Posted by Barrie on Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Which Team Suffers the Most from the African Nations?

A lot is being made of Didier Drogba and a few of his team mates missing for Chelsea over the coming weeks as they have flown out to Angola for the bi-yearly event known as the African Cup of Nations. But Chelsea won't suffer the most from their absentees.

Yes, Didier Drogba is one of the best strikers in the Premier League and his boots are too big to fill for anyone. Michael Essien is one of the best central midfielders in the world in my opinion and he's another blow to this Chelsea side. But with the gulf of World Class talent they have throughout their ranks, they should be able to cover to some degree, especially with their fixtures this month being against teams they are expected to comfortably beat. John Obi Mikel and Salomon Kalou are also at this tournament, but Chelsea have players capable of covering them adequately.

Pressure maybe on the shoulders of the young Daniel Sturridge and Fabio Borini to provide goals while Drogba is still away on international duty. I haven't seen Sturridge as a regular scorer, but he has the best players around him to learn from and scored 2 at the weekend to say otherwise.

Going from the top of the Premier League to the very bottom, is where the problems lie. Portsmouth, already 4 points adrift, failing to pay their players Decembers wages and under a transfer embargo. They could have done without 4 of their players making the trip to Angola this month. The experienced Kanu is representing Nigeria while fellow striker Aruna Dindane represents the Ivory Coast. Frederic Piquionne has found a bit of form of late, but if manager Avram Grant is to support him with another striker this month he is going to have to chose between Danny Webber and Tommy Smith. Neither with a respectable goal scoring record in the Premier League.

Portsmouth have also lost left winger Nadir Belhadj and central midfielder Hassan Yebda. They can be grateful Kevin Prince Boateng's papers haven't come through in time to switch nationality from German to Ghanaian and therefore he has had to stay in England for the duration of the African Nations.

Manchester City will be without captain Kolo Toure and Emmanuel Adebayor, while Arsenal will be without Alex Song and Emmanuel Eboue. A full list of Premier League players selected for the African Nations is as follows:

Alex Song (Arsenal)
Andre Bikey (Burnley)
Aruna Dindane (Portsmouth)
Daniel Cousin (Hull City)
Danny Shittu (Bolton Wanderers)
Dickson Etuhu (Fulham)
Didier Drogba (Chelsea)
Emmanuel Adebayor (Manchester City)
Emmanuel Eboue (Arsenal)
Hassan Yebda (Portsmouth)
John Mensah (Sunderland)
John Obi Mikel (Chelsea)
Joseph Yobo (Everton)
Kanu (Portsmouth)
Kolo Toure (Manchester City)
Michael Essien (Chelsea)
Moustapha Salifou (Aston Villa)
Nadir Belhadj (Portsmouth)
Richard Kingson (Wigan Althetic)
Salomon Kalou (Chelsea)
Seyi Olofinjana (Hull City)
Yakubu (Everton)

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At 6 January 2010 at 22:30 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

wot about el hadji diouf

At 6 January 2010 at 22:39 , Blogger Barrie's View said...


El Hadji Diouf will not be participating in this year's African Cup of Nations as Senegal did not qualify for the tournament.



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