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Opinions of Friday, 10 February 2012

Columnist: Yeboah, Kwame

The ‘Woyomers’ In The Exit Of The Black Stars

It has gradually become a tradition for Ghanaians to throw blames about whenever any of our national teams loose a match or exit a competition as though God has given us a divine right to every trophy we compete for. This blame game has usually been dished out with vengeance and both innocent and guilty parties have not been spared. As an astute sports enthusiast, it has always been my principle to stay out of this blame game but after watching the Black Stars bow out f the 2012 CAN, I can no longer resist the temptation to join the blame game wagon. In the ensuing literature, I will be outlining the individuals who in my view robbed us off the opportunity to cool off from this ‘Woyome’ era of anguish and pain. These individuals will be listed in the order of their influence on the failure of our Stars.


The Ghana football Association, like we all know is the body that is mandated to manage and develop all football related issues in the country. The Kwesi Nyantechie led administration relative to previous administrations have performed considerably well. However, mention must be made of the fact that some of their actions have not augured well for the on-ward march of our football. When it comes to the hiring of coaches for the Black Stars, the GFA have been very clandestine in its dealings. For reasons best known to the GFA, the only criteria to becoming a Black Stars coach now is to be a Serbian. For the third time running, the GFA has appointed a Serbian coach to coach the Black Stars. Considering the fact that Serbia is not noted in the football world for its ability to churn out great coaches, I find this development rather strange. Rumors abound about the existence of an agency that recruits coaches from Serbia for the GFA with GFA officials liable for kick backs from these deals. The FA president and his henchmen have done very little to denounce these rumors and some of us have no reason to believe them even if they dare. This same agency has also been accused of signing management contracts with players like Prince Tagoe (I hear he has been invited to join Tagoe sisters? lol) and Samuel Inkoom, et tal. By this deal, the GFA has refused to listen to calls from well meaning Ghanaians to axe ineffective players like Prince Tagoe and instead give other deserving players the opportunity to justify their inclusion into the team. Another worrying issue for me is how the GFA managed the exit of our ex goalie Richard Kingston. As football fans, we all agree that Oleele as he is affectionately called was nearing the twilight of his career. This notwithstanding, I do not think the gentleman was due for immediate retirement from the team considering his spectacular performances in the world cup in Southafrica and some of our qualifying matches. I do not have any qualms with the introduction of Kwarresey into the team, my argument is that, he could have been brought in to under study the very experienced Kingston. His inexperience in African football has been manifested in his lousy performances at the CAN. The GFA has also failed in its inability to adopt any concrete policies to arrest our chronic striker issues. Those of you who have been following football for a while will have noticed that since the retirement of players like Tony Yeboah, Ghana has always lacked the bite upfront. Our game has been characterized by a lot of play in midfield with little or no activity upfront. Call it the ‘one goal project’ or ‘packing the bus’ our football has been all but negative. You will scratch your head trying to remember the last time Ghana won a game by three goals. A friend once said that it will be insane for anyone to bet in a black stars game because the results 9 out of 10 will end 1-0. This is a national disaster and the sooner the GFA consider it as such the better for Ghana football and their own legacy.


Mr. Goran Stevanovic like his compatriots from Serbia prefers to be identified by his nickname-‘Plavi’. He may have some similarities with previous Serbian coaches but one thing that stands him out is his tendency to talk big. This coach in his first press conference heralded himself as an offensive minded coach and under his regime Ghana was going to be extricated from the shackles of the tightly managed defensive brand of football that his predecessor had introduced. Lovers of beautiful football were relieved- the good old day’s ‘ketch3’ football was going to be given a second chance. Contrary to Mr. Plavi’s promise and our expectations, under his reign, the Black Stars have played the most boring and offensive deficient brand of football. At the ongoing CAN, the coach has exhibited gross tactical ineptitude. He seems to be confused and this is typified in his decision to play three different players in the left back position( was it a case of tial and error?), his decision to start the ineffective Sule Muntari, his withdrawal of Asamoah Gyan and Dede Ayew when the team needed them most etc. Have you for once looked at the build up of the Black Stars? In this era when speed is a key factor in football, the Black Stars under the direction of Plavi build up at an incredibly snail pace. This tactic allows our opponents to quickly settle into their defensive positions and therefore effectively quell any offensive threat we may offer. Have you watched how the Ivorians quickly move the ball from the defense to the attack? And they are coached by a local coach? Am not making any case for local coaches but I think their play is worth emulating.

Can some one with technical eyes please tell me the tactical formation the Black Stars adopted? In my opinion, our football was directionless, clueless, stagnant, backward and to be charitable a disaster. The God’s of football have been unduly charitable to us, if not, we should have lost that game against Guinea and oh that goal against Tunisia cannot be exempted. Truth be told, we have reached this far in the tournament on the shoulders of ‘mother luck’ and also on the perseverance and dexterity of players like the Ayew brothers, John Mensah, the Udinese duo of Kojo Asamoah and Emmanuel Agyeman Badu. I am convinced beyond all reasonable doubt that Mr. Plavi should be shown the exit door because like Alhaji Ghrunsah said, ‘he is not in the system of coaches’. Case in point- why did we still have to maintain four defenders when we were a goal down in a semi-final match with ten minutes to go? Why did Plavi bring on a midfielder ( Muntari) when all we needed were more strikers to pressure the Zambian goal era?. Good bye ‘Plavi’… will not be missed.


For those of you who may not be familiar with this gentleman, he wears the number three jersey for the black stars, born on the 22 November 1985 (according to Fifa), 5 ft 11 inch tall, plays for Al Ain Fc ( on loan from Sunderland). You still cannot make him out?. Ok, he is the man who ballooned the ball into the skies when Ghana earned a penalty against Uruguay in the semi-finals of the world cup. Like his coach, this lad prefers to be identified by his nick name-‘Baby jet’. Nobody can argue with the fact that indeed Asamoah is a ‘jet’, the only problem is that this jet is destined for the Bermuda triangle. Asamoah Gyan’s potential to become a top notch hit man like Samuel Eto’o of Cameroun has never been in doubt. For those of us who have followed his exploits right from Accra Academy to Liberty Professionals FC, we had always considered him to be the heir apparent to the vacant Black stars striking throne. But as faith will have it, ‘Baby Jet’ has flown his way into the national hall of fame for villains. Asamoah Gyan is the only footballer in the history of the game who is more interested in jubilating than scoring a goal, indeed even before he kicks a goal bound ball, he is already rehearsing his celebration in his head. Asamoah Gyan’s composure on the field is too pedestrian. He plays with unnecessary style and comfort very much unlike him when he plays for his clubs. He seems to be easily carried away and occasionally thinks he is playing a friendly match at his backyard. This lackadaisical attitude was exemplified in his missed penalty against Zambia. His attitude before the kick was enough motivation for the goal keeper. His casual stroll of the ball was to say the least an affront to the aspirations of Ghanaians. What have Ghanaians done to Asamoah to warrant all this distress? We have barely recovered from the world cup heart ache and here another one has been served on our plates. I love Asamoah Gyan, I think he has great potential, my advice to him is to concentrate his efforts more into his football and less in his music, dance and fancy haircuts. I pray he heeds my advice, like elders say “ The Rat that stubbornly decides to pound ‘fufu’ in its hole will show us where it will keep its pistle”

…….Asamoah Gyan has broken my heart, Asamoah Gyan has broken your heart, Asamoah Gyan has broken everybody’s heart.

By: Kwame Yeboah