Things finally looking up again for Egypt

Egypt it is fair to say have been through a more than turbulent spell as a nation never mind as a football team, so it was perhaps no surprise to see them beset by troubles in recent years.

Having dominated African football for the large part of the current century with three successive African Cup of Nations to their name between 2006 and 2010, they have recently fallen from their perch in quite astonishing fashion. So much so that they failed to make either the 2012 or 2013 tournaments, having remarkably finished bottom of their qualification in 2012 and a year later being dumped out by minnows Central African Republic.

They do seem to have now got back on track, with Bob Bradley starting to produce the returns that brought him such success in charge of USA. Bradley was in fact appointed two years ago and some might have been surprised he was retained following the 2013 ACON debacle yet the American’s methods are now starting to reap rewards and it should not be ignored he inherited a side in more than a little bit of strife.

Now the Egyptians look well set to progress to the final round of World Cup qualification and put right what is an abysmal record, with just two appearances at footballs biggest stage all they have to show for their efforts. That stat is particularly disappointing when you consider that in their recent dominance of African football they failed to qualify – in 2010 they missed out to Algeria and in 2006 they failed following being dealt a group containing Cameroon and Ivory Coast.

There are no certainties they will make it this time given the final play off round could throw them up against anyone, whilst such is the depth of African football anything will be possible in these all or nothing clashes. That said Bradley has certainly got Egypt performing at their optimum once again and he can provide them with plenty of world cup qualifying experience. The squad remains largely domestic based which is nothing new and given the relative strength of Egyptian football not something that should be considered a weakness. That said the emergence of Basel pair Mohamed Salah and Mohamed El-Nenny has been without question a huge factor in their recent resurgence.

Having gone through the most depressing of times over the last three years the Egyptians have the opportunity to come out of that slump in the most glorious of fashion by clinching a world cup birth for the first time since 1990.