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World Cup: Cameroon take note, Lothar Matthaeus is not the answer

July 7, 2010 |  9:58 am

Reports out of Yaoundé indicate that Cameroon, in its quest for a new coach after the national team's abysmal failure at South Africa 2010 under Frenchman Paul Le Guen, has received word that Lothar Matthaeus might be interested.

If true, then here's a bit of unsolicited advice for Cameroon's soccer leaders: Next time the phone rings and it's a Herr Matthaeus on the line, tell him the job's been filled, tell him it's a bad connection, tell him anything, but don't tell him to come in for an interview.

This is not to suggest that Matthaeus was not a great player. He wouldn't have won the World Cup with Germany in 1990, and he wouldn't have been both European and world player of the year, if he were any old run-of-the-mill midfielder. His 150 appearances for the Mannschaft suggest that he actually knew what he was doing -- even if he did come to MLS and the hapless New York/New Jersey MetroStars late in his career.

But Matthaeus the coach is another matter.

Here, let's make it simple, Cameroon. Look at the list of coaching positions the 49-year-old Matthaeus has held since hanging up his boots, and remember, it's six jobs in only eight years. Sticking around is not his strong point. If the Indomitable Lions are intent on building a team that can actually compete at Brazil 2014, chances are, this is not your man.

2002 -- Rapid Wien (Austria)

2003 -- Partizan Belgrade (Serbia and Montenegro)

2005 -- Hungary national team

2006 -- Atlético Paranaense (Brazil)

2007-- Red Bull Salzburg (Austria)

2009-- Maccabi Netanya (Israel)

No, Cameroon, instead of splashing out money on yet another European coach, why not do something for African soccer? Why not invest in your own coaches? Given proper support and shown a degree of patience that is virtually foreign to African soccer leaders, you might surprise yourself.

After all, could you do any worse than in 2010?

-- Grahame L. Jones, in Johannesburg, South Africa

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