The uneventful tale of Djemba-Djemba’s career after United
As far as Manchester United legends go, no individual lit up a football game quite like King Eric. Even to this day, the chants of his name can be heard coming from all corners of Old Trafford, in honour of the club’s greatest foreign export. That’s right, Eric Djemba-Djemba. They used to say he was so good they named him twice. And it was easy to see why for the player once hailed as the ‘Next Roy Keane’. Comparisons to the Irishman were some way off; not because Keane was the better player, but quite the opposite. Whatever Keane achieved at the club, Djemba-Djemba went one step further and emulated him. In fairness to the one-time winner of the African Cup of Nations with Cameroon, he could have done so with his arms tied, blindfolded. Only one other United great, Dong Fangzhou, has come close to reaching the lofty heights of this gifted, talented and decorated Old Trafford legend.
Having sensed the sarcasm long ago, it is worth knowing that it has emerged in the last few days that Djemba-Djemba may be on his way back to the Premier League, being linked with West Bromwich Albion. Who saw that coming after his disastrous spell over here? When he left Manchester United in 2005 after two disappointing years, what exactly happened to him? ManUtd24 investigates his rather uneventful career after Old Trafford…
Historically, players who have failed to cut it at the club have gone on to better things. Diego Forlan, Kleberson and Juan Veron all prospered after leaving United, such was their reincarnation that they were all chosen for their respective countries in the foregoing World Cup in South Africa. Of course, they were good players before and during their United stint, but all three had difficulty settling in to the fast-paced English game. Indeed, Djemba-Djemba was no different, his performances for French club Nantes led to a move to Old Trafford in the first place. After his unsuccessful stint, he moved on to Aston Villa where, in all truth, it was an even bigger nightmare.
One must wonder how the likes of Gavin McCann and Steven Davis were above him in the pecking order over at Villa; a nutshell, if you like, of his dreadful spell at Villa Park. A loan move to Burnley followed, then back again to Martin O’Neill’s team where his contract was soon terminated. This was a failed and fruitless period in his footballing career and which made his United career look somewhat successful.
Thankfully, the unfortunate run in England ended soon. It did take a turn for the better at Qatar SC (…in Qatar) where he must have arrived with little or no confidence. Reasonable success followed and minutes on the pitch came more and more frequently. This stint in the Middle East did however come to an abrupt end. The story of his career, really, although one would think his next move was a slight improvement in the sense of quality of football. His new home was in Denmark, with Odense Boldklub, where he at least had a chance to face his former club Aston Villa on his debut in the Intertoto Cup competition.
But, as the title suggests, his spell at the Danish club petered out into the uneventful. Playing for a club that enjoys little success anyway, Djemba-Djemba will surely a welcome a move back to the Premier League with West Brom. And best of luck to him, after all he was a United great…
Keep Manchester United Green & Gold – SIGN the petition: http://bit.ly/cfg74Q