“BUGGER IT!” Those two words will no doubt be heard throughout the Premier League come January when this season’s ticking timebomb, the African Nations exlodes onto the scenes and drastically amputates several squads.
The Times’ resident football nerd-genius Bill Edgar claims that the
“number of players potentially leaving their clubs to appear in the African Cup of Nations double the previous highest. A possible 44 players could be summoned to Ghana for five weeks in the new year, compared with 21 when the tournament was previously played two years ago, and the numbers add up to a big boost for Manchester United in the title race.”
So it looks like Fergie-Ferg will be more than a tad smug come January after rattling Wenger’s cage over the whole foreigner issue. There are only three clubs in the entire league, Man United, Man City and Aston Villa, that don’t have any players that will be jetting off to Ghana in January.
Chelsea will be stripped of Didier Drogba, Michael Essien, John Obi Mikel, and probably Salomon Kalou. Arsenal will wave goodbye to Kolo TourÃ© and Emmanuel EbouÃ© but can be thankful that Togo didn’t qualify so they’ll still have Adebayour. Rafa can sit comfortably however, as only Sissoko will be waltzing off – Portsmouth though, will be royally screwed – being forced to shed Papa Bouba Diop, Sulley Muntari, John Utaka, and Kanu.
In most national tournaments, the club managers cheer their players on, but in this tournament the gaffers must be praying for own goals and gaffes.