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Friday, January 15, 2010

Reserving Judgement on the African Teams At The World Cup

So, the African Cup of Nations is well underway and, in between pretending to do some work, I've been watching a fair bit on Eurosport TV.

And the conclusion I've come to so far: I don't think any of these teams is consistent or, frankly, good enough to even reach the quarter finals of the World Cup.

Every time a World Cup Finals comes around, there is always media speculation about the potential of an African team to do well. Even more so this time as the competition is in Africa. However, every time, the major African teams - Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Cameroon - flatter to deceive.

While all of these teams have some exceptional players, what they seem to be lacking is a sense of identity as a team. They've got the pride and the skills, but they just don't seem unified. At least, on the evidence of the AfCON so far, that's how it appears.

I'm just wondering if it's a lack of top level coaching, or if the facilities and background organisation let these teams down. Could it be that because their best players all play in Europe, there is a lack of cohesion as a national unit?

Whatever it is, I hope what I'm seeing at the Africa Cup of Nations doesn't translate into South Africa 2010 because, once again, the African sides will all get knocked out in the early stages.

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posted by mark_s at 5:47 PM


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