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2016/2017 Ghana Premier League so far: my thoughts

Sat, 25 Feb 2017 Source: christopher opoku

Call me old fashioned or even Victorian; I just cannot help being in love with our local league. By the way, my love for my wife and kids is stronger; just so you know. I know the league has been described as unattractive and I would be the first to agree that so many things are wrong. Bluntly put however, the Ghana Football Association treats the Premier League like an ignored but faithful wife but rather continues to chase after its greatest side chick, the Black Stars because of the monetary rewards it brings.

This piece is just to share my thoughts on what has taken place so far since the season kicked off officially

Defence undermining attack for Olympics

It was exciting to see Abel Manomey net a brace for Olympics against Elmina Sharks, after scoring on his Premier League debut against Ashanti Gold. It turns out that he is a trained graduate teacher who has scored goals by the bucketful for the University College of Education, Winneba as a student. The former Kotoku Royals striker will be one to watch this season, with parallels already drawn with club legends like George Alhassan Aladdin and Abdul Aziz. However, head coach Godwin Attram had some tough decisions to make. Osei Boateng and Dan Quaye were his teammates at the 1997 Under 17 World Cup in Egypt, but both are clearly past their best, as evidenced by the two games. Losing a two goal lead is always painful and Attram has to consider dropping his old friends for Olympics to start winning games, especially with a lethal weapon like Manomey upfront.

Credit must however go to Elmina Sharks for clawing back a two goal deficit. The newly promoted side has one of Ghana's most underrated coaches, Kobina Amissah in charge and winning a point in such a manner bodes well for the season

Aduana Stars on fire; making up for lost time

Aduana Stars came close to winning the title last season but lost out to Wa All Stars in the end. Seth Opare may have joined Asante Kotoko, but majority of the team remains. Most of the players have been there for a long time with team captain Godfred Saka in particulat remaining loyal for a minimum of seven years. Three wins in three with no goals conceded shows the club's determination to go for glory and the Dormaa based side is probably the team to beat now.

Asante Kotoko needs more creativity

New head coach Zdravko Logarusic has chosen to go with a 3-5-2 formation. Whilst it has made Asante Kotoko defensively strong, the team's most skilful players, Emmanuel Gyamfi and Ashitey Ollennu have had to fill in at times as wing backs and so there is little creativity in the middle. Perhaps if the team is built around Ollennu for example, it could bring out the best in new signing Yakubu Mohammed. Yakubu has a record of reaching double figures in goal scoring in each season he played for Ashanti Gold until recently. The Porcupine Warriors have to play to his strengths.

Hearts of Oak need a goalscorer

The Phobians are playing some fine football and goalkeeper Ben Mensah and midfielder Malik Akowuah are good signings, but goal scoring remains a problem. New coach Frank Nuttal has to solve this problem to start winning games. Fortunately he has a group of young talented players at his disposal to work with.

Tema Youth out to prove doubters wrong

Tema Youth got to play in the top flight this season after Dreams Fc was demoted for player registration irregularit ies. The team is however playing well enough to merit it's place in the Premier League and in Joseph Paintsil, another raw gem has been uncovered. Home form will be crucial if Tema Youth is to stay in the Premier League.

Bolga All Stars need help!!!

This is the first time the Upper East region is being represented in the top flight but there are issues both on and off the pitch. I saw pictures of the club's bus and I wanted to weep. Results have also gone against the side but I would like to make a special appeal to the Upper East Regional administration to step in and help. After all, Bolga All Stars is representing the region and if a new and more spacious bus can be provided, that could help the players.

Why the GFA is suffering from erectile dysfunction on the Premier League

It is nothing short of a disgrace to see a CAN 2008 backdrop used for post match interviews after a Ghana Premier League game in 2017! What is the GFA Communications team doing? If it was the Black Stars, the communications team members would have had collective hard ons if the Black Stars were about to play a match. It seems to me that the FA is not interested in packaging it's own product effectively and that is sad. Maybe the high ups at the FA will understand if I put it this way: please stop overchasing the shapely Black Stars in anticipation of an enjoyable climax and pay more attention to the Premier League. A word to the wise, they now say, is in a comfortable lead.

Columnist: christopher opoku