No apologies…Afcon is a problem!

images (3)Earlier today ClaretandHugh nailed its colours to the mast and took plenty of stick for doing so! Twas ever thus.

We have always believed the African Nations Cup is played at the wrong time of the year and some may argue that given the ebola outbreak it may have been better to cancel or postpone it.

We are told it is now being played in a safe environment and all is well. Let’s pray so!

West Ham face four games in nine days between the end of December and early January after which Alex Song, Cheik Kouyate and Diafra Sakho could be missing until February.

Sam Allardyce and the rest of the club believe our season could be derailed by the event. It would be a super optimist who would disagree. 

In our earlier piece on the subject we suggested that fans made their feelings known whenever they met the players, wrote to them at the club or even let them know from the terraces – via a chant – they would prefer them to remain at Upton Park.

This brought an “outraged” and “disgusted” reaction from one kind soul who suggested I was either drunk when I wrote it or had the mentality of a six year old who forgotten to hit the delete button. 

I remain unapologetic despite arguments that the club knew what it was doing when buying the Africans in a year when the tournament was being held. Err, did anyone expect Sakho to be doing so ….!?

I’m not a great lover of international football at the best of times. Indeed I can’t remember the last time I watched England over 90 minutes.

I do, however, love West Ham United with a passion and care very much indeed how we perform for the rest of the season in league and FA Cup. Sorry Senegal and Cameroon but I feel no allegiance to you whatsoever.

Maybe I’m digging an even bigger hole for myself here but you know what – I really don’t care because even though my truth may be unpalatable to some, it remains my truth.

The injury suffered by Diafra on a Senegal treatment table during his last trip on international duty was quite shocking and will almost certainly mean our own medics will travel to the tournament with him and Kouyate.

Should the duo and Alex Song wish to represent their countries they will and that’s an end to the matter but please, let nobody start claiming the moral high ground because some of us put our club before countries with which we have no connection whatsoever.

If the fans choose to see the boys off in silence, no problem, but I for one believe this tournament is ill timed and as a result tend to put my club first.

No apologies …no retractions!



About Hugh5outhon1895

Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!" Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon

19 comments on “No apologies…Afcon is a problem!

  1. Here’s hoping Cameroon and Senegal both suck.

  2. I’m sure its been said by others but when buying african players you know they run the risk of appearing in this tournament, which has been held since 1952 i think.
    we should be pleased to have players that are good enough to go represent their clubs and wish them well.

  3. I’m sure its been said by others but when buying african players you know they run the risk of appearing in this tournament, which has been held since 1952 i think.
    we should be pleased to have players that are good enough to go represent their clubs and wish them well.

  4. I’m with you Hugh, I thought it should be cancelled because of Ebola in any case. And don’t be ashamed of having a mental age of a 6 year old. There are some very bright 6 year olds at my sons school and some have yummy mummies.

    Jingle bells jingle bells jingle all the way
    Sakho you’re a selfish b’stard if you go away, oh…

  5. I see where you’re coming from but In my opinion you’re barking up the wrong tree. I understand youre putting club above country from a purely selfish point of view but you also have to consider the humanitarian aspect the welfare and morale of the player. Don’t make African players feel guilty about representing their country. What will happen is these players will stop wanting to play for us. Ultimately the likes of song kouyate and sakho will choose not to play in the premier league at all.

  6. Got to respectfully disagree here-

    Certainly osoing players is a problem for every club in a similar position. It is hardly like the club were not expecting this to happen, it is hardly a surprise.

    Many in the footballing world were demanding that the FIFA world cup be moved to winter time when Qatar host it in 2022. That demand makes perfect sense, the heat will be a killer for many players (and fans). The African Nations Cup is played at a time of the year when temperatures are more manageable for players, why should they change? The days of cowtowing to European needs are long gone in Africa.

    For many players, appearing for your nation is an event of great pride the highlight of many a career. The African nations cup is the best (and often only) chance for these players to achieve any success at international level. For me not only want to play in the tournament but they should if selected.

    I think there is a better solution, well, partial solution. A break in the premier league programme for two weeks, maybe three, at the same time will not nullify the problem entirely. It will however give the players a chance to go represent their country without having such a detrimental effect on clubs. It also allows clubs to recouperate after a very busy christmas period.

    Not allowing these players to represent their country creates a bigger problem than the one we have now. I agree with conkerpot, it runs the risk of disincentivising players from coming to play in the Premier

  7. Very nicely debated Celtic. . Great level of respect. Good for you

  8. Well put to Conkerpot. My view is entirely selfish and based entirely on whufc fortunes. Still no apology though lol

  9. I agree about watching England for more than 10 minutes is difficult, that’s why we are signing these talented Africans because they are more exciting and skilful. English football has become dire, sideways and passing back. These guys know how to attack its probably in their genes.
    However we must, however much it may hurt us (as a club) allow them to represent their homelands. We have given them a platform here to display their abilities, let their own countrymen, families and friends see that too.
    I fully concur with you, that it is the wrong time of the year. Perhaps Sam is right (for once) and a break in the league in January would benefit all. Our poor tired lads like young Sterling can have a rest !
    and the super fit Africans can enjoy their tournament.

    • The other issue from Diafra’s point of view w is that the lad is on £15k appearance money as a major part of his deal with us. That’s a chink of dough Conkerpot but it’s a very good debate apart from one v ery abusive indicidual I had to ‘lose.’ LOL

  10. Shame its a little too cold to have an international break. A combined winter break and international break would cover the entire nations cup.

    I for one would prefer less international breaks but make them a little longer, get an extra game in each time means two less international breaks a season. But thats a Whole differant discussion.

  11. Dear Claret and Hugh, I have been a west ham supporter all my life. My fathers house used to back onto the Chadwell Heath training ground and he used to play for their juniors back in the early sixties and my great uncle used to play for the seniors in the fifties. I’ve even dated a West Ham legends daughter (who will remain nameless, for my own good rather than hers), So you see West ham is not just under my skin its in my blood. I don’t usually comment on this site but I have to say that this article is so off mark that it makes my blood boil. Seriously in what world would singing ‘Sakho you are a selfish ******* if you go away’, do any anything other than really upset a player who has just broken into his national team for the first time and is probably so excited at representing his country that he is fit to burst. The idea is so cack handed that it borders on disloyal. The fact of the matter is this: The tournament has been going for over fifty years and as stated in many other replies, every manager who buys an African player, does so, fully in the knowledge that there is every chance that said player will get called up. Its not like we haven’t had any notice about the tournament. Don’t get me wrong, am I happy about it, no, but the idea of trying to emotionally blackmail a player for representing his country is absurd! Let alone the fact that nothing will drive Sakho into the waiting arms of Liverpool or Chelsea etc faster. Just be glad that we have players capable of playing for their countries, pray that they don’t get injured and hope that they have a great tournament so that when they do come back they are raring to go for us. Lastly before you ‘Lose’ me for disagreeing with you (I didn’t think the other chap was in the slightest bit abusive from what I read), remember this, this site is NOTHING without its readers, its just you rambling on about the next bit of paper talk. Rant over COYI!!!!

  12. Fine – well said. You have a view. I have a view. No harm done. I did think it was highly abusive and it wasn”t the first time. Discussions can be held without resorting to personal attacks. There’s plenty of forums who love that – we aren’t one of them. I see no emotional blackmail just an appraisal of how I feel – rather like yourself in fact. There’s no moral high ground for you or anyone else in this. Club v country rows have tun for a long time. we take a view and unless we are very immature attempt to respect the other person’s point of view. Iget exactly what you are saying – just take a different view. I respect your right to hold it

  13. Fair play, maybe I didn’t see the entire string and you are correct there is no need to be abusive. We should just remember, opinions are like bums, everyone has got one and they generally stink of sh……..

  14. To misquote Groucho Marx – i have My opinions and if ypu dont like them, i have others.

  15. The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions. Leonardo Da Vinci

  16. Hi mate,
    I totally get your point Hugh and from a totally selfish want my club to continue to do well point of view, have great sympathy with it!

    However, I still have this somewhat “dated?” View that representing your country is the highest honour you can bestow on a player and their club and everything should be done to help achieve this.
    Then again I might be just showing my age!?

    Having said that although it is particularly obvious that potentially loosing these players with so much quality and class between them can only be a blow to our ambitions this year. It should not stop us from wishing them all the best while secretly hoping for a speedy exit from the tournament and being injury free and raring to go on their return. COYI!

Comments are closed.