Sports Features of 2014-06-09

Improve on your goal scoring abilities

The love and attachment to football by Ghanaians have grown to such a level that no one can stop it yet the only thing that makes it enjoyable and exciting is the goals. I am dissatisfied by the way and manner our football strikers in our local league look past begging changes that come their way in matches they play.

I cannot understand our strikers on how they take delight in playing the “exhibition” football instead of playing for goals. If I may ask them, what is football all about?

To the best of my knowledge, football is all about scoring goals to make our numerous fans happy. So if they do not fancy scoring goals then I would want to ask them this question; what do they offer their fans when they play the exhibition or fine football and in the end, lose the match causing their fans to go unconscious, sad and dejected to the extent that majority of them fails to eat delicious meals prepared by their wives. It will shock you to know that, some fans go to the extent of committing suicide! So strikers do us the honour of saving lives when you play.

The rate at which our strikers look past chances that come their way and later apportion blame on the referee when they lose a match, is something I don’t understand. These days, they have adopted their own style, different from what is required from a striker. They want to make their goals beautiful like rose flower prepared for a wedding ceremony so that their fans will praise them by saying ‘goal yi dee, eye fe paa oo’. If I may ask, do we have anything like ugly goal in football?

If my memory serves me right, during the days of Coach Frank Richard in Barcelona FC in Spain Ronaldinho used the “agon” style to score a goal for his team to win the Champion’s league title. Goal scoring, to the best of my football knowledge is an act which has to be learnt at all times. Strikers of nowadays don’t want to exert themselves to go the extra mile to practice how to score goals or better still to make them potent strikers.

The two (2) leading top goal scorers in the First Capital Plus Premier League with just two (2) matches to go have only twelve (12) goals and it is not encouraging at all and this clearly shows how much we lack potent or clinical strikers whom when they have ten (10) chances in a game can score at least seven ( 7) goals. No wonder there have not been any pressure from any quarters advocating for the two top scorers in our local league to be included in Dr. Kwesi Appiah’s thirty (30) provisional man squad.

These strikers have heard time and time again that “practice makes perfect” and yet they don’t want to practice how to score goals easily on their own without instructions from their coaches. This is exactly why they end up shooting wayward other than placing the ball accurately in their opponents yearning net. We have had the likes of Abukari “goal na ma hwehwe” Akwasi Owusu, George Alhassan, John Essien, Anane Kobo, Late Shamo Quaye, Thomas Boakye the Zion Train, Anthony Yegola Yeboah, Opoku Nti, Opoku Afriyie and many others who took the pain to practice how to score a goal from half chances that will come their way.

The above mentioned old players were goal poachers because majority of their goals they scored was not with a shot but by just placing the ball accurately in their opponents net. Majority of the strikers we have in our Premier league today lack goal scoring techniques that is why they squander begging chances that come their way. They don’t know how to even place themselves in a good position for a pass from their playmates. Also, they don’t know when to shoot or place the ball into the net. They take penalties while their chest is up and the ball flies upward like a balloon blown in the air.

Good old Ronaldo in his heydays in Real Madrid, had an interview with BBC Sports and was quoted to have said that his hobby is goal scoring and he loves it more than anything in football.

A striker must be courageous whenever he is in the opponent’s 18 yard box. At that point, he should feel more than a king and that if a defender fouls him, he commits a penalty and if he leaves him, he goes straight to score a goal. I don’t understand why our strikers rush to score and in the end shoot wayward whenever they are in their opponents’ 18 yard box making it look as if they are being chased with clubs, machete and guns.

I will at this juncture blame our football – loving fans for not giving credit to the one who created the goal scoring chances, but always give credit to those who score the goals. Our football loving fans have not taken their time to examine this issue of putting much pressure on their players. Players who do all the dirty works in a game to create chances for these strikers have realized that their effort is not recognized by their fans that is why these days we don’t have players like John Bannerman who in an African Cup final match stood at an acute angle unhesitant and laid a pass to Opoku Nti to tap the ball into the opponents’ net for Kumasi Asante Kotoko’s victory in the 80’s.Can same be said of today’s players we see in our local league?

The old “won nkye mbo” system by some of our coaches during training sections does not help our strikers at all because there wouldn’t be any time to make corrections on chances strikers waste on training grounds since the coach’s focus will be on his team selection for a particular match.

I quite remember in the 80’s Coach Herbert Addo who was the then coach of Kumasi Cornerstones because he had an eagle eye saw something hidden in Tony Yeboah so he assigned him a personal goal scoring practice on how to score goals. Tony Yeboah was ready to score goals and he took the pain to come to Asem Park as early as 2:00 pm to exercise his personal goal scoring practice before the rest of his teammates will come for their normal training and we all saw the goals he scored for Kumasi Cornerstones and Okwahu United before he left for Europe.

I must say that, these days hardly would you see our strikers scoring goals with a header because they have not taken the pain to practice how to score goals with their heads. Our strikers in the olden days were not magicians but rather took the pain to practice how to make good use of half chances that come their way on their own without the supervision of an instructor.

How many of our strikers today have taken the opportunity to walk to these old goal machines to ask them the secret behind their success in goal scoring-abilities. I will urge our strikers to also spend their time to train goal scoring on their own apart from their team’s normal training sessions and goals will chase them and they will get winning bonuses all the time because no team in the world pays losing bonuses. Good luck Ghanaian strikers.

Source: Michael Kessey
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