African Experiment Over?

Arsene Wenger has decided to take a different tact.  He has sold Adebayor and Toure and Eboue is due to follow.  That is three of Arsenal’s four Africans.  The move can be explained as a massive u-turn by Arsene.

A few years ago Arsenal set-up an agreement with Beveren in Belgium, whereby the Belgian club brought players over from the Ivory Coast and Arsenal were to be given first refusal once the players acquired a Belgian passport.

Arsenal had several players on trial, Yaya Toure, Emanuel Eboue, Marco Ne and Giles Yapi Yapo.  Only Eboue was signed by Arsenal whilst the others went elsewhere in Europe.

The Beveren relationship ended, and so it appears did Arsene’s love for African players.  Not because of their technique or skill or athleticism, but because of the African Cup of Nations and the travelling from Africa to Europe.  Quite often players arrive late or injured after international duty, but this is part and parcel of having international players.  But what broke the camel’s back was the ACN held every two years in January and February, just as the domestic season is about to get interesting.

People will say that Arsene knew the deal when he bought these players, but it was widely expected that FIFA would standardise the international calendar and move the ACN to June, to be held every four years.  African countries argued that this period was too hot, well if that is the case how can African countries ever host the world cup unless you are South Africa then? 

Wenger has not turned his back entirely on African players, but now his preference is for those who represent European nations like Djourou, Nasri, Sagna and Diaby.

Until Africa falls in line with the rest of the world over its continental championships I believe we will see fewer and fewer African players at top clubs.

Posted on August 1, 2009, in Arsenal News, Arsenal Players and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Sorry but the african cup of nation can’t
    be moved to june because around that time is the peak of the rainy season in most of africa. January and february are rather dry in most of africa that’s why we play the tournament then. Besides the games are mostly played in the evening under floodlight when the sun is gone so it’s not hot.

  2. to say that arsene has sold adebayor and toure and possibly eboure and hence conclude that he has fallen out of love with african players is jus being too simplistic. maybe it is you who has fallen out of love with african players hence the constant bashing of eboue and whoever else u can lay your hands on. ade was sold because of his well documented problems with the fans. kolo toure was asked by wenger to stay. but he decided to leave against wenger’s wishes. eboue as u can c hasn’t left as yet and has put in some decent performances of late. this article of yours is rather shallow and poorly researched. i guess you r one of those englishmen who think soccer begins and ends in england and who hype your players way beyond their abilities and allow urselves to be fooled by the media. i was watching the sunday supplement the other day and some english journalist had the audacity to say that rooney is better than ronaldo. that summarizes the mentality of those who buy into the media’a anti foreigner’s anti arsene anti arsenal bs

  3. Well said Tony.

    What is meant by African experiment anyway? what is so experimental about having 4 players from the same continent in such a big squad? Nothing. I wonder if it is a subconscious predjudice that sees Africans akin to animals in a lab.

    We have numerous “French” players yet we have not heard the the term French experiment coined as yet. Why i it deemed such an issue is it the ANC really? If a player is of better quality than another isn’t it better to have him 90% of the time than not at all. Should Chelsea have not bought Essien because the would lose him for a few weeks once every two years?

    The ANC is used as an excuse by some to hide their prejudice. That’s why it was so easy for some to get on Adebayor, Eboue and Toure’ back when the chips were down.

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