There are many great places on the internet to find football analysis. Some sites are consistently excellent others, not so much. ESPN has always been a mixed bag. Some of their columnists are absolutely excellent, others seem to not even watch the sport.
Whenever they put out a list of player ratings, I prepare to be mortified. This week they released what they consider to be the top 15 players participating in the Africa Cup of Nations starting Friday. For some bizarre reason, one of the very best midfield destroyers on earth, Idrissa Gueye, was left off the list entirely.
Some names I take no issue with whatsoever. Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane are two of the best wingers anywhere (even if they do play on the wrong side of town) and Kalidou Koulibaly might be a top three CB on earth.
Somehow even Wilfred Ndidi made into the list despite being inferior to Gana in just about every way you can think of while playing similar positions.
Other players, like Trézéguet who plays for Kasimpasa in the bottom half of the Turkish Super League, or even Percy Tau who Brighton & Hove Albion felt needed to be loaned to Royale Union Saint Gilloise of the Belgian second tier to get game time just cannot possibly be better than a pillar for one of the biggest clubs on earth. It’s just laughable beyond belief, really.
We here at Royal Blue Mersey are biased towards our Toffees, as we should be. I rate Gana as a top ten player from the continent of Africa, and some may consider that high, but I just cannot believe too many folks who have seen Everton play doubt his quality compared to some of the names on this list.
Senegal must face Tanzania, Algeria, and Kenya in the group stages of the 2019 AFCON. They are one of the favorites in the tournament thanks to a large amount of top end talent and being the highest rated African team in FIFA’s world rankings. Maybe if Gana helps bring home a trophy he will finally get the respect he deserves. In the meantime, we all know what he can do, and I look forward to seeing them start play this Sunday.