2014 World Cup: Adebayor BLASTS Yaya Toure and Ivory Coast's big egos
Five Africans teams will represent the continent during next month’s World Cup in Brazil. Adebayor has played against all these teams for Togo and can offer a rare insight into each. And his verdict on Ivory Coast, a side brimming with Premier League stars, is scathing.
He said: “I never trust them. They are the country that will always let you down. I know all of them from the bench to the manager. Sabri Lamouchi [their coach] is my very good friend.
“How come for the last four or five years have they not won the African Cup of Nations? They have got the best striker in Europe in Didier Drogba. They have got the best midfielder today, Yaya Toure. You’ve got one of the best strikers in the league today, the one that plays at Swansea, Wilfried Bony. You have all of those players.
“But the thing is, are they going to be collective enough? I don’t know. I am not an Ivorian. They will be talking, laughing and enjoying themselves but when the time comes, they will forget about their job.
“There’s no togetherness. Everyone wants to be the hero. Everybody wants to be the one to finish on a high so the folks remember them for what I have done, not for what we have done as a generation, nor for what we have done as team. Everyone wants to be like a hero and that is what is killing Ivory Coast.”
Aside from those ‘egos’ of Ivory Coast, Africa will be represented in Brazil by Algeria, Cameroon, Ghana and Nigeria – and it is the latter who gets Adebayor’s vote.
They are the current African Cup of Nations holders and, with a young squad of players based at home and Europe, they have the right balance going to this World Cup.
Adebayor said: “Out of these teams, it [my choice for which of the African teams will go the furthest] would be Nigeria because of their concentration. Because of Stephen Keshi [the coach] – he knows a lot about football and everything. He has been there as well as a player for Nigeria.
“And they have got Victor Moses, who is a great friend of mine, and I like the way he plays. Jon Obi Mikel played a lot for Chelsea this year and showed how good he is. Their goalkeeper is very good. Nigeria have all the ingredients to be good in the World Cup.”
Ghana coach James Kwesi Appiah has assembled a team with mainly Europe-based players who have have played together for long time but, much like Ivory Coast, their attitude at times can be their downfall.
Adebayor said: “Ghana have a good team. I hope they do well but they have done everything that is possible.
“Asamoah Gyan is a great player and great friend of mine but is now playing in Dubai. He is still their main man. If he is not in form or if he does not match the level of the World Cup, then Ghana will struggle.”
Indeed they will. In fact, during my time as a player, I got to know many of those who will be taking part in the World Cup for their respective African nations.
Experienced players like Michael Essien and Sulley Muntari will need to be at their best to help Ghana.
But again, egos and arrogance can play a big part in this team; less of that will be vital for them going to this tournament.
Elsewhere, Cameroon has the toughest group out of all teams from Africa, pitched in Group A alongside Croatia, Mexico and hosts Brazil.
Not being involved in the African Cup of Nations has given their manager the chance to assemble a new group of players with one or two senior ones to help the team to gel better. This would probably be Samuel Eto’o’s last major tournament and he will obviously like to finish on a high.
Algeria have mainly European-based players in their squad. The squad has been together for while now but playing in the World Cup is different. This young side needs to be at the very best for them to get out of their group, which includes Russia, South Korea and a very exciting Belgium side.
Nabil Bentaleb, who has featured a lot more this season for Tottenham under the sacked Tim Sherwood, could have a huge impact.
Most of the African teams, however, all have one thing in common – egos. Cameroon are no different to the Ivorians; they all want to claim the No1 spot. This will lead to their downfall.