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Sports Features Fri, 23 Nov 2007

Saving our best for last

EVER heard that song from Soul Winners? I mean the gospel group. “Only Jesus can save”. That is the song I'm talking about. That is the song Jones Attuquayefio and his technical team should be singing right now and I believe the entire management team together with the playing body should join them in the chorus. It will only take a miracle for the Black Meteors to qualify. Maybe, a similar one to that of Cote d'Ivoire in the 2006 World Cup qualifier. The Ivorians failed when they needed a win against Cameroon to qualify but they had their miracle when one of the whipping boys in the group (Egypt) went to draw with Cameroon in Douala. Jones Attuquayefio and his boys should be praying for the same thing. Come to think of it, what really happened? In fact my candid opinion is that everything went wrong last Friday, from the selection of players to tactics, discipline and the rest.

Many people keep wondering why a player like Eric Bekoe was never included in this Meteors team and I agree with them. This is a player who has been consistently scoring in Kotoko's pre-season friendlies. Many may argue that the player was involved in friendlies and so it will be a bad assessment if we use that as a basis to invite him. Fine! Then my question is why was he not even called up for a trial? Because personally I believe he's better than most of the strikers in the team. What about Dede Ayew? I watched him play in the French Ligue 1 for Marseille against Lyon and he really convinced me. On the game itself (last Friday's encounter with the “Dream team”), the fact that we wanted to win at all cost never meant we had to play with 3 strikers to expose our midfield. A player like Michael Helegbe (I have nothing against the player) had no business being on the pitch for that long after it became so obvious he was having a terrible day. The same can be said for Kumordzi and Asamoah Gyan. No need to cry over spilt milk but we all have to see how best we can develop our game. What really is the problem with our national teams? The U-17 team went to the World Cup and placed fourth, whilst that of the U-20 is a whole story that will have to be discussed another day. Our only hope is the Black Stars but seriously things don't look good. Claude Le Roy should tell us his criteria for selecting players. Many of my colleagues are now tired of even asking this question because when you put that up at any press conference, the coach will give you an answer that might no be to your satisfaction. The likes of Kudjo Fianoo, Alhaji Grunsah and Kofi Manu do not want to talk about the national teams anymore because if you do, you'll be seen in a certain light. But in all honesty, we need their experience (more especially Fianoo and Grunsah). I was very disappointed to have heard that the coach has called up Ransford Osei, Dan Opare and Dan Addo. Let's try to at least tell the truth here. These players are being rushed.

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In fact, Kudjo Fianoo showed beyond every reasonable doubt that he is one of the few astute and professional club administrators we have in the country when he openly criticised LeRoy's decision to call Daniel Opare to the Black Stars. Dan Addo for instance was not even good enough to start for the Black Meteors but Le Roy wants him in his team. If we want to try players, why not call up the likes of Dan Quaye, Isaac Boakye, Mustapha Riga and the rest. McCauley Chrisantus was the best player at the recent U-17 World Cup but Nigerians will move him gradually until he fully matures for the senior level. Le Roy should know that Ghanaians will accept nothing but the trophy and it's time he gets serious. Why not give Isaac Boakye a chance? Why drop Barusso from the Stars? The FA should call the coach to order because they will also be blamed when the coach fails. Host and win? We can if things are done right.

Source: 90 Minutes Newspaper
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