How will the African Cup of Nations affect you?

Tiote off for the winter
I’m sure it’s not escaped your attention, mainly because it affects NUFC directly, but the African Cup of Nations will soon be upon us.

Held for three weeks over the winter it means that Newcastle will be without two key players for what is a hectic period of the fixture schedule.

Now that qualification is complete it looks as though we can say goodbye to Demba Ba and Cheik Tiote for around a month as the represent Senegal and Ivory Coast respectively, but is it as bad as is being made out? Sure they will be missed, but then by that very same token there are other teams who will miss their players also, right?

Well, in true NUFC Blog style, lets investigate club by club just who is likely to be missing. Call it an A-Z of African absentees if you will, and considering it’s an A-Z I guess we’d best start with the letter ‘A’.


Arsene Wenger could potentially be missing three players for the duration. Gervinho will be away with Ivory Coast, Marouane Chamakh will be away with Morocco and they could potentially be without Emmanuel Frimpong who elected to represent his country of birth, Ghana, instead of England.

Aston Villa

Habib Beye is eligible for Senegal although it’s unlikely that he will be called up. Mind you, even if he was is doubtful that he’d be missed and his absence would only be noticed thanks to there being a bit more leg room on the subs bench. Beye had retired from international football but a call up after his retirement would suggest that he has reconsidered.


At least Steve Kean, or whoever Venky’s have in mind to run the comedy show at the time, won’t have to worry about losing any players for the African Cup of Nations. Neither Nigeria or Congo qualified which means that Yakubu and Chris Samba will remain on club duty.


Owen Coyle, like Steve Kean/whoever at Blackburn, won’t have to lose any of his players in January.


Michael Essien, if fit, will be off to play for Ghana while Dider Drogba and Soloman Kalou will be off to play for Ivory Coast. That’s three players who would walk into the majority of Premier League sides they’ll be missing.


David Moyes will not have to wave goodbye to anyone in January, not for the African Cup of nations anyway…


As above, no absentees for Martin Jol.


Drunken Dalglish won’t be missing anyone either.

Manchester City

Kolo and Yaya Toure will be away with Ivory Coast, and they could yet lose Abdul Razak if he continues impressing.

Manchester United

Mame Biram Diouf could well be called up for Senegal. Hopefully they take him ahead of Demba Ba!


As mentioned right at the start, we’ll be without Cheik Tiote and Demba Ba.


Paul Lambert won’t have to endure the absence of anyone in January.

Queens Park Rangers

Armand Traore and Adel Taarabt are likely to be called up for the Senegal and Morocco squads respectively.


No absentees for Tony Pulis either. Salif Diao hasn’t been called up by Senegal since 2010 and Mamady Sidebe hasn’t been called up by Mali since 2008.


Widow Twankey won’t lose any of his players either thanks to Egypt and Benin failing to qualify for the competition. That means that Ahmed Elmohamady and Stephane Sessegnon will be available for selection by Mrs Doubtfire, assuming he still has a job. I hope he does as he is doing sterling work.


No worries for Brendan Rodgers as he has no African players on his books.


Sack face Redknapp will have no calls up to put up with. Cameroon failed to qualify which means the Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Sebastien Bassong are safe whilst Togo’s failure to qualify means that Emmanuel Adebayor won’t have to make his way to Gabon/Guinea in January.

West Brom

Roy Hodgson be spared the absence of Peter Odemwingie and Youssuf Mulumbu and Nigeria and Congo failed to qualify.


Mohamed Diame will more than likely be called up for Senegal after making his international box earlier in the year. He’s appeared for his country three times since. Steve Gohouri could get a call up for Ivory Coast although it’s unlikely, although Victor Moses is safe as he plays for Nigeria.


George Elokobi has been called up for Senegal but has yet to receive a cap. He may get called up in the winter.

So you see there are many players who could be missing in January, some of who are key for their clubs. I look at the likes of Chelsea and Queens Park Rangers who will be missing players from their starting XI and compare them to us.

Sure it will be tough, but we’ll have to manage just like everyone else has to manage. To make matters worse there is another ACoN just a year later in 2013 which makes things tricky for those with players who represent African nations.

Something needs to be done about it. Not just for the Premier League, but in general as the competition sits smack bang in the middle of the regulation football calendar. I’ve never been to Africa, but I’d say it’s a safe bet that it’s damn hot in the summer, so moving it to then is kind of out of the question. Mind you, in certain parts of Africa it’s hot all year round don’t you know!

Education over, now I guess we’d better discuss how we are going to get around losing Tiote and Ba for a month or so at the turn of the year. Also, fans of other clubs may pop on and give us their views.If they see anything wrong or see someone that I’ve forgotten then shout it up.

Who is going to start off?

About toonsy

A lifelong Newcastle fan and current webmaster of this very 'blog who has the sole aim of creating a place by Newcastle United fans, for Newcastle United fans.

43 thoughts on “How will the African Cup of Nations affect you?

  1. It’s won’t. South Africa didn’t qualify 🙁

    It’s works out to the players missing two games. Not a huge deal depending on who the opponents are at that stage of the season.


  2. Good article as usual mate, just heard from the rumour mill that Ba has picked up and injury already 😈 God damn internationals!!!!!


  3. Wait, so did Cameroon qualify or not? You list Somen Tchoyi and Alex Song as getting potential call-ups, but then you say that Tottenham won’t have to worry about missing Assou-Ekotto and Bassong.

    Either way, I agree that there needs to be something done about the ACN schedule. Why do they need to have a continental cup two years in a row? Or even every other year? Personally, I think the CONCACAF Gold Cup is held too often as well. I prefer the Euro schedule of even years in between World Cups.


  4. We will definitely miss both Ba and Tiote obviously. Very difficult to replace them with what we have. Unless we get a striker in January of course. Maybe Guthrie can slot in beside Cabaye and why not try Ben Arfa in behind Best? We also have Vuckic and Marveaux but we have no real defensive midfielder and attack destroyer to really replace Tiote. He covers so much ground as well. Could be a difficult few weeks while they are away.


  5. We’re gunna have to sign the striker…(thats if we even sign one 🙄 ) early on in the transfer window so we don’t have to play the likes of Lovenkrands.

    I hope that Abied will slot into Cheik’s role in the team when he does leave but I’m not so sure, I think he has the ability but I rekon Pardew will just play it safe and go with Gosling or Guthrie.


  6. And – fingers crossed Shola Ameobi will get a surprise call-up from Nigeria. That would mean he wouldn’t be in or around the team for quite some time ..


  7. They’ll be a miss for us, Is the competition not moving to the summer months in a few years time?…..think I read it somewhere……maybe 😕


  8. I think we mill miss ba and tiote but that will be a chance for other players around them to step up and take a chance.

    Toonsy: Have an article in the pipeline, depends on if I can do the interviews tomorrow, just sorting it out 😀


  9. i think cabaye will move into tiote role and they,ll play gosling or hba in cabayes role now, hopefully we,ll bring in a striker in jan so we don,t need to worry so much about losing ba for a few weeks


  10. Who might be best as a temporary replacement for Tiote? Hope we don’t just plug a gap with, say, Guthrie. Certainly not Smith.

    Is Abeid too young, because maybe he has the natural game? Or Cabaye could just play a little more defensively and play alongside Marveaux??


  11. AndrewNUFC I would like to see Abeid get a chance there as well. However, he’s been known to hold the ball too long at times, which could obviously be a big danger for a defensive midfielder.

    You’re right though, we’ll probably see Guthrie or gosling come in to the center, with HBA off and running in front of them. Just have to hope that Best is fit


  12. Toonsy-

    Thanks. I haven’t been following the qualifying or anything, so I honestly wasn’t sure whether Cameroon qualified. Seems odd that both Cameroon and Nigeria will be missing the tournament – they’ve been two of the best African teams over the years.


  13. Dave…Fulham, Blackburn and Spurs away and Villa home then depending how much prior training they do probably QPR at home too


  14. Cheers Dave, down to about 27c now though :mrgreen: …….and they only miss all those games if they go to the end


  15. Richie must be hard for you but I guess someone has to cope 😉
    As for the AC I think we have players that will step up and relish the chance of 1st team footie


  16. Charlie – No probs. There are quite a few of the so called better African teams that have missed out. Cameroon and Nigeria are two. Egypt are another. They finished bottom of their group! Tunisia. Algeria, Togo.. Never knew until I started researching for this article 🙂


  17. Ice 😆

    Aye Dave I hope so, “if” we get a striker in Jan I’d still prefer Cisse even if he is playing in the ACN, much prefer him over Maigi


  18. Ice – Sorry to disappoint mate, but Nigeria didn’t qualify so Shola will be going nowhere 😉


  19. I think ba we will see back at the club before the end of the comp, however i think ivory coast might win, so we wont see mr.T until February.
    Does this mean Mr.T wont be moving clubs in January, only i no what mr.Arse is like

    Just posted on the wrong thread lol


  20. Spence – Players who are away will still move mate. Mind you, it does cast does cast doubt on that Maiga move, hopefully 🙂


  21. As things stand they could be a real miss. Although the loss of Ba could be mitigated by the signing of another striker which is obviously on the agenda.


  22. Toonsy, There excuse will be that they didnt have time to get him back from Africa, despite the fact they managed to get AC to liverpool in 6 hours, which is actually quite easy to be fair 😛


  23. I agree with Andrew @ 7, I’d play Abeid, he’s going to get a few more games in the cup as well to get a bit more experience but your probably right he’ll play Guthrie or Gosling.

    Speaking of Gosling, I hope next time he plays he gives a good account of himself.


  24. Nobody is giving our back up defensive midfielder Alan Smith a shout for a January return


  25. Missed the spurs thread. I reckon it will be tight but we may just have a few shocks in store for them. I would LOVE for this to be the season where we restore our ‘bogey’ team dominance over Spurs, get 2 wins over the mackems and 2 good results against Liverfool. HWTL’s ❗


  26. Not wanting to rush the lad into the squad but with the ressies playing so well think it would be an idea if the playmaker and the lad who the team is built around got some premier league match day experience as a reward. Brad Inman. Would be good encouragement for the kid


  27. @7 – Abeid in a holding role??? I dont think so. Reckon Gosling could do a job if Cabeye is out. If not then Cabeye can sit in there easily enough with any one from Gosling/Guthrie/Abeid/Vuckic stepping up to the more advanced role…


  28. Yeah I agree with shamrock. I think people are just trying to shoehorn Abeid without considering better options first. For starters wasn’t Abeid a winger at his old club? Also he played the Tiote role against forest and he is much better going forward


  29. Mind you, now Abeid. Has elected to play for Algeria we’ll have the same problem in that he’ll more than likely be away for future ACoN tournaments.


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