deflect the ball right into the net.  We held a 3-1 lead, and saw out extra time without much more event.  

 

We will now have 2 months before our next cup game.  We head home for a short turnaround with 3rd Place AS AIN M'Lila coming to town.

 

We had a bit more additional good news in that Islam Rachedi signed a two year contract extension that will see him through with the team until the end of July 2025.  As a regular and solid player on our team, I am super pleased with his commitment!

 

Schu1150
6 months ago
4 hours ago
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LEAGUE, MATCHDAY 3

 

CABB ARRERIDJ  0:3 (0:2)  AS AIN M'LILA

6' - El Mammeri (AM)

26' - Bououden (AM)

86' - Meftah (pen) (AM)

 

It is going to be hard to win without taking shots - of this I am sure.  4 shots, 2 on target - two of those shots came in 2nd half inhury time.  70' with one shot on target - and though it was a great chance that was fortunate to be blocked, it was an overall lackadaisical effort.  It does not help that Ain M'Lila is a professional club - the second we've come up against.  It also does not help that we are so young, with 4 16 and under in our starting 11.  Adam Medjahed got the start over Azzedine Derbal - having completed his red card suspension.  Not a single player worth writing home about - and some dismal play by both Islam Rachedi and Rabah Moussaoui.

 

The 6th minute concession was embarassing.  Salim Hadded launched a drop kick down field that AS Ain headed 20 yards back towards the box.  Both Antar Benyahia and Kada Bacha were clueless on who was going to catch El Mammeri who was streaking down the field.  the ball dropped between the two of them, and El Mammeri simply picked it up, took a dribble, and blasted it past Hadded.  I guess thats the price for a 15 year old and 16 year old playing centre back!  THe second goal was a bit of luck.  A direct free kick from 27 yards was well blocked by our wall, but Bououden was placed perfectly for the ricochet, and unleashed a missle into the top right corner.

 

Most of the remainder of the march was AS Ain playing keep away.  I watched the boys morale collapse - they showed very little interest in pressuring or even running down long balls.  I pulled Medjahed in the 82' for Azzedine Derbal - who looked a bit refreshed to not have to play as many minutes.  Regrettably, on a corner into the box, Azzedine got his hands above his head and smacked the ball, leading to an immediate yellow card and a penalty.  Meftah cooly blasted one right, and though Hadded guessed right, there was no chance.

 

We are now three matches into league, yet to score, and have conceded 8.  Yes, we are firmly in last place (16th to be exact) with a goal differential 6 worse than 15th.  I knew this was going to be a project.  Our fans in Arreridj are fanatical for the team, and 20,000+ showed again - but they might have seen enough to realzie this team is super young and building.  I expect to see attendance slide.  I think if we can find some ambition and momentum we don't ahve to resign ourselves to relgation after three matches…but that will require Younes Belferoum to take leadership in the locker room.

 

We head next to Annaba, a four hour drive east to the Mediterranean shore, to play Hamra Annaba Club Sportif, 8th in the league, 1-1-1. 

Schu1150
6 months ago
4 hours ago
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Some serious drama at training the other day before our trip to Annaba.  Younes Belferoum's frustrations boiled over with respect to the depth of the club.  There were two days before the close of the transfer window, and I admit that with the constraints of our finances we were not having much luck.  He was fairly animated about the glaring weakness we have in goal scoring prowess - relying on a 15 year old Rabah Moussaoi and 21 year old Abdeslam Zerrouki.  Zerrouki brings tremendous height at 2.03 metres, but he is woefully clumsy and slow on the ball.  I didn't appreciate the public display - especially from the captain - but I really didn't appreciate him talking after training and regretfully the media caught wind.  As mentioned, our club has a ravenous supporters group, and it was stress I didn't need.  Haroun Bordji also came to Belferoum's side, and now we have some open animosity in the squad.  I did try mightily to find a solid striker.  I put out 6 offers in the closing days, and despite the promise of copious first team football, our financial situation and our reputation kept them all away.  

 

I was, however, able to pick up some help in goal, by offering and signing RC Kouba back-up keeper Khaled Amara.  We say Amara play against us for a half in the friendly series.  He is a 25 year old from Meftah - just outside Algers - but he wasn't seeing too many minutes for Kouba.  He is above average in punching, and is a bit eccentric in his keeper tendencies.  However, his reflexes, agility, and fitness were all strong plusses.  We agreed to a 2 year contract - for a fairly paltry 185,000 dinar per year, but seeing as he was playing for appearance fees only, he found the opportunity worth taking.  Salim Hadded will move to second choice keeper, and will pick up the majority of his match minutes for the U-21s.  As mentioned, he's 16, so he got a taste of real competition, and it will do him well for his future development.

 

Matchday 4

 

HAMRA ANNABA (1-1-1, 9th)  0:2 (0:1)  CABB ARRERIDJ (0-1-2, 16th)

24' - Antar Benyahia (CAB)

88' - Zakaria Ghalem (CAB)

 

Bestill my heart, a victory from a fairly dominant match.  we held the lion's share of possession in the match and had a phenomenal pass completion rating.  We managed 6 shots on goal off of 14 attempts, verses Annaba's 1 from 5.  Perhaps Belferoum's tantrum was internal motivation for him - either to find a new team in the next window or because he was simply pissed with looking like trash.  We put our new keeper Amara in goal, and he played very well, earning the clean sheet with his one save and with good ball movement that comes from his maturity.  We also put Tarek Toumi in at left centre back for Kada Bacha.  Altogether, the back line of Bordji, Benyahia, Toumi, and Medjahed played very stifling defense, and make strong passes to permit our possession.  Antar Benyahia became our team's youngest ever goal scorer, and became our first scorer of the season.  THe play came from a set piece set up just inside the half line, where Younes Haddou looped a long ball into the box.  A couple of pinball headers put the ball at Antar's foot, and he blasted a right footer into the box from 7 yards out.  Our team played solidly for the ensuing 50 minutes, not giving Annaba much to work with.  As we were bleeding out the closing minutes of a 1-0 victory, a late throw in found Younes Haddou again, who right footed a cross the width of the box to find a poorly marked Zakaria Ghalem who headed simply into the left of the goal.  It was Ghalem's second goal in competitive play, have put one in during the 2nd round cup match.

 

Spirits were definitely lifted in the locker room afterwards, but Benferoum was still decidedly cold with me.  The win catapulted us into 12th place, where our horrible goal difference classified us last amongst the four point teams.  We return home with hopes of giving our fans a bit more to hope for as we take on Saharan club IRB Ouargla, a team also sitting on 4 points.  Our fans again travelled well with us - 400 of the estimated crowd of 2,300 - and they made a lot of noise.  If we continue that type of performance against our peer semi-professional clubs, I have every confidence we won't be worried about a trip down to the amateur leagues next season….but so much football still to play!

Schu1150
6 months ago
4 hours ago
50

Matchday 5

 

CABB ARRERIDJ  2:3 (0:2)  IRB OUARGLA

21' - Meghfour (pen) [IRBO]

45' - Meghfour (pen) [IRBO]

66' - Abdeslam Zerrouki (2nd) [CAB]

90+1' - Mansouri [IRBO]

90+2' - Younes Belferoum (1st) [CAB]

 

It was a very deflating evening for me, and a challenging next couple days taking in that match.  After our away victory, I was really pumped for a home match and an opportunity for the supporters to celebrate, and for the first 15' it looked again like we were going to take control of the match.  I was very impressed with new keeper Khaled Amara's presence on the field.  But youth is prone to mistakes, and our children do not yet have the experience to not fall prone to foolish errors.  in the 21st minute Antar Benyahia made a dubious and ill timed tackle attempt in the box.  Ouargla for sure sold the foul, and the referee was quick to point to the stop.  The pk was a weakly hit ball, and Amara even guessed correctly, but his over zealousness in the dive allowed for the pk to go in.  I figured it would be ok, lets get back to our plan and get it back.  The score took some wind out of our sales, and we struggled more with passing and possession.  I figured we'd make the half with a one goal deficit but for the second time this season Azzedine Derbal picked up a handball call in the box.  I honestly didn't see it, but the crowd sure wasn't pleased with the call.  Meghfour was much more decisive with his penalty, and Amara had no shot.  Down 2-0 at the half, the supporters let me hear it.

 

We had a strong locker talk, and the boys looked fairly confident we could get back into this match.  Brilliance struck in the 66th minute when Zakaria Ghalem ran down a long ball right to the edge of the goal line and looped a beautiful, athletic cross into the box where our 200+ cm striker Abdeslam Zerrouki easily dunked it in.  Ouargla was quite started by the goal, expecting neither Ghalem to chase down the ball nor do anything acrobatic with it.  That fired up the boys, and the crowd, and we brought full pressure for the closing 20 minutes.  We had a couple real chances but failed to find the shot, and a huge scare in the 86th when Ouargla cracked a shot from 26 yards off the cross bar.  Our fate was sealed in injury time when an awkwardly timed long ball became a race between Amara and the Ouargla striker.  Amara managed to get a foot on it, but the contact was not clean and the ball looped to the AML.  Amara turned to spring back to position, but the Ouargla player was alert enough to chip from 20 yards and Amara couldn't move fast enough to slap it off line.  Albeit, from the restart we were able to push quickly to get the retort in the next minute, where again Ghalem threaded the needle to a much unawares Ouargla defense and Younes Belferoum was able to slot a tight angle shot into an open goal mouth.  But the time and the previous goal was against us, and Ouargla was not going to give up the three points, passing and wasting time for the remaining four minutes of extra time.

 

Ghalem was absolutely the strongest player of the game, and rightfully won the player of the match award despite the losing effort.  But again, the number of poor performances turned in was our undoing - ultimately Amara's foolish gamble was what sealed the fate.  Derbal's second conceded handball for a penalty did not impress me, nor did Youcef Haddou's inability to control the ball in the midfield.  We sit firmly in 13th place now, one sixth of the way into the season.  I do think we have the talent to pull out of this spell of poor form, but it will come down to how much heart the boys can put in to salvage a season from a one way path to relegation.  We will head back to the Mediterranean coast - though a much shorter drive - to Bejaia to face JSM Bejaia.  The squad is 1-2-2 and in 11th, having just narrowly beating doormat NRB Touggart on the road 1-0.  JSM is one of two teams in Bejaia so we will make the trip to this town at least once more this season.

 

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