One thing we don’t want to see this summer is for Newcastle to be signing African players.
Newcastle’s two Senegal strikers – number 19 and 9
That’s because with the African Cup of Nations taking place every two years, Newcastle will lose their African players as we did last January and February, and we were lucky that Senegal didn’t make the knockout rounds.
But Cheick Tiote did make the final for the Ivory Coast last February and he was missing almost two months.
We don’t know why it is, but African football continues to have their tournaments every two years, rather than every four years as is more usual, and the answer we get is the tournament is important, as it helps develop African football.
However, African football has developed fantastically over the last ten years or so, and you wonder if it’s still necessary. It’s a big strain on clubs like Newcastle, who have three top African players in Demba Ba, Papiss Cisse and Cheick Tiote.
Alan Pardew had this to say today to the local press about his African threesome:
“I think we’re going to have to look at Demba, Papiss and Cheick. They’ve got African Nations. We’ve got Europa League.” “We’ve got a much more difficult season next season.”
It’s also possible that both Senegal strikers could be selected for the Olympic games, so the scheduling of their playing over the summer with World Cup game also taking place, could be difficult.
And certainly Alan Pardew doesn’t want them to burn out before next season even starts.
With Newcastle having extra games in the Europa League next season, it means the scheduling of the African threesome could become very difficult for the manager early in the new year.
And we’ll also have to make sure we have enough cover in January, when the three players will be leaving for the African Cup of Nations (AFON).
We’d love to see the AFON move to be a tournament that takes place every four years, but there seem precious chance of that happening any time soon.
But the bottom line is that three top African players is enough for Newcastle right now.
What do you think?