The ageing Golden Generation of Les Elephants
This World Cup it will be time to unbolt the doors,roll up the window blinds and watch the golden generation take center stage for probably their last time in an occasion as colossal as this. When other fairly able teams strive for a cup, this equally able side strives for recognition among the masses.
How often would you see a side consisting of the most followed stars of the generation including Didier Drogba, Yaya Toure and Salomon Kalou resort to obtaining a meagre spot in a World Cup. Sure, they have not made a name for themselves on the international stage but their long lists of accolades do remind you of their credibility.
The much proclaimed Golden Generation may be playing their last World Cup this June and much the sorrow of the Ivorian fans, it would be their last likelihood of announcing themselves on the big stage. Considering the enviable ability of their side, one would consider the African Cup of Nations to be a mere formality but nobody knows what they lack when they get dumped out in the Quarter Finals of one of them.
Les Elephants have a huge amount of firepower in their ageing side, players like Didier Drogba , Yaya Toure, Kolo Toure, Cheik Tiote, Salomon Kalou, Seydou Dombia and Wilfred Bony call the shots in their side. More so,the experience acquired by almost all of these marvels is admirable. Drogba, the current Galatasaray star has obtained a vast amount of experience from Chelsea and was rewarded the Golden Boot twice .
Yaya Toure, the Manchester City midfielder orchestra-tor has never failed to deliver the goods for the Sky Blues. The 31 year old has racked up a huge amount of goals and assists through the years during his stay at City. Much like what Kalou achieved for Chelsea.
The other above mentioned players have not yet reached the pinnacle of their careers but are treated to be the best in their positions in their respective Leagues.
All of them have got used to delivering stellar performances for their clubs but have got acclimatized to faltering on the International Stage. Maybe,the temperature or the playing conditions in Africa serve as basket cases because most of them are accustomed to residing in cold places such as Manchester or Moscow(in Doumbia’s case). Or perhaps the term “Golden Generation ” itself is a curse.
This would be their last chance to catch the attention of the masses by surprise and it would be happiness indeed, if they manage to do so. The playing conditions in Brazil do resemble those of Africa quite closely.
The Les Elephants have been pitted alongside equally inept sides like Japan,Columbia,Greece.On paper,their team looks miles ahead of the other three in Group C but football is not played on paper, or is it?
They will take to the pitch for the first time against the Shinji Kagawa inspired Japanese side and this game, will be a tough one for them apart from the one against the Colombians. The lowly Greek side would be lucky enough to outsmart them and deny them a spot in the Round of 16.
It would be an ideal tournament for them if they somehow manage to steer themselves towards the Quarter Finals and also, it would be decent enough to detach the “Chokers Tag” from their names. It won’t be easy of course,but it won’t be tough as well ,taking into the account the firepower and the attacking prowess of the side.
They are a complete team,by the looks of things except for the fact that they tend to concede goals carelessly or rather cheaply. It has regularly been a constant source of tension for coach Sabri Lamouchi,who’s struggling to make a case for himself. The preferred centre back pairing Kolo Toure and Sol Bamba are at the peak of their careers and seem to be the most polished players in the Ivorian side. But the odd lack in concentration has led to disastrous consequences and it succeeds in sapping the energy and momentum of the players. They are capable of delivering defiant performances but at the same time ,are prone to committing costly errors.
Meanwhile,maestro Didier Zokora is renowned among the fans and the players alike as a daredevil and an audacious skipper. The tough tackling defensive midfielder is being increasingly used as a Centre Back by Lamouchi but it still remains to be seen whether he is capable of dealing with bulky and strong forwards from top drawer oppositions.
And there’s a limit to how many times your strikers can save you. The forward accompanying strikers have done it sometimes, but luck doesn’t always shine upon them.
Switching to self destruct mode has become a regular feature of this side and there’s no wonder why the light which their stars emit strikes them back violently in reply.
It would truly sad to see a prized nation not achieving laurels and succumbing to bequeathing the trust of the fans. Whatever will be, will be but this Ivory Coast Golden Generation is the best their nation has ever witnessed.