Friday, August 10, 2007

Africans in the English Premiership


The world's most popular league gets back into gear tomorrow when The English Premiership starts play with matches around the country. The likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal begin their quest for the championship of England and glory in Europe.

As you know, many of the best African footballers ply their trade in England. We all know about Didier Drogba, Michael Essien and Kolo Toure. How about some of the other rising stars of African football?

Graeme Jackson of the fine African football website MTN Football presents an in-depth look at the best African footballers in the Premiership this season. Let's see what he has to say about some of the African players not named Drogba or Toure. It's a lengthy list, so only a few players are listed here. To read Jackson's full article, please click here!


ARSENAL

Emmanuel Adebayor

Nationality: Togo
Born: 26/02/1984
Position: Forward
Squad No: 25

With Thierry Henry having departed for Barcelona, Emmanuel Adebayor will be expected to establish himself as one of Arsenal’s leading forwards. He will have tough competition, though, with new signing Eduardo Da Silva and the prodigiously talented Robin van Persie standing in his way. But the Togo international has enough skill to be as big a hit in North London as his childhood hero Nwankwo Kanu was.

BIRMINGHAM CITY

Medhi Nafti

Nationality: Tunisia
Born: 28/11/1978
Position: Midfielder
Squad No: 12

A MTN Africa Cup of Nations winner from 2004, Medhi Nafti played a prominent role in helping Birmingham gain promotion from the Championship. The combative midfielder’s game is well suited to the hurly-burly action of the Premiership and he will be an important player as the Blues look to consolidate their place in the top flight.

BLACKBURN ROVERS

Aaron Mokoena

Nationality: South Africa
Born: 25/11/1980
Position: Defender/Midfielder
Squad No: 15



The aggressive and committed Aaron Mokoena (right) is equally comfortable in the heart of defence or as a defensive midfielder, where he has played most of his football for Rovers. The former Ajax Amsterdam hard-man’s versatility and strength make him a prefect fit for the English game and, as Arjen Robben (who had his ankle broken by Mokoena in a rough tackle two years ago) will tell you, he takes no prisoners.

BOLTON WANDERERS

Abdoulaye Meite

Nationality: Cote d’Ivoire
Born: 06/10/1980
Position: Defender
Squad No: 5

Voted the club’s best newcomer at the end of last season after making more than 40 appearances in his debut season at Bolton, Cote d’Ivoire international defender Abdoulaye Meite is now a leading player at the Reebok Stadium. His experience, both at international level and with Marseille in Europe, will be important for a Bolton team who will balance the Premiership and UEFA Cup commitments.

EVERTON

Joseph Yobo

Nationality: Nigeria
Born: 06/09/1980
Position: Defender
Squad No: 4

Nigerian defender Joseph Yobo has become the foundation upon which coach David Moyes has built an effective and efficient Toffees team. Everton’s Young Player of the Year for 2003/04 has grown into a defender of rare vision and skill, all while retaining his characteristic strength and speed. This season he will hope to further enhance his reputation as one of England’s best defenders.

LIVERPOOL

Mohamed Sissoko

Nationality: Mali
Born: 22/01/1985
Position: Midfield
Squad No: 22

Mali international Momo Sissoko was a favourite of Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez from his spell with Valencia and the Spaniard’s faith in the midfielder has been rewarded since signing him for the Reds in mid-2005. The hard-working, no no-nonsense Sissoko has been a reliable option in the middle of the park, but he faces stiff competition from Argentinean Javier Mascherano for the anchor role.

READING

Ibrahim Sonko

Nationality: Senegal
Born: 22/01/1981
Position: Defender
Squad No: 5

Ibrahima Sonko has yet to officially commit his international future to Senegal, having played in nothing more than an unofficial friendly for the country, but it seems he will become a fully fledged international for the West African country in the not too distant future. The defender enjoyed a solid 2006/07 season, as did most of Reading’s players, and he will hope to continue his good form this campaign.

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR

Benoît Assou-Ekotto

Nationality: Cameroon
Born: 24/03/1984
Position: Defender
Squad No: 32

Young Cameroonian left back Benoît Assou-Ekotto (left) joined Spurs in June 2006 from Lens. He made 24 appearances last season and looked a promising prospect before injury cut his campaign short. He will hope to build on his strong showings and establish himself this year.

3 comments:

Kocisz said...

Just an FIY regarding Joseph Yobo. He has started a charity foundation called
Joseph Yobo Foundation that helps children from the communities of Nigeria’s Niger Delta region.

JJ said...

Should there be a Salary Cap in Football?
Personally I think there should be! It’s just getting to be stupid money in football at the top of the premiership!
It’s always the same teams at the top proving that football success is based purely on money which ruins the idea of it being a sport! They’ve done it in rugby, basketball, hockey and American football and it makes the sports more competitive and better to watch!
I do a little Sports Spread Betting from time to time and most matches don’t hold much surprise who is going to win, its boring! I want to see a team at the bottom pulling off an amazing season beating last seasons winners in a close fought battle!
Make things fair! It shouldn’t be about money!

Eric said...

There should be a salary cap in football!
All the money in the premiership and barely any of it stays in the UK so its not even helping the economy!
I do some Spread Betting (or more precisely Football Spread Betting) and even if I win big its still nothing compared to the average premiership players weekly wage!!!