TFN’s Ethan Meade takes a look at some of the African hopes at the 2014 World Cup…
“An African nation will win the World Cup before the year 2000” – Pele, 1977
“What Pele saw was the physical attributes that African players have, but what he probably didn’t take into consideration is the mentality necessary to win the World Cup. It’s not just about physical ability, it’s about your mentality.” – John Barnes, 2014
Pele’s bold prediction of 1977 has fallen somewhat short in the intervening years. The furthest an African team has reached is the quarter-final – the Roger Milla-inspired Cameroon side of 1990, and Ghana in 2010, denied by penalty heartbreak for Asamoah Gyan. This time around, Pele’s prophecy looks unlikely to be fulfilled. That said, in Nigeria and Ivory Coast, they boast two potential heavyweight’s in Brazil, whilst an enigmatic Algerian side will be joined by perennial challengers Ghana and Cameroon. Continue reading →
John Guillem investigates the delight and infuriation of Arsenal forward Gervinho…
I’ve always liked Gervinho – that is, since I first noticed him on football manager. That was back when he and Eljero Elia were the go-to speedy wingmen to be had for about 12 mill; unfortunately, I had to settle for the cheaper option of Arda Turan, who actually turned out rather well. At that, in the “real” world Turan is clearly the best of those three at this point in time – what the hell happened to Elia after his promising appearances in the 2010 World Cup? I guess Juventus did, whilst they were still cursed1 – this in spite of the promise Gervinho was showing between 2009-11.
‘What went wrong?’ I don’t like these kinds of questions, as within them they contain a huge amount of reduction and misdirection (which is another way of saying that they’re bloody stupid), but perhaps this article will get somewhere on that score. Continue reading →