Kolo Toure was all over twitter last Tuesday. The Liverpool fans were going gaga over him.
The Ivorian had a belter of a game in the Spanish capital against arguably the strongest team in Europe i.e. Real Madrid.
Yes, he could not save Liverpool from defeat, but, his individual performance was certainly praiseworthy.
Before the match against the Whites, Toure had just 3 games to his name in the season.
The centre back had figured in the Cup a couple of times, while, in one of the league games, he had got about half an hour playing time. That’s all.
Because of the continuous lethargic showing by the other defenders, Brendan Rodgers decided to try Toure out at Bernabeu and the 33-year old proved that he should have been played much earlier.
It is really quite hard to understand why Rodgers kept Toure on the bench for so long. No doubt, the Ivory Coast international is 33 and thus, not the quickest player around, but, he is much more experienced if compared to some of the other Reds defenders. He has had a whole lot of international exposure as well.
Now that he has proved he is in form, it remains to be seen if Rodgers keeps him in the heart of Liverpool’s defence on a regular basis or not.
Presently, there are only two players in the Reds squad who have been a Premier League winner at some stage of their career and Toure is one of them.
Toure has actually won it with two different clubs, with the Gunners first and then, with the Sky Blues in 2011-12.
Another guy who has that feat to his name is Glen Johnson. Apart from that, no current Liverpool player has had the taste of League success.
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The 2015 African Cup of Nations has already reached its midway point as all squads have played 3 matches and some have even played 4 matches at this point in time.
Algeria has become the first squad in this tournament to qualify for the next rounds of the African Cup of Nations which is going to be kicked off in January. Algeria secured their spot after comfortably defeating Malawi with a score of 3-0.
Algeria is the only national team that can be officially confirmed to progress through the group stages as they dominated the Group B in a convincing manner but the same cannot be said about the other other squads and groups which are fighting hard hoping to escape the group stages of the tournament.
A few weeks ago, the Algerian national football team experienced a managerial change as Christian Gourcuff was appointed as the new coach of Algeria as he replaced Vahid Halilhodzic but it seems like Gourcuff is the appropriate man to take charge of the African side as the squad is going through a superb campaign.
Group E is being tightly competed between all of the squads as: Togo, Guinea, Uganda and Ghana all have chances of advancing through and anything can happen when the next match is played on November.
Another group that is being closely fought with a number of teams is Group G which consists of: Senegal, Tunisia, Egypt and Botswana. Senegal and Tunisia are at the top of the group with 7 points but Egypt are following close behind with 6 points meanwhile Botswana had not collected a single point.
Botswana has no chances of making it past the group stages but all of the other teams can indeed progress further.
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During the 2014 World Cup Stephen Keshi guided Nigeria to the round of 16 which was a task that the country had not been able to do since 1994 meanwhile the head coach of Algeria Vahid Halilhodzic marked his name in the history books of Algeria as he was in charge of the team that made it past the group stages for the first time in the past.
All of these recent accomplishments have given hope towards African football as it has been starting to expand with more super-star players being homegrown and the results are being shown at the international stage with positive results being spread out and displayed throughout some of the latest tournaments.
When the 2014 World Cup was over, it was surprising to see a number of managers that guided their respective countries to new heights. This is the case of Algeria’s Vahid Halilhodzic as he left his position in the African team and went on to coach Trabzonspor.
The same incident occurred with Stephen Keshi as he had a fairly impressive journey with Nigeria during the recently concluded World Cup as he decided to resign and not be in charge of the African team.
South Africa was another nation that witnessed a change in their managerial position with Ephraim Mashaba being the man chosen to coach the squad for the 4th time. Frank Rijkaard and Dick Advocaat were both rumored to take up the role of managing South Africa but it was ultimately Ephraim Mashaba who was officially announced and selected.
African football has always been criticized due to their financial problems and a number of other things but the 2014 World Cup was the center stage where teams and players displayed what the country has to offer for the years to come.
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Nigeria proved to be rock solid in the initial matches but then in the mid-way they lost their creativity. When it came to the question of possession they proved to be good but when it came to scoring a goal that proved to be difficult.
Algeria was quite impressive among the African teams. Whatever they possessed they gave it all playing against Germany which led to an amazing first half. What the team lacked was star performers like other teams. Most of the time many problems emerge amongst the African teams be it not attending the sessions of training, fight regarding bonus and other problems.
Stories that revolve around are that the players often start playing for their respective club after representing in the national time despite not getting the allowance. Then there are players from Europe who join the national side of the African team but they themselves pay for their air ticket for coming into a country of their own. Major roadblock is the factor of transparency which is lacking.
The accusation should not only be targeted at the administrators alone as the players are equally responsible. Moreover money should not be a factor that comes in the African football team. It is always the question of security that the African players demand of before they got off for Brazil.
The future of African football is not bleak rather there is optimism since there is lot of talent in the teams but it is about nurturing the talent rather than relying on their poor performances. The European top league is filled with African talent. So work has to begin from scratch to make the foundation strong. If the work is done then the future would be bright for the African footballers.