Newcastle have been dealt another piece of positive news for the season ahead and now know that come the next instalment of the African Cup of Nations we won’t be losing as many key players as we perhaps would have done under normal circumstances.
That is because Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse’s Senegal side have been drawn against Cheik Tiote’s Ivory Coast in the African Cup of Nations final qualifying round draw – a two legged affair that will take place in September and October in weeks that are already scheduled international breaks so will have no extra bearing on our season thankfully.
That means, obviously, that only one side can make it through to the competition proper, which in turn means that we won’t lose all three of them in January and February potentially – it will instead be Cheik Tiote OR Papiss Cisse and Demba Ba.
In a way it is Senegal’s own fault. Their dismal recent showings at the ACoN meant that they took an unseeded place in the draw meaning that they were always going to be up against one of the better teams. However I don’t think it’s the foregone conclusion that some sites are making it out to be with many people backing the Ivory Coast to come out on top over the two legs.
In a way I hope they do as I reckon we can handle losing Cheik Tiote more than we can handle losing our two strikers as things stand, but we’ve seen first hand the quality that Cisse and Ba posses so it would be folly to write Senegal off completely.
However that is just my opinion. Either way we’ve managed to fluke a bit of a bonus and we’ll be keeping at least one of our African contingent through the post-festive period. What I really want to know though is your opinion.
Do you agree with me that losing Tiote is the lesser of the two evils?