West Ham United have long been braced for the loss of three of their stars in January as messers Diafra Sakho, Cheikhou Kouyate and Alex Song planned to depart to play for their respective countries in the African Cup of Nations—but in a surprising twist of fate, the Hammers have been dealt a new year reprieve as Cameroonian international Alex Song was a shock omission from the Cameroon squad.
Cameroon head coach Volker Finke selected only the players who featured in the qualifying games, and as Song has not played for Cameroon since his sending off at the World Cup for elbowing Croatia’s Mario Madzukic, he was not called up.
Rumour has it that Finke is now under substantial pressure to include Song in the side, so there’s still a chance that Song will receive a late call-up for his country, but as of now he’s set to stay put in east London for the duration of January and early February.
So while West Ham fans (myself included) joyously greeted the news that Song would not be leaving for the African Cup of Nations come January, I can’t help but wonder – is it really good news that he wasn’t selected for his country?
Song is having a tremendous season with West Ham United.
He’s made a world of difference to our style of play. He’s been a dominating force in midfield, and has even captained the Hammers on several occasions – something which is a massive honour for a loan player.
However, having said that, what does it say for Song that he’s having an incredible season but isn’t being called up by his country? Sure, he hasn’t played for Cameroon since the summer, but his performances for West Ham should be guaranteeing him a place in his national team – particularly above some of the names selected.
The worry is that Song may feel that perhaps West Ham may not be a big enough platform for his performances to be noted on an international stage. After all, he was called up whilst ‘playing’ for Barcelona even though he rarely featured in their games. At the age of 27, Song still has some years available to him to play for his country, and will most likely feel disappointed at not qualifying to be in the team for a big tournament.
Personally, I want him to stay put during Janaury and, to be honest, for as long as possible.
He’s such a valuable asset for West Ham, and even though I’m not crazy about his tendency to clumsily bundle players to the ground from behind, he is so good for holding the structure of the team and moving the ball comfortably up the pitch and controlling the delivery of the ball as we move forward. He’s brought a lot to West Ham— even if the official Fantasy Football ratings refuse to ever award him anything higher than a 3 (haters gonna hate.)
We’ve only got one Song, and I don’t want him going anywhere during our season other than to our away games – but equally, I respect him as a player and believe he has completely and deservedly earned the right to represent his country in this tournament. It’s unlucky for Song, but hopefully his record and occasional captaining at West Ham will do a lot to validate what have been brilliant performances so far this season.
West Ham fans. How vital is Song staying at the club going to be for you? Let us know your thoughts below, become a guest blogger or tweet us @LaFootyettes.