It's OFFICIAL! the Ghana Football Association (GFA) unveiled the man they believed was best suited to help steer affairs of the senior national team, the Black Stars, at least for the next two years. That man was Serb Goran Stevenovic. Since that ceremony, and despite the man taking over the reigns officially on February 1, some of his submissions and answers to journalists who were present at the event made interesting listening to and thinking about. Of the myriad of issues he touched on it was clear that the Serbian tactician believed it was time for the team to win trophies; Asamoah Gyan was going to be a lone ranger, at least per his tactical disposition, and players seen as “spent forces” may be thrown lifelines. GYAN ALONE UPFRONT The matter with respect to Asamoah Gyan, arguably Ghana’s best attacker in the last few years, staying upfront alone has left myself and I believe many others wondering. In any case, with the coach having revealed that he believed in attacking football, and his penchant for the 4-1-4-1 and 4-5-1 system, Gyan would always then be the one man who stays on top. Question is, in his absence what? Better still, who plays upfront? We are faced with an Asamoah Gyan who is prone to injuries here and there, the presupposition here being that when we lose him, we are most likely to be found wanting. What will be of the Black Stars and Ghana’s search for typical number nine man cast in the mould of Anthony Yeboah to spearhead the team to the trophies Goran believes it is time the team annexes. Additionally, with a Gyan who hardly plays alone upfront at Sunderland, one is tempted to wonder how well the youngster can carry the weight of having to deliver bearing in mind the very critical public and media that are constantly in wait to critique. Granted Gyan is left alone upfront, an attacking midfield support, I am sure, should be of essence to lift a little of the weight off the shoulders of a certain Gyan who has seen the very good and most damning sides of fans in Ghana. A LIFELINE TO THE OLD GUARDS By my understanding of the return of Chelsea ace, Michael Essien’s return to the team being of priority as reported by KickOffGhana.com, it is most likely to leave the Coach disappointed. The simple reason being that Essien by his current form at Chelsea, will be looking to concentrate more on maintaining a place at Stamford Bridge; international games have proven to be some distraction to players over the years, and Essien is not an exception. In any case, even if not totally the team has over the years managed to replace to some extent, every player, with none being indispensable – no disrespect intended – to that extent I think that Goran does not unnecessarily go on a “wild goose” chase. Some supposed senior players have in the past acted in ways that are in no way good for team morale and for emulation by the younger ones in the team. Entertaining some of them in the name of a lifeline, we can only hope inures to the benefit of the team. BELIEF IN YOUTH, KEY As for Ghana and youth football, the history is unparalleled. Goran must as he promised build on the successes of his immediate predecessor, Milovan Rajevac, in helping to unearth young talents and blend them into the Black Stars team. Young players have been identified the world over at club and national team levels as the future of the game, the reason for which most managers adopt a system of blending youth and experience (old age) in a concerted effort to maximize gains. MEDIA The media are more like the result measurement rod of Ghana Football - a ‘necessary evil’ per the ratings of Marianno Baretto, Ratomir Djukovic, Claude Le Roy and Milovan Rajevac. But often times, one may admit that the media cannot be done away with. Players, fan groups, association officials, political leaders and even fellow journalists, have not been left off the media scrutiny of football, and the earlier Goran gets used to it in hard times, the better. Other issues Plavi will have to make good his promise on are, delivering trophies as he emphasized about a week ago and monitoring local premier league players and identifying talents, whose subsequent progression will be to his benefit. Goran himself has called for total support, and has received the backing of the GFA In my own small way, I wish Goran the very best and hope he delivers as promised. ÜDVÖZLET PLAVI! is Hungarian for Welcome Plavi!
Source: Shaban Barani Alphafirstname.lastname@example.org/ email@example.com
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