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Thank God for Holland defeat!

Thu, 3 Jun 2010 Source: Kwason, Samuel

The pathetic defeat of the Black Stars of Ghana to Holland on Tuesday, has jolted believers like me who think the Black Stars can reach the semi-final of the South-African World Cup into realization that the Black Stars team is an ordinary, rather than an extraordinary team.

The performance of the Stars against Holland was appalling to say the least.At some point in that match, I wondered if our players were really plying their trade in Europe.

Nothing worked for the team against Holland; the link between attack and defence was non-existent, and our over-hyped mid-fielders couldn't hold their own against their well-drilled Dutch counterparts.

The performance of the Black Stars against Holland is one many Ghanaians are ashamed of. That was the worst Black Stars performance I have seen in years; even when we lost 3-0 to Brazil in the second round of the 2006 World Cup, we still dominated play. The same thing happened when the Black Stars lost 2-0 to Italy in the opening match of that tournament; we outclassed the Italians despite the loss.

It's important to state bluntly that if the Black Stars do not improve their performance drastically, they will not qualify from their group the world Cup at best, and will end up being disgraced at worst.

There are those of the opinion that the Holland match was only a friendly and should be regarded as such. But the Yorubas of Nigeria have a saying that ' Ebi ere latin mo ooto'; to wit 'It is when we are playing that we get to know the truth about ourselves'. So whether the Holland match was a friendly or not, we have learnt one truth: 'Our team isn't good enough to compete against the best in the World.'

The preceding observations notwithstanding, it ought to be acknowledged that the Black Star's defeat to Holland is good for Ghana; not only has that match helped deflate the over bloated ego of our players , it has also helped jolt them into realization that they are an ordinary team team that will need to work extra hard if they are to perform creditably at the World Cup. Moreover, it's better to lose 4-1 to Holland in a friendly than to lose 1-0 to Serbia at the world Cup.

The Holland match has exposed the fragility in the Black Stars' make-up, and it's imperative that Coach Milovan improves the team's output before our first match against Serbia in South-Africa.

The goal keeping position, especially, and the left back position of the team deserve special attention.

Few would disagree with me that Richard Kingson was the worst Black stars performer against Holland. His performance that night was shocking and pathetic. It was evident that his inactivity at Wigan has taken a huge toll on him. Apart from the penalty Van Persie scored for the fourth goal, all the other goals Kingson conceded could have been prevented by a better goal keeper.Personally, I think it's high time Hearts of Lion's Stephen Ahorlu got the chance to prove his mettle.

Han Adu Sarpei's performance at left back also leaves much to be desired, and the Paintsil we saw against Holland is not the John Paintsil we have always known.

Generally, Milovan has to do a lot to improve the Black Stars' set up, and it's important that as head coach he has identifies the loop holes in the team and has begin making assiduous efforts to solve them.

I've always maintained that the World Cup is the greatest theatre of the game, and if the Black Stars have anything to prove to Africans and the World in general, it ought to be at the world Cup in South-Africa.

It is in view of the foregoing that Black Stars players must ensure that they train hard and cooperate with the coach in order to get themselves much more improved and in great shape ahead of their first match against Serbia in South-Africa.

samuelkwason@yahoo.com

samuelkwason.blogspot.com

Columnist: Kwason, Samuel

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