September 18, 2019

A young Cameroon striker courts Premier League scouts

Posted on June 3, 2014 by in FIFA World Cup

An interesting report about Vincent Aboubaker.  Cameroon are not a team to be underestimated going into the World Cup, with a recent drew again Germany in a friendly.  Samuel Eto scored the first goal for Cameroon, and Choupo-Moting later scored an equalizer to make it 2:2.  Eto is a seasoned player, and Aboubaker is definitely one to watch.  Cameroon’s first game is against Mexico 13th June at 13.00. 

The 60-second story
A fantastic season at FC Lorient has put Vincent Aboubakar well and truly on the European football radar, as he is set to play in his second World Cup at the tender age of 22. After an indifferent spell at relegation battling Valenciennes, Aboubakar has this season finally started to make the waves that many European football fans had been anticipating.

His career began at Cotonsport Garoua where he quickly became the star of his hometown side, scoring seven goals in 15 games during his breakthrough season at the age of 18. His performances didn’t escape the attention of Cameroon manager Paul Le Guen, who called up the youngster to Cameroon’s 2010 World Cup squad, where he made two appearances. With many clubs pursuing him, including Tottenham Hotspur, the powerful striker eventually earned himself a move to Ligue 1 side Valenciennes.

This is where his development as an emerging superstar somewhat stalled, as he was unable to find his feet in a team who were also struggling themselves. With only nine goals in three Ligue 1 seasons his composure in front of goal had deserted him, and Valenciennes chose not to renew his contract.

FC Lorient took a gamble on Aboubakar, and manager Christian Gourcuff’s decision to sign him on a free transfer is now looking like an inspired one. Finishing as Ligue 1’s joint second top scorer and contributing to nearly 50% of his team’s goals, be it through goals or assists, Aboubakar is certainly an emerging young talent, with his performances earning him a place in Cameroon’s World Cup squad.
Why you need to know him
Undoubtedly one of the stand out performers in Ligue 1 this season, Aboubakar’s goals led Lorient to an impressive eighth place finish. He has incredible athleticism, often overpowering defenders, but also has the technical ability to match. Intelligent hold up play and neat footwork compliment his natural strength, and he is more than capable in front of goal.

With the 22-year-old’s progress being closely monitored over the last few years, his impact this season is unlikely to go unnoticed, with a number of Premier League teams waiting in the wings and keen to lure this striker who is perfectly suited to the English league.

Technical ability combined with his unquestionable athleticism and composure in front of goal, Aboubakar has all the attributes of a complete striker, and is a real handful for defenders. Despite his fairly diminutive stature at only 184cm, his power makes him appear far taller and his strength means that he is an intimidating presence. The young striker also boasts impressive footwork, often embarrassing opposition defenders with his close control and pacey dribbling. Despite having the capabilities to operate as a lone frontman, this season has seen him form a successful partnership with Jeremie Aliadiere, demonstrating clever link-up play and great awareness.
Despite Aboubakar’s commanding presence and his natural power, his hold up play could be significantly improved. He brings other players into the game well through lay-offs and quick passes, but he is unable to hold onto the ball for too long. His work rate also leaves a lot to be desired, with him displaying very little in terms of defensive contribution this season. Whilst it would be unfair to call him lazy, it seems that once his team are no longer in possession he does not see it as his responsibility to track back and put challenges in.
They said…
“Confidence is important for Vincent, he’s someone who needs to feel that he’s supported,” said Lorient manager Christian Gourcuff. “I also think the Lorient style of play suits him because he’s an excellent footballer and he’s getting the right kind of service here.”
Did you know?
When Aboubakar was selected for Cameroon’s 2010 World Cup squad he was the only player to be playing his football in his home country. Manager Paul Le Guen had heard about this emerging superstar and travelled back to Cameroon to study his progress. Despite other Cameroonian strikers plying their trade in some of Europe’s biggest leagues, Le Guen selected a young Aboubakar who was playing for Cotonsport Garoua at the time.
What happens next?
There is likely to be a lot of interest this summer with a number of clubs on standby. A good performance at the World Cup could earn Aboubakar a big move, with Premier League trio Tottenham Hotspur, Swansea City and Newcastle United having previously been linked to the striker.

Despite possible transfer rumours, Aboubakar still has two years remaining on his current contract at Lorient and he recently expressed his appreciation towards what the club and the manager Christian Gourcuff have done for him “I owe him an awful lot, and the team too”. Gourcuff’s departure could influence Aboubakar’s future however, and if a big team comes in it will be hard to turn down.
Talentspotter Ratings
Shooting 7 • Heading 6 • Passing 5 • Tackling 4 • Pace 7 • Dribbling 6 • Creativity 6 • Work-rate 6

From: General

Home grown rule will not save our World Cup hopes

Posted on August 6, 2010 by in England, English Premier League, FIFA World Cup, Home Grown Talent

The home grown player rule will help Britain’s next World Cup attempt but is it enough?

Press recently about the ‘home grown’ players rule has been mixed. The home grown players rule is basically a quota that will apply to the Premier League only. Premier League clubs must name a squad of 25 players. Eight of which must have been trained in England or Wales for three years. 

On the face of it this rule looks great for promoting home grown talent at the grass roots level.  An unlimited number of under 21 players are allowed in the squad which add to this.  After coming up through a youth academy Wayne Rooney has stated his support for the initiative, ” vital to the future of England and the Premier League” Wayne said. 

This is exactly right.  The national team needs a boost and fresh talent if they’re going to have a chance at future World Cup tournaments.  Another plus point to the new ruling is that it should spice up the transfer market.

However, some important points have been left out of the press releases.  The rule states players must have been playing in the UK for at least 3 years.  So the players don’t actually have to be English.  Any foreign players already playing her for three years apply.  But, it’s a step in the right direction.

The Premier League has also boosted youth development by increasing the amount of coaching hours at academies.  Hopefully the second step in this process will be to alter the rule so that it applies only to English players.  Something we can possibly expect over the coming years.

You can’t blame Rooney it’s the Premierships that’s to blame

Posted on July 6, 2010 by in FIFA World Cup

Time to talk about the FIFA World Cup. It’s ended for England. Which is a bitter disappointment of course. After reading a post over at we’ve decided to talk about this a bit more. A disappointment yes, but, a surprise, probably not.

With the media constantly telling us that the England team can win the World Cup even the most level headed fan could be fouled. Wait a minute….if you start to believe the hype you come to ignore the failings of the Premier League. IMHO these include a lack of domestic players, too much money, and hyped up celebrity. If it wasn’t for the money the Premiership would not be awash with foreign players.

Not to mention the real allegiances of the players. Which, of course, must first be to their clubs. The clubs which pay the wages and that are the route of their celebrity. The situation is not likely to change in a big way because the Premiership will not be short of cash, especially now Asian nations are paying billions for Premiership rights.

Another issue is the way some players sulk when they aren’t playing in the their favoured position. If they are good enough to be paid the sums of money they receive how come their performance dips so badly if they have to be played out of position. Every time Stephen Gerrard is played in another place than a central position he throws his toys out of the pram. But he’s had at least two years where he must have known that he’d be paired with Lampard in a position other than the beloved central position. Wait a minute, he was supposed to be the captain. If the captain ain’t motivated, and by all accounts looking like he is making some kind of protest, it’s no wonder the rest of the players didn’t live up to the job.


What does Franz Beckenbauer know….

Posted on June 15, 2010 by in England

Mr Beckenbauer knows a fair bit.  He has had great success as a player, coach and manager.  So he is qualified to comment on England’s performance.  But, slightly unwise and poor timing.  Although many will agree with his comments, although, he has slaughtered England. Is he worried that England will be playing Germany in the first round of the knock out stages.

He’s not sure if Capello can change the England team.  He thinks England are regressive under Capello.

Mr Beckenbauer is making England out to be a fallen footballing nation and Germany out to be a mighty footballing nation.  The results so far have been on his side, viz, German 4 Australia 0.  However, the USA have to be a stronger side than Australia.  USA only managed a draw against England due to Robert Green’s blunder.

Green’s blunder might have been down to the use of the new Jabulani ball.   The new ball for the Sought African tournament.  The Germans have been training with the Jabulani ball for 6 months. England had never used it before. A massive oversight in preparation for Capello.


Capello dropped a bomb and the squad is decided

Posted on June 1, 2010 by in England

No more tinkering from Fabio Capello. The England squad for the football World Cup in South Africa has been confirmed. Gareth Barry’s ankle injury hasn’t ruined his chances of playing. He’s in. Theo Walcott hasn’t made it. Not surprising, perhaps, as he has only had 15 starts for Arsenal in the last season. Walcott had plenty of chances to show that he could improve over the last year but, his collection of injury woes probably made this difficult

Fabio Capello said after the Japan match that not a lot has changed for the selection of the 23 man squad for the World Cup. As a result Allan Shearer writing over on the BBC website speculated that it would end in disappointment for Joe Cole, because he was not getting enough first team football… not so. Joe Cole has made the squad. Heskey has been left on the bench a couple of times recently but he has made the squad as well. Let’s look at how the performances against Japan might have shaped Capello’s final decision.


On to the World Cup, Gareth Barry was missed against Mexico

Posted on May 26, 2010 by in England, FIFA World Cup

The Premiership has been concluded. There is no need to talk about Chelsea or Man United because it was always going to be one of those two at the top. Instead what an interesting race and finish for the fourth spot. Something we vented our feelings about in the last post. So well done Tottenham. Personally, I had a gut feeling Tottenham would make it and that they would disappoint Mancini’s Man City.

Talking about Man City Gareth Barry was sorely missed in England’s 3-1 victory over Mexico. Fabio Capello feels he has lost the control and balance that Gareth Barry brought to midfield. Gareth Barry is a key part of the squad and the ankle ligament injury he picked up against Tottenham in May has risked his role in the World Cup.

Capello offered shielded criticism that England lacked dominance and attacking play against Mexico which could have resulted from the inability of Michael Carrick or Jamie Milner to control midfield. Gerrard was brought from out wide into a more central role in the second half which helped change the game. In the first half Mexico where allowed too much possession while England just sat back and watched.

Lets see if Frank Lampard can reassert England’s aggression in Midfield when the team meet Japan next. In order to beat Span, Brazil and others England will need to up their tactical game or compensate with more control and aggression.

England will play the runners up in group D. Assuming Germany win group D that leaves Ghana, Serbia, and Australia and likely contenders. So we’ll have to wait until England meet Brazil in the semi final to find out. A bold statement, no way.