Africa Cup of Nations 2013: Lessons as Burkina Faso go clear in Group C

Africa Cup of Nations 2013: What lessons did we learn as Burkina Faso storm to the top of Group C after an emphatic win?

john obi mikel
Chelsea's Mikel missed a penalty against Zambia Photo: The Sport Review

john obi mikel

Penalty taker selection is key

Why on earth did John Obi Mikel take Nigeria’s first-half spot-kick? The Chelsea midfielder is hardly prolific from open play – he’s scored one goal in five years for Chelsea – so it was a surprise to see him step up against Zambia. He didn’t look confident waiting to take the kick and it will surely be a while before the Blues star does so again after sending his penalty wide, via the outside of the post. To rub salt into the wounds, Zambia keeper Kennedy Mweene really showed him how it is done, dispatching his 85th-minute penalty with all the accuracy and style of a seasoned taker.

Mills is not qualified to comment on African football

It would have been interesting to be part of the pre-Africa Cup of Nations planning meeting at Eurosport. At least then we’d know who to blame for the ludicrous decision to pick Danny Mills – yes, the former Manchester City and Leeds United defender with no obvious connection to Africa – as a co-commentator for its coverage. Mills is, quite frankly, as poor as it gets as a summariser. His views on the African game border on the offensive, such is his lack of understanding of the culture of the continent and the way the game is played there. His musings include the state of the pitch – apparently water is such a precious commodity out there that he can see why they don’t want to waste it watering the pitch – and how a particular Swansea ball boy could do better in the goalkeeping department than some of the shot stoppers on show at Afcon. And that is saying something!

Premier League should be alerted by Traore’s finishing

Looking for clinical striker in the transfer market? Look no further than Alain Traore. The 25-year-old played superbly against Ethiopia and scored two terrific goals to help Burkina Faso earn their first win at the Africa Cup of Nations. He is brimming with confidence and, despite the dodgy pitches, he seems to have quite the golden touch. With three goals in the tournament, Traore is well on his way to claiming the golden boot. He currently plies his trade in Ligue 1 with Lorient. Anyone know a Premier League team, which taps into the French league and needs a striker?

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