Tag Archive: Yaya Toure


Journey to the centre of the Premier League

There is no doubt that football is an ever-changing, flexible construct, whose trends can change according to the demands of the game. In the Premier League, the place of the central midfielder is part of this.

Innovator | Chelsea midfielder Claude Makelele inspired almost a position of his own and a timeless football cliche. (Image | The Guardian)

Innovator | Former Chelsea midfielder Claude Makelele inspired almost a position of his own and a timeless football cliché. (Image | The Guardian)

Players now seldom operate in the so-called “Makélélé role”, named after former Chelsea midfielder Claude Makéléléleft.

Once seen as a must for every top side, it is now conspicuous by its absence. Figures such as Youssouf Mulumbu, Lucas and John Obi Mikel seem to be part of a dying breed in the English top flight.

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The footballing exploitation of Africa

Long-shots Burkina Faso have made it to the African Cup of Nations Final - how many of them are destined for the major European leagues? (Image | Fifa.com)

Long-shots Burkina Faso have made it to the African Cup of Nations Final – how many of them are destined for the major European leagues? (Image | Fifa.com)

In the opening monologue of the movie, Jerry Maguire, Tom Cruise elucidates about the bristling excitement that comes with unearthing new sporting talent. Think of the anticipation that was palpable with the arrivals of Rory McIlroy, Andrew Luck or Lewis Hamilton onto the sporting scene. But the monologue comes with a warning, “There’s genius everywhere, but until they turn pro, it’s like popcorn in a pan. Some pop. Some don’t.”

As we reach the closing stages of the 2013 African Cup of Nations, this paradigm is particularly pertinent.

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End of the line for Equatorial Guinea

Fousseny Kamissoko, here shadowing Gervinho,
has enhanced his reputation with strong performances
at the Africa Cup of Nations. (AP)

Last night’s second Africa Cup of Nations quarter-final in Malabo was arguably the most heavily unbalanced match the tournament is likely to witness. Playing for the right to join surprise package Zambia in the final four following their 3-0 dispatch of Sudan earlier in the day, co-hosts Equatorial Guinea eventually went down by the same scoreline to tournament favourites Ivory Coast – but the score failed to tell the full story of the game.

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