The African Nations Cup happens every second year in January and every time the English Premier League Managers pretend that they never saw it coming and start complaining about losing their best players.
Arsene Wenger, Arsenal Manager
And while the competition will be completed at the end of January, Wenger feels that the after-effects could still be hampering players involved for the remainder of the Premier League campaign.
So far in this festive period, Wenger, Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti and Portsmouth manager Avram Grant have hit out at the timing of the competition.
The African Nations Cup has become a bigger nuisance for Premier League bosses as more Didier Drogbas and Michael Essiens make the switch to England’s top clubs.
The fact that the competition is held in January, for around three weeks, which symbolises an important phase in a club’s title chase, or battle against the dreaded drop, is another cause for concern.
FIFA Wants AFCON held in July by 2016
Last year when this same unhappiness erupted amongst the European managers, FIFA president Sepp Blatter announced that he wanted the tournament to be held in either June or July by 2016, to fit in with the international calendar.
While this may benefit European clubs and several of the continent’s stars, many countries in central and west Africa will not get a chance to host the CAF event as it will coincide with their rain-soaked season. But to date, no official noise has been made with regard to any changes.
According to football365 Players missing by club:
4: Portsmouth (Nadir Belhadj, Hassan Yebda, Nwankwo Kanu, Aruna Dindane)
4: Chelsea (Michael Essien, Didier Drogba, Salomon Kalou, John Mikel Obi)
3: Man City (Kolo Toure, Emmanuel Adebayor, Kelvin Etuhu)
3: Hull City (Kamel Ghilas, Daniel Cousin, Seyi Olofinjana)
2: Arsenal (Alex Song, Emmanuel Eboue)
2: Everton (Joseph Yobo, Ayegbeni Yakubu)
2: Fulham (John Pantsil, Dickson Etuhu)
1: Tottenham (Benoit Assou-Ekotto)
1: Aston Villa (Moustapha Salifou)
1: Sunderland (John Mensahtoke, Mamady Sidibe)
1: Bolton (Danny Shittu)
1: Burnley (Andre Bikey)
1: Wigan (Richard Kingson)
1: Wolves (George Elokobi)
0: Man Utd
0: West Ham