Not realy a bad topic to start a blog that focuses on football but for the first article with a great bias towards African football and for that matter the African cup of nations that starts in a matter of days. Talking of the AFCON, The EPL will miss a great deal of African players who ply their trade at this elite level of football.
Sorry Manchester and Liverpool fans, I understand both of you are red in a certain way or the other, I wonder if Arsenal and Chelsea are black or what, anyway no offence intended, just a point to note, Manchester and Liverpool have none of their players going to play in this African showpiece for obvious reasons, they rarely sign players of African descent.
Most of you will agree with me that England has acted as a second home to most of African players who have managed to be signed up by EPL clubs. From the days of Peter Ndlovu (the first African to grace the Epl for Coventry city) to the years of unprecedented success by several Africans in the premier league, Africa still proves to be a great source of talent and expertise.
This being an AFCON year, for large chunks of the month of January and February, The EPL, will miss some of the finest talents in the names of Didier Drogba, Yaya Toure, Gervinho just to mention but a few. This will of cause impact differently on their clubs and thus translated to the title race that gets tougher and tougher with each fixture.
Fast forward to the EPL teams Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City, Newcastle United, Queens Park Rangers and Wigan Athletic in no particular order will at least miss two players with Ivoryy Coast enjoying a large chunk of the slots.
Creative Gervinho and the not so instrumental Chamakh who of cause doubles up as a captain for his country, I don’t know why, yet he spends most of his Arsenal time on the bench will be greatly missed by Arsenal. Gervinho who has been a strike partner to the flying Dutchman Robin Van Persie, has not more than once showed a glimpse of his genius style of play but still needs polishing. Wenger has to think of getting somebody creative to fill the void that’s left by Gerv. Even though he’s brought back the King Henry, The pace Henry once possessed is long gone but as the old football saying goes, class never ages and surely Henry still got class.
Chelsea on the other hand boasts of several African players, I think even the highest number compared to other EPL teams. The Ivorian duo of Didier Drogba, Salmon Kalou in as much as not so in the center of the Chelsea game currently maybe because if the age or the coach, I realy don’t understand! But what both of them do best is change games single handedly, can come from the bench and get the goals for the team will give AVB a reason to scratch his head. Again with the factor of Fernando not so EL-NINO in recent time, missing Drogba and Kalou proven goal scorers may turn the tide against the blues if a real good signing is not made soon rather than later.
City at the top of the summit for the first time at Christmas in actually my lifetime, eeeer yeeahh, I think im so right, Yes, in actually a very long time for that matter, have already lost their last two matches and for the record, home matches since the Toure brothers left for Ivory Coast. The rest is left to be seen of Manchester City, with the injuries of Ballotelli, David Silva taking toll of the team, Mancini realy needs a creative player before the rain starts beating someone at ETIHAD.
Fairy tales come in doves and they say good things come in pairs, who on earth would argue with me that the pair of Chiekh Tiote (remember arsenal 4-4 draw at Newcastle last season,,, nkt) Demba Ba the hero against Man U just a few weeks ago are just a formidable force in the Newcastle dressing room? The two have a perfect partnership with Demba Ba, and even though Mehdi Abeid believes he can fill in the Ivorian’s Position while he’s away, its still gonna be a tall order for him. Ba who seems to have gotten his goalscoring boots on at Newcastle, I only wait to see who will fill his place at the frontline of Newcastle, maybe they should also get Allan Shearer back, what do you think? Even Arsenal brought back Henry, hehehe
Struggling QPR who just appointed ex Man City boss Hughes as their new man at the helm will take over a team without Abdel Taarabt and Armand Traore. Abdel Taarabt was a pivotal role in helping QPR gain promotion back to the elite league of English football. Hughes again would think, Thank God its January, I can sign a few players and make my mark here, the see where he’ll fit in Taarabt and Armand Traore when they come back in February.
The Latics find themselves in a not so comfortable place, actually facing relegation in the face, and loosing players now is the last thing the fans want to even imagine. Wigan will have to do without the services of Steve Gouhori (Ivory Coast) and Mohammed Diame (Senegal). You may not know about these people but come on people!!!, that’s why you need to watch AFCON. Roberto Martinez will realy have to re organize his team since in January is where teams make their mark and this is the period where the title is wrapped up.
All in all, Africa still proves to be the home of great football talent, what remains to be seen is who will do what at the AFCON, who will prove critics wrong and who’s absence will be greatly back in England.