|From L-R Dede, Jordan, Appiah, Muntari and KPB|
Kwesi Appiah (Nicknamed Silent Killer for the way he blacklists players from his squad) named his 21-man squad for Ghanas’ friendly against Turkey handing out three debuts. Four names that are conspicuous by their absence from the squad are Sulley Muntari, Kevin Prince Boateng and the Ayews(Jordan and Andre).
GHANA V TURKEY Kick off-21:30 pm [7:30GMT] at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium
By their exclusion Appiah aka Silent Killer is making a statement to the effect that he is the boss of this team and all players will accord him the maximum respect (Whether he is a white-man or not). Even Andre and Jordan who received “presidential pardons” have been asked to write to the GFA rescinding their retirement and copying their clubs so as to avoid a club versus country row over future call-ups (Apparently the pardons were granted on condition that they wrote an apology letter).
I DON’T EXPECT JORDAN TO BOTHER WRITING BECAUSE HE STILL WON’T BE GUARANTEED PLAY-TIME
Kevin Prince Boatengs’ return was interceded by Yaw Boateng Gyan (Black Stars management committee member /NDC Executive/family friend) but he must also write a letter to the GFA copying his club AC Milan before he can be called back into the squad. Meanwhile Muntari who displayed some petulance after being substituted during a World Cup qualifier against Lesotho must also write an apology letter before returning.
NOW IT’S CLEAR TO EVERYONE THAT KWESI APPIAH HAS A FIRM PAIR BUT AT WHAT COST?
To me, born in 1990 some of the best football I have ever seen the Black Stars play was at the 2010 world cup where Dede Ayew, KPB and Muntari (who came-off the bench to start and star against Uruguay with that rocket) were in devastating form and it can be argued that along with Gyan they led us to that quarter-final berth. In my view that squad was the best team Ghana has had in the past 30 “trophyless” years. Make no mistake about it because when Dede, Muntari and KPB are fit and on form they will walk into any Ghana squad.
Muntari-78 caps 19gls Dede-43caps 4gls
Jordan-10caps 2gls KPB-9caps 1gl
Ghana has a World Cup qualifier against Zambia next month in Kumasi. This friendly date on Wednesday was the last chance for the Black Stars to fine-tune their set-up for that crucial tie but rather in the lead up to this game the house doesn’t seem to be in order with calls for players to write officially to rescind their retirement and the Stars goalie Fatau Dauda warming the bench in South-Africa.
The GFA spokesperson Ibrahim Saanie Daara, admitted on Joy FM that there are a lot of issues in the Black Stars camp before adding that not every issue must be played out in the press (the Chippolopolo might never have a better opportunity to beat Ghana).
FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking-AFRICA (JULY)
1. Cote d’Ivoire – 962pts
2. Ghana – 830pts
3. Mali – 735pts
4. Algeria – 730pts
5. Nigeria – 700pts
The Black Stars are currently ranked 24th in the world; 34 places ahead of Turkey (ranked 58th), this means that the rankings points gathered from playing Turkey and Zambia (ranked 60th) will contribute to whether Ghana will be amongst the top-5 teams in Africa come September. (Septembers’ FIFA rankings will be used to determine the seeded teams for the final round of Africa's 2014 World Cup qualifiers). I thought Appiah would have rather used this period for tweaking his team but he has handed out 3 debuts to Spain-based goalkeeper Razak Braimah, midfielder Yussif Raman Chibsah and striker Emmanuel Banahene (These 3 have no chance of seeing play-time against Zambia).
The Silent Killer should remember that, football fans (especially Ghanaian football fans) are very fickle but it is very difficult to argue with a successful coach (unless you are an interim-Benitez coaching a Chelsea). He is enjoying overwhelming support from the GFA hierarchy who have continuously backed his every move till date but If (GOD FORBID!) Ghana fails to qualify for the world cup, heads will roll and the heads won’t be that of the GFA hierarchy but his.
P.S.-There will be nothing silent about his killing as he will be constantly bombarded on radio call-ins before the axe will finally drop.
SOMEWHERE IN SERBIA, OLD-MEN ARE WATCHING THE SOAP PLAY-OUT WITH BATED BREATH.