August 2000: Walter Smith is delighted that Nyarko is set to
become an Everton player, especially in view of the fact that he lost
three of his midfield players in the space of 3 days in mid-July.
"He is a strong type and his style means you would put him in
Vieira-Petit bracket," he said.
"He gets up and down the pitch very well and physically I don't
think he will have any problems adapting to the Premiership.
"Ars�ne Wenger speaks very highly of him and he impressed me
straight away when I watched him. He can play a number of roles
although he was mostly employed in a defensive midfield role last
Alex Nyarko is likely to bring the club-v-country debate back to
Goodison with a vengeance. A tough defender-cum-midfielder, Nyarko has
played a great role in the renaissance of the Ghana Black Stars.
Despite Fifa supposedly aligning the world's football calendar, the
perception is that the African national team are playing too many
meaningless games, and Nyarko is likely to be sucked right in to this
conflict as he was at Lens.
Nyarko was regular midfield player for German club Karlsruhe, strong
physically and mentallyt, he made few errors. After leaving
Karlsruhe who were relegated at the close of 1998-99 season, Nyarko was
sold to the French club and he fitted into the team well. Most
game-watchers were impressed with his performance in the European
League-Cup, especially in the game with Arsenal when he completely marked
Nicolas Anelka out of the game.
First impressions suggest Nyarko will be similar in style to former
Goodison midfielder Olivier Dacourt - his team-mate at French side Lens
last season. Aggressive and strong, quick-thinking and mobile, he also
displayed some elegant touches during training and possesses a powerful
"Last season with Lens I scored once in the league and twice in
the UEFA Cup which isn't many, but that was because of the role I
was playing in the team," he said, after banging in three on
Everton's pre-season West Country tour.
"I can score goals and hopefully at Everton I will get the
opportunity to do that. When I was growing up in Ghana I used to
play just behind the strikers and I scored quite a lot, firstly for a team
called Dawu Youngsters and then at a bigger club Ashanti Kotoko.
"Again you cannot compare African football with playing in
England, but I am confident I can score goals here."
It appears we will struggle to hold on to Nyarko this season.
Rumours of Wenger's interest have already surfaced, and he eclipsed
Olivier Dacourt on his debut at Leeds United. He is quick, extremely
strong and can ride a tackle. His distribution was deadly accurate
and he showed some inventive flicks and shuffles to make space for
April 2001: Everton's Ghana international midfielder
sensationally announced he has quit football after receiving personal
abuse from an Evertonian during the 4-1 defeat at Arsenal.
Nyarko pleaded to be substituted in the 70th minute at Highbury after a
supporter ran onto the pitch and confronted the lack-lustre mercenary,
offering to swap shirts � with the message that the fan do a better job
of imitating a professional footballer. Nyarko, who was eventually
replaced by Idan Tal, said: ''This is the fourth or fifth time this has
happened and that's it. I'm finished with football.
''This man has done the same thing before. He came and offered me
a black T-shirt for my blue one and told me to fuck off. So today I
have decided I am quitting football. I can't live my life like
this. I can live without football and that is what I am going to do.
''I came to this club when I would have been better off joining another
one but I have had no problems with anybody at Everton and I have full
respect for everyone. I have been happy with the way I have played
and I don't upset anybody, but this is too much.''
"Happy with the way I played"??? Alex obviously
needs a lesson in basic Latin: Nil Satis Nisi Optimum. On yer
It turned out later that part of his problem was the
questionable methods of one Archie Knox:
"Nyarko said Knox came to blows with midfielder Stephen Hughes during a
game against Bradford and that Knox later insulted him.
"Archie was fighting with Stephen Hughes and the other players separated
them," the midfielder told The Mirror newspaper.
"It was not the first time. I couldn't understand this attitude. We have
to go and win a game, I can't cope with this.
"Archie was fighting with so many players in the room. In the end I could
not be in the same room as him."
2001 � 2003: For the next two
seasons, Alex Nyarko was on long-term loans, firstly with Monaco and then
with PSG, but no-one wanted to take on the long-term liability....
2003-04: ... and so it was back to
Everton, and all sorts of fine words about how everything had been
one great big misunderstanding, possibly connected with the absence of
Smith and Knox, and a chance to impress a new Everton manager in David
Moyes. He actually played quite well in a
few games, but perhaps lacked the passion needed to lift Everton above the
At the end of the season, it was revealed (to
the incredulity of all and sundry) that his original work permit expired
in 2004, while his contract with Everton expired one year later, in
2005. Now (you may well ask): Why didn't we give him a four-year
contract in the first place? Only Mr Dunford can answer that one...
Everton, however, were confident that the would
be able to secure renewal of the work permit despite the fact that �
wait for it � Nyarko had retired from International football back in
2001!!! How on earth they expected to meet the qualifications for
international appearances under those circumstances is anyone's
But they went ahead and wasted the time of a
tribunal composed of members of FA, the Premier League, the PFA, an
ex-player and and ex-manager (strange, you may wonder, what do this lot
have to do with the issuance of work permits?). The question posed:
is he eligible under the current rules for an extension of his work
permit? Answer: No. Quelle surprise!
Just another in the never-ending legacies left
for our eternal enjoyment by the figures of Messrs Walter Smith and
In September 2007, Nyarko, who was at that time
playing for Swiss Second Division club Yverdon, heard an internal voice
telling him it was time to retire and concentrate on his religious
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* Everton deducted 10 points for PSR breachView full table