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Sports News of Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Source: Graphic.com.gh

Appiah makes u-turn on Gyan, Ayews

Black Stars coach, Kwasi Appiah, apparently pushed against the wall and determined to get the team’s 2019 Africa Cup of Nations campaign back on track, has indicated he would recall his captain Asamoah Gyan and the Ayew brothers, for the team’s next qualifier against Sierra Leone next month.

After his team lost 0-1 to a 10-man Kenyan team last Saturday, Appiah said he would recall the trio and other big-name players for subsequent games after sidelining them for very unclear reasons.

The Ghana coach had suggested earlier that only players who were in form and were committed would form part of his future plans as he had good replacements to execute national assignments to the team.

Andre and Jordan Ayew, who had excused themselves from Ghana’s doomed World Cup qualifier against Congo last year, were immediately axed from Appiah’s team in what many suggested was a strong signal by the coach to players who showed lack of commitment.
However, after last Saturday’s defeat at the Kasarani Stadium, Appiah backtracked and gave a strong indication the trio and others sidelined in recent times would return to face the Leone Stars.

Last Saturday, Appiah put his faith in young talents including the striking pair of Abdu Majeed Waris and Raphael Dwamena but they both failed to hit the back of the net, while young center-back Nicholas Opoku caved in under pressure and scored an own goal which gifted the Harambee Stars a win before a partisan home crowd.

Even though experienced midfielder Kwadwo Asamoah returned the national team as a second-half substitute after a four-year self-imposed exile, the Inter Milan star could not inspire the team to win in Nairobi.

While hinting at the return of his experienced players, Appiah tried to justify his exclusion of Gyan and the Ayew brothers who together have a combined 77 goals in 227 appearances for Ghana.

“I have good players, who are capable of doing a good job. It is the time for other young players to show what they can do even for future matches. We have a lot of players in Ghana and I am working to understand and know them well.

“It does not mean that the door is closed for the three players, or any other player left out…no, only that we are also giving a chance to others so that we can evaluate the depth and quality of players we have in Ghana. We are just trying the new players and that does not mean those left out are not part of us,” Appiah said.