Howay the (African) Lads!

Posted on January 19th, 2012 | 46 Comments |

Africa Cup of Nations
Africa Cup of Nations
The recent signing of Senegal striker Papiss Cisse by United added to the fact that Demba Ba is also a Senegal star potentially means that Geordie fans will take more of an interest in the African Cup Of Nations (ACON) which kicks off this weekend. And of course we also have our very own (at least at the time of writing!) Cheick Tiote involved as part of the Ivory Coast team.

Obviously, we hope the lads do well – but not too well considering the legions of scouts who will be out there – and that they return to Tyneside fit and injury-free. Here’s a look at the two teams that our African players will be representing.

Senegal – The Lions Of Teranga

The Senegal national football team are nicknamed “The Lions Of Teranga”. They first appeared in the World Cup in 2002 and made an immediate name for themselves by beating France 1-0 in the opening game of the tournament. They made it to the quarter finals that year eventually going out to Turkey. Subsequently, they failed to qualify in 2006 and 2010.

The team have featured more regularly in the ACoN since 1965, their most successful year being 2002 when they were runners-up. Senegal qualified for the finals of the ACON as top of their group, winning 5 of their 6 games between September 2010 and October 2011. This included a 9-0 aggregate demolition of Mauritius and notably beating Cameroon 1-0 at home and drawing 0-0 away.

In addition to Ba and Cisse, the current squad features a number of other players who ply their trade in the UK. Probably the best known of these is Armand Traore of QPR. The squad also has midfielders Guirane N’Daw of Birmingham City and Mohamed Diame of Wigan Athletic.

The United players currently have 24 caps between them. Cisse has represented his country 16 times scoring 10 goals, and Demba Ba has scored 4 in 11 appearances (according to “Transfermarkt”). United fans who want our strikers back home as quickly as possible will no doubt be unhappy to hear that Senegal are favourites to win Group A of the ACoN and are considered one of the front-runners to win the trophy. Whilst success would mean our players stay out there longer, I suppose this also means their morale would be sky high when they came back – particularly if they get a few goals on the way.

The Ivory Coast

The Côte d’Ivoire National Team are nicknamed Les Elephants. They have qualified for two World Cups – Germany in 2006 and South Africa in 2010. They failed to progress beyond the Group Stage in both competitions. In the ACoN they won the competition in 1992 and were runners-up in 2006.

As well as Cheick Tiote, the current squad also features a number of players who play in the UK. Kolo and Yaya Toure (Manchester City), Sol Bamba (Leicester City), Gervinho (Arsenal), Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou (both of Chelsea). Cheick Tiote has played for the Ivory Coast 24 times.

It doesn’t seem likely that Tiote will be coming home early either – the Ivory Coast team is filled with top talent from leading European clubs and expectations are high. They should win Group B of the competition and, similar to Senegal, are thought to be one of the front runners to lift the trophy.

Tiote is quoted as saying:

“We have great players, so we have to win something…every time there is an African tournament people tell us that we are favourites to win, but when you look at our trophy cabinet there is nothing there. Absolutely nothing. We have to win this Cup of Nations” That’s fine Cheick mate, but no hard tackles on Ba or Cisse eh?

Newcastle United Scouts Deployed!

Given our recent record of signing top-class African talent, it’s not surprising that scouts from Newcastle United will be present at the African cup and will no doubt be looking particularly at players at left-back and central defence!

Or is that just me and my wishful thinking?

NUFCBlog Author: UTD111 UTD111 has written 59 articles on this blog.

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46 Responses

  1. What’s “Howay the Lads” in African like?

    I suppose that in Senegal and Ivory Coast it would be “Allez les Garçons!” Terry Henry was from Senegal but of course, the French have nicked quite a few the very best African players.

    Another nice piece BTW UTD111. Keep up the good work!

  2. UTD111 says:
    January 19, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    “In Senegal and Cote D’Ivoire it’s french….

    “Howay les gars!”

    Aye I was just adding that bit UTD111

  3. In Afrikaans its….. Howay my kinders….. Yes stick to the original…… Only bad news is that the african cup will be played in 2013 in South africa…. At least I’ll be able to go to the Games !!!!

  4. southafricantoon says:
    January 19, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    “In Afrikaans its….. Howay my kinders”

    Would’ve come in handy in 2010 SAT. It was silly how everyone was saying that Tiote was “unknown”, “came out of nowhere” etc after hindreds of millions saw him put in some very nice performances for Ivory Coast in that World Cup.

  5. southafricantoon says:
    January 19, 2012 at 6:47 pm
    All the games will be shown live here in SA….. So I’ll be watching senegal

    Good stuff!

    It’s crazy why it isn’t getting more coverage over here considering the number of African players who play in the EPL.
    Personally I’d rather watch the ACON than the american football we get shoved at us here.

  6. I thought that Ali Bongo was deed now like – I used to watch him deein’ his magic on the telly when I was a bairn. Now they’re saying that he’s the President of Gabon and he’s very pleased to be hosting the Africa Cup of Nations.

  7. In times past (last ACN) bbc put tons of games on, bbc2/3, i think?

    Top post mate!
    But lay off American football man, it’s a great game of ‘chess on legs’ for me like.

  8. It was just an example Clint…

    I’d also happily give up the slots allocated to corrie-eastender-dancingonice-factor-dealornodeal-mabob in favour of showing the ACON.


  9. UTD,

    bang on dude!

    We should see a few games though, especially seeing as Cote d’ivoire & Senegal are up there as class acts.

  10. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    January 19, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    “But lay off American football man, it’s a great game of ‘chess on legs’ for me like.”

    Knackas Clint! It’s like watching Rory Delap deein’ his long throws for eighty minutes non-stop, only all dressed up in pads and helmets like a big softies. They divven’t need all that in Rugby, they just get their heeds kicked in.

    Sorry Americans ;-)

  11. worky,

    you’re obviously yanking me chain mate.

    Y’might have watched (looked), but you haven’t ‘seen’.

    The strategies & ‘plays’ are something i thought would hook an inquisitive & cultured mind such as yours mate.

  12. Loving it Clint – I’d still have him back though if the price was right….it’s becoming obvious that, unless he grows up, he can only ever turn on the class for United!

  13. Clint, I went to see a Miami Dolphins game against the Dallas Cowboys once at the Orange Bowl many years ago. If that “Beefy the superfan” had been in the crowd, he would have been the thinnest gadgie there apart from the players!

  14. American football chews people up. Those guys are cripples at age fifty. There’s so much hitting it just grinds players up. Amazing athletes though, the speed, power, and bulk of some of them is simply freakish. Guys that weigh 21 stone that could out run half the players in the prem… but by the time their fifty they can barely walk (not work ;-).

  15. Hello, I am an American student coming to London on my Spring Break from the 9th to the 16th, and will be in London when the Toon play Arsenal. It is my dream to be able to attend a Newcastle United game, and would love to be able to see them at the Emirates. I know very little about how to go about purchasing tickets for the game, where to find the cheapest possible (as I currently am a poor college student), etc. I would greatly appreciate any help in regards to this, as well as any other tips with regards to visiting London, good places to go at night, ect.

  16. And thank you Worky, I appreciate the response on the previous article. My prospects don’t sound too promising, considering the tickets through Arse are £90 plus. I was hoping to find maybe less conventional ways of purchasing a ticket for cheaper, like scalpers on the street maybe and such.

  17. Highlights of the african cup will be on ITV4 each night at 10pm – 11pm starting sunday night.

    Current coverage of american football on TV is poor, but at least highlights are better than those live matches which went on for hours – with endless talk during the US commercial breaks. Unfortnuately they stopped showing the cheerleaders which had been the best part of the games!

    I saw a couple of games years ago at the Gateshead arena – they were mind-numbingly boreing. But the ice-hockey at the Newcastle Arena was worth seeing – better punchups than a wrestling match!

    And what’s wrong with rugby? I played a few games when I was too slow for foota (as they called it) – I didn’t have much idea what was happening, but they said not to worry as they never knew why the ref blew for a foul either – and watching games now it still all appears to be a chaotic runabout with random penalties thrown in to give everyone a rest.

  18. I too am South African and will be watchin our African lads closely in this tournament and next year im definitly gna head up to a couple matches:-)
    Best of luck lads, I hope to see a Cote de voire or/and Senegal final!

  19. Itv have rights to cover 4 games.1 group game, 1 quarter final, 1 semi final and the final. Alternatively eurosport have full coverage of all games so will pretty much be showing them all like they did last time. Eurosport are a good broadcaster for different sports. Sky can a bit too selective. But eurosport seem to show even minority sports live. Sure fencing, handball,water polo and polo would be deemed as minority sports surely? They cover quite a few tournaments look no further than eurosport for copa America, and the worldwide equivalents . And there’s something about bob sleigh that I just can’t seem to get enough. Eurosport has to be the most underated sports channel on British tv. I’d go as far to say it should be channel 6 on terrestrial but I forgot the Tories are in power and we all know they don’t Luke giving thing away for nowt.

  20. Lots of gossip about £25m+ Tioti bids this morning with manc, chelsea & manu interested – it just looks like a matter of time now!

  21. Don’t see why we should sell Tiote to a team as rich as manc for a paltry £25m like. We half that for milner years ago to villa.
    Double it, then maybe?
    Also, even more to manusa et al, price ’em out, they can’t compete with manc.

    Joke prices only should be the mantra!


  22. One of the pluses of having the (not so fat now) Controller in charge is that he’ll screw any bidders for every last penny and whatever they pay will be way over the odds.

    Of course with our new strikeforce in place and potentially shaping up for a Euro place – with all the extra cash that would bring in – he may just tell them to “naff orf” :)

  23. I reckon we can afford to tell ’em to sling their hook like, too.

    Then there’s the idea that players won’t necessarily wanna leave, & stay here & build something good instead.
    It’s about time that the power shifted, only players sticking to their intentions/contracts etc can kick start that.
    How cool would that be?

    Aye, dreamland, blah blah, whatever, n’ stuff!


  24. How vital is Tioti to us? No one wants to see a quality player leave – but every player in every team has a price.
    We have (and can get more) cover in his position – he hasn’t been as good this season and I doubt that we are missing him.
    Also we need to keep the numbers of african players down because of the african cup.
    For a “silly” price we could get a top CB (greater priority) and strengthen the squad with a couple of others – say a RB and a young forward.
    Brian Clough always said that knowing when to sell is more important because any fool knows when to buy.

  25. I remember reading or being told that American Rugby (not football) players are not especially fit and that they couldn’t hack a proper game of “Rugby” What action there is is condensed into very short time slots that does not need particularly high stamina levels.

    Players like the Refigerator were usually over weight lumps of lard and he actually got his nickname from the time he spent grazing in the fridge rather than his size.

    Not trying to upset Anglo/American relations just repeating what I have heard.

    It is by the way, another one of these American games that they think in a blinkered way, have an international following when most other nationalities couldn’t give a t*ss about it. Sorry but that may have scuppered my previous paragraph. Ah well!

    As for the Africa Cup, I am fervently hoping we don’t get our lads back crocked.

  26. Why do so many on here insist on believing paper talk about Tiote bids. Supermac @32, you say it like it is inevitable. When are you all gonna realise that what is printed in the papers in 95% made up and the other 5% speculative at best.

    Lets just wait and see, 11 days and counting with Tiote and Ba away at the ACN it is unlikely in the extreme that any deal will be done even if the speculation is real.

    At this rate we will be selling Papiss Ceise before he has even played a game for us.

  27. Gerraway man,
    It’s a middle class puffs game.

    When the Falcons drop out of the prem this season, hopefully, that’ll be the end of the north east’s little flirtation with that particular brand of pretending to be tough.
    Then it can slope off back down south to yorkshire or where ever?


  28. UTD111 says:
    January 20, 2012 at 11:29 am

    “One of the pluses of having the (not so fat now) Controller in charge is that he’ll screw any bidders for every last penny and whatever they pay will be way over the odds.”

    There was only one Carroll though UTD111. On the other hand he sold Enrique for not much more than £5 million and Joey Barton for nowt after they both went on Twitta. There was Nolan for £3.5 million. If they’re on higher wages or want them, and they don’t have ages left on their contract like the above or Coloccini / Guthrie then things could be different.

  29. Rugger or Footer ?

    Rugby is a beastly game played by gentlemen; soccer is a gentlemen’s game played by beasts; football is a beastly game played by beasts.
    Henry Blaha

    Football is all very well a good game for rough girls, but not for delicate boys.
    Oscar Wilde

    and this proves it –

    other thoughts –

    The rules of soccer are very simple, basically it is this: if it moves, kick it. If it doesn’t move, kick it until it does.
    Phil Woosnam – Welsh soccer player and manager.

    To say that these men paid their shillings to watch twenty-two hirelings kick a ball is merely to say that a violin is wood and catgut, that Hamlet is so much paper and ink.
    J. B. Priestley – The Good Companions.

    In football everything is complicated by the presence of the opposite team.
    Jean Paul Sartre – French philosopher.

    Whoever invented football should be worshipped as a God.
    Hugo Sanchez – Mexican soccer player and coach.

    Five days shalt thou labour, as the Bible says. The seventh day is the Lord thy God’s. The sixth day is for football.
    Anthony Burgess

  30. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    January 20, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    “Gerraway man,
    It’s a middle class puffs game.

    When the Falcons drop out of the prem this season, hopefully, that’ll be the end of the north east’s little flirtation with that particular brand of pretending to be tough.
    Then it can slope off back down south to yorkshire or where ever?”

    Clint, it’s hardly a “flirtation”. The Falcons were formed out of Gosforth Rugby club, which was formed by old boys of Durham School, has always been a force in Rugby. In my day Durham was a hard school which had the best school Rugby team in the country, it was even better than Rugby and they invented the game. You probably wouldn’t last five minutes in a proper Rugby match! ;-)

  31. “After many years during which I saw many things, what I know most surely about morality and the duty of man I owe to sport and learned it in the RUA.” – Albert Camus, writer and goalkeeper for Racing Universitaire Algerios.

  32. I can’t believe the number of supporters I’ve seen in pre-emptive rationalization mode over Tiote.

    Yes, he is that good and that important to us. Yes, we do look markedly inferior when he’s out of the squad though Guthrie does a manful job as backup.

    Arguments about what his fee could get us are patently ridiculous. There is no need for this club to sell to buy at this point. If I’m wrong about that, how about Forster to Celtic, Smith to a championship side and Ranger to anyone who will take him? You know, rather than selling our best players?

    I can’t believe I even have to say these things. If we lose him, we’ll still survive but yes, it would be a HUGE blow.

    Good quotation, worky-one of my favorites! (the man and the quote)

  33. worky,

    i did actually play rugby at school team level.
    I was the superfast winger-out ball, i’d just jump out of bounds as they were catching me. Crafty!

    Ah! See, see?