Achille Emana reminded Otto Pfister about what Cameroon may be missing by not selecting him. He scored two goals in Betis Seville’s 3-2 away win at Racing Santander. It was the Cameroonian’s 9th goal of a season in which he has played  27 out of 30 league games for his team. The Cameroonian imposed his skill and power as Betis continues to battle itself out of relegation. Betis are 15th very, very far from Samuel Eto’o’s FC Barcelona who are leading Spain’s La Liga with 75 points and 87 goals (26 of them to the credit of the Cameroonian). But Eto’o had to sit on the bench for the 90 minutes of Barca’s 2-O victory over Huelva. Understandably, Pep Guardiola had wanted to rest the Pichichi after his top notch performance in mid-week were he scored a goal and made an assist in Barcelona’s 4-0 walloping of Bayern Munich. One could read in Eto’o’s eyes that he would have preferred to play  to score a career breaking 27th goal in a same season in the league. That would be for another time.
Emana celebrates Andalussian Style with Betis

Emana celebrates Andalussian Style with Betis

His striking partner in the Indomitable Lions Achille Webo, who spends most of his time on the reserve bench at Real Malorca  respected his season tradition: he was only fielded at the 85th minute. Is it a surprise that he did not score in his team’s 2-0 win against Almeria? Not quite. His happiness should be that his team is drifting to safety and far from relegation. That isn’t the case for Otto Pfister’s first-choice goalkeeper for the Lions, Carlos Kameni. His cat-like antics notwithstanding, Espanyol Barcelona looks set to be drowned in the murky waters of relegation. They drew 0-0 with Numancia but are rock bottom on the 20th spot.

Alex Song steams in England

During the midweek champions league games, Emmanuel Adebayor’s spectacular goal may have caught all the attention, but the work rate of Cameroon’s Alexandre Song in the midfield greatly contributed to Arsenal managing a draw at Villareal. He maintained the same form during the weekend’s premier league confrontation with Wigan and even scored during extra-time. Watching him dribble his way into the 18-yard box from a midfield position to score, one couldn’t help cursing his sometimes foul temper which caused him to be red-carded against Cape Verde leading to a  three game international match ban.  He could really be useful to the Lions.

It’s hard to say that about the one-time  Newcastle United skipper and current 1st deputy captain of the Cameroon national team. Geremi Njitap was once again keeping the bench from flying last saturday when embattled Newcastle United drew 1-1 with Stoke City. Geremi is probably Cameroon’s most decisive player of the last 9 years but if his club form does not improve, it would bolster the claims by some fans that he should be sidelined by the Lions’ coach. Right now, the regular  player for the Magpies with Cameroonian blood is Sebastien Bassong who plays in central defence. The national team manager said he was working with authorities to see that Bassong who had played for France under 21s switches nationalities. It may be a tad too late though but while waiting for the miracle many continued to observe his strength during the Stoke game.  

Maybe the German-born coach of Cameroon  should focus on trying to convince David N’gog who is currently playing for France under-21s and is within the legal age to switch. The tall player came off the reserve bench at the 85th minute and scored at the 90th minute in Liverpool’s 4-O thumping of woeful Blackburn Rovers.

What we are certain of, is that Benoît Assou-Ekotto is a Cameroonian. The Tottenham left-back who could have been selected by the French national side chose to become an Indomitable Lion and has earned two caps (against Guinea and Mali). He competed ferociously for the Spurs in their 1-0 triumph over West Ham in yet another English premier League London derby.

Assou Ekotto in a premier league duel with Man United's Tevez

Assou Ekotto in a premier league duel with Man United's Tevez

Cameroon versus Cameroon duels in France, Enoh scores in Holland

The 31st round of matches in the French Ligue 1 featured a number of duels between Cameroonian internationals. In the top game of the weekend, Jean Makoun’s Lyon suffered for a while before managing to equalise against Nkoulou Ndoubena’s Monaco. The game finished 2-2 and both Cameroonians played the full 90 minutes. If Makoun (midfield) is well known, Nkoulou Ndoubena is a central defender who burst into the scene as an under-17 in 2006. He played at central defence and at right-back for the Olympic Lions last year in China.

Midfielder Modeste Mbami (Olympique Marseille) and striker Pierre Boya (Grenoble) also faced-off this weekend. However, both men started the game as substitutes- Mbami only came in as a replacement for an injured Benoît Cheyrou at the 56th minute and Boya at the 60th minute for Daniel Morriera. Neither of the two impressed in a game where Marseille defeated their opponents 4-1.

Stephane Mbia of Rennes was in good shape as he played the full length of the game  in his team’s 1-0 win over struggling St.Etienne. The contrast between him and Mbami is so shouting that one cannot help wondering why at national team level Mbia  is on the substitute list while Mbami is in the starting line-up. Well, let’s consider that the manager simply has too many central midfielders to choose from. That may also explain why Landry N’guemo has not featured in Otto Pfister’s team since his dismal first half against Egypt in the opening game of the 2008 African Cup of Nations in Ghana. The youngster continues to power at midfield for his club AS Nancy Lorraine that defeated Valencienne 2-0. N’guemo even picked-up a yellow card.

Aurelien Chedjou played his 23rd game of the season (the 13th as a first-choice player) when Lille played a goaless draw with Paris St. Germain (PSG). Lille dominated the game with Chedjou strong at midfield but it wasn’t to be a successful night. Whereas Chedjou would be glad that his team remains among the top 6, his Olympic Lions team-mate Bekamenga may be headed to French second tier football. His Nantes side lost to Toulouse (1-0) and though he was fielded at the 77th minute to reinforce the attackline, he never managed to score.

In relation to Otto Pfister’s dilemma due to the abundance of midfielders, Enoh Eyong the brilliant maestro at Ajax Amsterdam made another valuable addition to his case for a national team call-up. He scored the second goal when Ajax simply ran over Willem II on a 7 -0 scoreline. Ajax are currently third in the Dutch top division or Eiredivisie.

Song still strong in Turkey

Rigobert Song (2nd from Left) lines-up for Trabonspor

Rigobert Song (2nd from Left) lines-up for Trabonspor

Rigobert Song Bahanag, Cameron’s national team captain for the past 10 years, is still playing first-team football on  a regular basis. His Turkish club Trabonspor defeated bottom placed Hacceppe 4-1. Song was in the starting line-up just like Souleymanou Hamidou who kept a clean-sheet for Kayerispor  that defeated Denilspor 2-0.