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Sports Features Tue, 2 Oct 2018

Gyan’s call up makes sense but exclusion of Ayews, Schlupp 'senseless'

Asamoah Gyan is returning to the Black Stars for the first time since his selection in the World Cup qualifying 1-1 draw game against the Red Devils of Congo at the Baba Yara stadium on September 1 last year and opinion has sharply divided regarding this return to the national team of the country’s record goalscorer.

Gyan has only seen 36 minutes of goalless action this season for Kayserispor in Turkey. He came off the bench in the 77th minute for Bernard Mensah in Kayserispor’s 0-0 home draw against Yeni Malatyaspor on August 25 and against Goztepe, during Round 5 of the league he was a 69th-minute sub for Deniz Turuc on September 15.

However before Gyan vanished from the Ghana selection he was the Black Stars striker with the most goals (3 goals in 6 starts, 0.50 scoring rate) in the year 2017 and had 1 assist. An AFCON goal against Mali in Port-Gentil in Jan 2017, a superb free-kick against USA in an international friendly and another target against Ethiopia in an AFCON qualifier in Kumasi on 11 June 2017 as Ghana recorded a big 5-0 win. Only Thomas Partey, who is not a centre forward, had more goals (5) than Gyan within the same period of consideration. Boakye Yiadom scored 2 goals. Dwamena 2 goals and 1 goal for Jordan Ayew.

Without Gyan in the team since the Ghana 1 Congo 1 World Cup qualifier, the 5 forwards Kwesi Appiah has utilized have managed only 3 combined goals in 9 combined starts working at 0.33 scoring rate (lesser than Gyan’s 0.50). They are Richmond Boakye Yiadom, Patrick Twumasi, Raphael Dwamena, Emmanuel Boateng and Majeed Waris. Again without Gyan, Andre Ayew, Jordan Ayew in the Black Stars, Ghana has picked just a win in four competitive matches meaning their absence from the team has not yielded any big outcome.

The former Sunderland attacker is not the future of the Black Stars. But it is currently a mini crisis at the national team in terms of goals scoring and so why won’t the most prolific striker of this country be given an emergency call to come and help? He’s done it 51 times.

Its obvious Appiah is forced to go for tried and tested weapons against Sierra Leone in search of unmitigated wins and Asamoah Gyan is one of those materials. And one cannot laugh at the mention of Sierra Leone who are ranked 114th by FIFA , because Kenya – ranked 107th in the world – defeated the Black Stars finishing the game with 10 men and Appiah knows exactly what failure to beat the Leone Stars would mean.

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Asamoah Gyan is an iconic figure. His numbers are there for all to see and for what he has done for the Black Stars he deserves to retire from international football peacefully and fairly.

At 32, that time is definitely not too far. Gyan is not stupid not to leave when the applaud is loudest. He will listen to his body and finally decide to bow out but currently his return makes sense for the reasons pointed out above.

But it is the absence of Andre Ayew, Jeffery Schlupp and Jordan Ayew in particular that doesn’t make even a little sense.

Jordan has played 317 minutes of premier league football this season for Crystal Palace making 1 assist whilst his fellow international Jeffery Schlupp has seen 336 minutes and scored a goal against Fulham but both have been snubbed consecutively .

Gyan, Bernard Mensah,Isaac Sackey are all plying trade in Turkey but the one playing for the biggest club over there is Andre Ayew at Fenerbahce.

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The former Marseille winger has scored two times this season for the Turkish giants and is a regular starter but perhaps the only man in the world that sees Thomas Agyepong, Nana Ampomah as better players – for rebuilding or not- than the Fenerbahce man is Kwesi Appiah.

Instead Majeed Waris – 0 goals, 1 assists for Nantes this season – , Christian Atsu – 0 goals and a bench warmer at Newcastle United have been called by coach Appiah back to back whilst Emmanuel Boateng walks easily into the national team following his injury recovery at Levante.

Appiah has always cited his rebuilding exercise in explaining the non-selections of the Ayew brothers in the last 6 Ghana games but now his reasons are no more credible and lacked diplomacy and this is something that can possibly plant doubts in people’s mind to begin believing the Black Stars coach might be using his position to pursue a vendetta against a particular group and race of people and it might be the reality.

Source: footballmadeinghana.com
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