Thursday, April 23, 2009

Top African banger

As we speak, Barcelona are nearing another La Liga title. To say that Samuel Eto'o has 'helped' them would be stating the obvious. Don't even speak of goals, let's do that later.

His work rate is absolutely phenomenal. He runs everywhere, works for everybody and he is an absolute gem of a player. Yes, he may not be the skillful Messi, but he is a vital cog in the wheel for the Blaugrana.

The point I am coming to is that, as it is now, would you say that Eto'o is the best African player at the moment? I hear a chorus for Didier Drogba, Michael Essien and others.

But for me, the fact that none of the others can be bought for the whopping €39 million (£35m) transfer that Manchester City offered is testimony that Eto'o is the man.

Now let's go for the stats.

The prolific 28-year-old, who has scored 26 goals in 29 league games this campaign has 33 goals in all competitions. That's something, people.

Compare Didier who has 22 in all competitions, never mind that he had a rubbish time under Scolari and all that. That the English game is hotter than the La Liga is open to argument. Especially considering that the 'lower-table' La Liga teams are better opposition on the average than English Premiership 'lower-table' sides.

So that's off. Meanwhile I really cannot think of any other threats to Eto'o at the moment. I look back to the start of the season and think Amr Zaki, but he's gone downhill since his explosive start and has 24 bangs.

Now, Michael Essien. He is phenomenal but in terms of impact, I simply feel Eto'o has had more. Most lay-football fans watch the Premiership more than any other, so they may be tempted to put Essien atop. Yes, 10 goals for one in his position is good. But in my book, he doesn't cut it..yet.

What? Adebayor? 27 goals? 6 assists?

Once again, the key word is I-M-P-A-C-T.

Thank you. So, you've listened to me. Now it's your turn.

And so, if the African Player of the Year were held at your home, office or favourite sports hangout today, would you invite Eto'o for the top gong? Let me know!