Way back on Saturday, we put up an open thread for comments on that day's World Cup qualifiers. It took all of two comments for kopper to come in and opine that the games are scary for fans of the clubs who employ the players. All I can say is, it would have been ironic if it were our own Autoglass instead.
You see, Autoglass is our resident Chelsea supporter, and that team lost the Shirley Jackson-esque lottery as to who suffers the worst injury while its players are on international duty. The player lost? Michael Essien.
Essien tore his ACL while on duty for Ghana this weekend. According to the BBC, this is an injury which is very similar to the one Michael Owen picked up at the four-minute mark of the 2006 World Cup. That injury sidelined Owen for 10 months. It is theorized, before surgery even takes place, that Essien is out for the season for Chelsea.
Chelsea will be fine. Even if the early months are a struggle, they will buy somone on January 1st to cover the losses. Heck, Branislav Ivanovic, a mainstay for my FMLive team, may even see the pitch.
The real losers here are Ghana. Not only did they lose Essien, but they lost the match to Libya as well, 1-0. The loss drops them to 3rd lace in their 4 team group with one match to play in first round qualifying. Luckily, they have doormats Lesotho in the final game of the group, while Libya and Gabon tackle each other. Ghana will only need a high second place finish to go through. They should get that, and own the tiebreaker over Libya, should it come to that.
However, Ghana cannot afford the same type of missteps in the next round, should they advance. And given that they will be without an influential bulldog of a midfielder, one can see how difficult it will be for the team that sealed the USA's fate in 2006 to make the field for 2010.