The fans guide to the Africa Cup of Nations 2010 – part 1

by Dexy Longshot

Thursday, January 7th, 2010
 

So here we are in 2010, a year that will again provide us with another month of top quality entertainment, our eyes stuck to the screen as we see great names perform to the highest levels of peak perfection until there can be left just one standing at the final whistle………my money is on Vinnie Jones.

Apart from the final ever Big Bruv, 2010 will also provide us with the World Cup spectacle in South Africa and a large hole in my wallet. For that reason, it will be interesting to see how 6 of the teams fair in similar conditions in Angola for the Tango Africa Cup Of Nations 2010 which starts this weekend. I’ve no idea why it’s called The Tango but I doubt it has anything to do with Jordan or Jodie Marsh’s face slap.

It is the 27th edition of the Biennial African Cup of Nations and if it’s anything like the brilliant 2008 Ghana Tournament, we’re in for a treat. I had a right giraffe last time round cheering on the Egyptians all the way to the cup despite them starting out 6th favourites at a humongous 19-1. I took the bookies to the cleaners with that but doubt there will be many shocks this time on the Dark Continent. Here’s a rundown of the first two groups, (4 in each). I’ll do the remaining two tomorrow and give you my picks for the cup, group winners and top goalscorers. Enjoy!

 

Group A – Algeria, Angola, Mali, Malawi

 

Algeria
England’s future World Cup opponents are on the up and go into this tournament on a high just two months after doing a bloody good hatchet job over current holders Egypt. Not bad at all considering they didn’t even qualify for the previous 2 ACNs. Les Fennecs (The Desert Foxes) are strong & powerful as Egypt (no slouches themselves when it comes to argy-bargy) found out and could spring another surprise against the home nation.

Dexy’s Diamond

Mourad Meghni who plays for my beloved Lazio will be pulling strings behind the front two. He was nicknamed Petit Zidane don’t you know.

 

Angola
I fancy the Angolans to qualify with ease from this group. If history is anything to go by, the last time the host side failed to get beyond the group stage was back in Tunisia 18 years ago when The Premiership was in nappies and I was gurning my nut of to early Prodigy Rave bangers. They could even go on to the semis if they keep their head. The Black Antelopes have a very good attack in the shape of spring heeled Flavio & ex-Manc Manoucho who was cracking in the last tournament (even if he didn’t quite cut the mustard over here).

Dexy’s Diamond

Gilberto is a tricky little winger who could be the perfect supplier for Flavio to get his nut on.

 

Malawi
The Flames were punching above their weight when they qualified partly due to new qualification process based on the World Cup group seedings or something. They only won 1 match and drew 6 (a bit like Man City). After pounding mini Guinea, they held Ivory Coast at the end of the campaign. I’ll be blunt about them though; they are pony at the back! Some say the best form of defence is attack, that’s ok if you are Brazil 1970 which this lot certainly are not. I doubt The Flames will flicker beyond the group stages. Lights out!

Dexy’s Diamond
Essau Kanyenda has 8 goals in 38 internationals which isn’t anything to shout about but his nickname The Black Mamba certainly is, expect some stinging attacks.

 

Mali
Skilful Mali surprisingly come up short in qualifying for the World Cup so will want to have a real go at this ACN. With former Irons & Spuds goalhanger Kanoute up front, they always have a chance, he’s still turning in some brilliant performances for Seville. Les Aigles (not be confused with The Super Eagles) also welcome back Mahamadou Diarra of Madrid after a year out with injuries who will shore things up in the center with ex-scouser Sissoko.. Seydou Keita will be working in the hole supplying the ammunition.

Dexy’s Diamond

Freddie Kanoute could shoot them all the way to the semis. Expect him to net a couple and demand a transfer back to West Ham.

 

Dexy’s Group Winner: Angola

 

Group B – Burkina Faso, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Togo

 

Burkina Faso
Poor old BK, they must have cried their eyes out when Ivory Coast & Ghana came out of the hat, still, it will save the country a mint on hotel bills. Despite coming a respectable 2nd trailing The Elephants in qualifying, I can’t see them tacking the big boys, even with their nickname “The Stallions!” undoubtedly the 2nd best name in World Football (After Benin, see part 2 tomorrow).

Dexy’s Diamond

Super Stallion Striker Dagano is their only hope with a dozen goals in a dozen games. He’s only gonna get three games here though.

 

Ghana
This is more like it, Ghana; a team chock a block full of World Stars and John Paintsil. The first side to reach the finals has an array of talent only matched by the Ivory Coast and I believe these two will meet again in the final. Annan, Appiah, Essien, Muntari and that is just the midfield; Gyan & Amoah ain’t too shoddy up front either. The only worry I have for Ghana is if Mensah remains in Sunderland. His presence at the back is immense and will be major kink in The Black Stars armory.

Dexy’s Diamond

Essien On his day, the best African on the Planet. Say no more.

 

Ivory Coast
Like Ghana, The Elephants crashed out in the semi’s last time out when they were favourites and were runner ups 2 years earlier, I think it will be third time lucky. They have class all over the park and on current form, possibly the world’s best front man in Drogba. Unbeaten in 10 qualifying matches, they have lost just one in 19 since Vahid Kalihodzic took over in May 08. Expect plenty of goals from this team, against the cannon fodder of Burkina Faso & Togo. Kalou and Bakiri Kone who both did well last time out will be fighting it out with Drog for the golden boot. Oops, didn’t I mention The Brothers Toure, Zokora, Eboue and the other Keita?

Dexy’s Diamond

Drogba 42 goals from 61 Internationals. You do the math.

 

Togo
I had a little boogie with a few Togans at the fan-fests at the last World Cup. Lovely people, always smiling, always jolly despite the fact that their one-man team is pretty poo. That one man is former Emirates darling Emmanuel Adebayor, possibly the Premierships most over-rated player.  Expect Route 1 footy all the way reminiscent of Paddy Bonner hoofing it up to big Quinny under big Jack…not pretty, a bit like Ade..

Dexy’s Diamond

Adebayor on his day he can be a handful and on an off day, he can be a lumbering lanky streak of sulking p*ss. I hate him, Gooners hate him but The Sparrowhawks love him.

 

Dexy’s Group Winner: Ivory Coast

 

That’s Groups A & B sorted, Make sure you check back tomorrow where I will run the rule over the remaining teams and give you predictions.

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  • jimmythegent

    Top stuff, my money will be Egypt again, 3 in a row!!!

  • mickeymarbles

    I didn’t think they was in it?????????

    Ghana, Essien is special!

  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Darren

    great blog as usual Dexy. If the Ivory Coast stop arsing about and actually play to their potential then they should walk it, they truly have a team of world class players!

  • dexylongshot

    The Egyptians are in it in group C. I’ll have the blog for that up tomorrow. They have an outside chance, you can never write them off. I can’t wait for the weekend, it will be nice to stay in from the poxy snow and watch some hot footy!

  • jimmythegent

    Mickey, what was you saying about Essien???. If some news reports are to be believed, he can’t get into Angola due to Visa problems, what a gutter!!!

  • dexylongshot

    WHAT A START TO THE TOURNAMENT!!!!!!

    4-4, I said it would be a goal fest and after a start like that, i haven’t changed my mind. For sheer entertainment, this tournament delivers. 4-0 up for 11 minutes to goal and then mali bring it back with 4 goals, 2 in the 90 minute. Is this the greatest comeback in International football, i can’t think of many that could better that.

    By the way, my predictions on players to watch was pretty spot on too.

    “Gilberto is a tricky little winger who could be the perfect supplier for Flavio to get his nut on.”

    Que Flavio scoring t2 headers from gilberto crosses. Not to mention Gilberto getting one himself, oh and Manucho!!

    “The Black Antelopes have a very good attack in the shape of spring heeled Flavio & ex-Manc Manoucho who was cracking in the last tournament”

    BIG UP BIG UP BIG UP!!!!!!

    Opps forgot to mention Kanoute and Keita, i’ll leave it at that, don’t want to sound big headed!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • dexylongshot

    HT Algeria 0 – Malawi 2!

    What a turn-up, The Flames are on fire and Elvis has scored leaving the Desert Foxes All shook up!!!!

  • dexylongshot

    I bet Fabio is laughing his socks of after watching that Algerien keeper, a potential hiding coming up for them in June.

    Ouch! What a come down for Ivory Coast, a pony 0-0 with BK despite dominating possession. This competition throws up more surprises than Cilla.

  • mickeymarbles

    Dexy, you’ll be happy to know that Egypt have come behind and lead Nigeria 2-1.

  • Stevie

    3-1 final score, outside bet, no one fancies then like the last ACON. Def dark horses!

  • jimmythegent

    Ghana V Ivory Coast tonight, tie of the round. I fancy a 1-1.

  • stevie

    3-1, way to easy. Drog & Essien look knackered already. That Ghana free kick was good, just about made the corner flag

  • jimmythegent

    3-1, looking good for Ivory Coast. Bad news for Essien and Chelsea.

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