Black Stars, a team in crisis (Final part)

Black Stars, a team in crisis (Final part)

Richmond Lamptey was one of the three local players

invited to the camp but did not kick a ball

 In fact, he created the half-baked chances to score the two goals that at different times gave Ghana the lead against the Egyptians.

Same could be said about Jordan Ayew with the composure with which he executed the two penalties under the kind of pressure on the team.

Sadly, the Black Stars was let down by errors that would not be tolerated at academy or colt level of football; and it made one wonder where the team’s concentration was.

With a second debacle fully orchestrated purely by a squad built around foreign based players, it should re­vive the Black Stars technical team’s assessment of the locally-based players who are so used to the African terrain.

Now that Ghana’s dwin­dling fortunes have become apparent in the face of a pe­riod of over- reliance on for­eign based players, it must kick-start a strong campaign to start a Bukhard Ziese kind of national team where the focus would be on players in the national league.

A section of football peo­ple would always kick against this idea with the reason that they lack exposure and all manner of things.

When the likes of Em­manuel Armah, Emmanuel Ampiah, Frimpong Manso, Nii Darko Ankrah, Frank Amank­wah, Ali Ibrahim and others were proud product of the local league they were given the opportunity and indeed, they shone.

Ghanaians are fed up with this inconsistencies with the Black Stars. And it appears there is no solution to it be­cause those in charge appear lost over the real causes just like the fans.

 Like Samuel Eto’O was reported to have ad­dressed the Indomitable Lions of Cameroun after walking a path similar to the Stars, some of the players must be told in plain lan­guage that their output is not satis­factory.

They must be made aware of the chal­lenges that come with playing for Ghana. They must be willing to die for the nation just like soldiers do in war. They must be made to understand that their jersey with the Black Stars em­bossed on it is our pride and for that matter, mediocrity is unacceptable.

That makes the call by the flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Dramani Mahama, of plans to build a new Black Stars team around home­grown footballers if he’s elected President in the 2024 elections very gratifying.

“We just came from the Africa Cup of Nations, and we performed abysmally. We per­formed abysmally because we are not growing our football,” the former president ob­served, according to a report published by Myjoyonline.com.

“Before we used to have the colts and every district used to organise its colts’ league and they picked the prominent players from there. We used to have the academ­icals where the schools played against each other and we picked the promising players from there before we come to U-17 and then all the other age groups. Unfortunate­ly, all that has collapsed and so we are going to work with the Football Association to start catching them young so that we can train them and give them to local teams to get experi­ence.”

“We will build a new Black Stars based on homegrown players, domestic players who have trained together for a long term and work as a team and then we bring the foreign ones to blend with them. The core of the Black Stars must be made up of domestic play­ers who have played together for a long term, we keep camping them and they keep practicing together. So when it’s time for a competition we can bring some of the foreign players to join the domestic ones and you’ll see that we will have a better team.”

“We are going to overhaul Ghana football in collabora­tion with the Ghana Football Association and all the foot­ball associations from the dis­trict coming up you’re going to be busy because we will send you resources so that you can hold football galas in your districts to identify the players for us,” said former president Mahama.

As football fanatics with the progress of the sport at heart, this should rather be the focus of all.

Why this concept appears unrealistic to those in the helm of affairs beats one’s imagination, considering the fact that the AFCON success we boast of as a nation were chalked by locals.

Over the years, the home-grown stars that have shown greater commitment and dedication to duty have been sidelined, with all the atten­tion shifted on the foreign based but with nothing to show for.

If it is not a pure political rhetoric, then it will be the way to salvage the free fall of football in Ghana.

It is the fervent hope of majority of fans that the FA wholeheartedly support this course that also has the tendency to revolutionise the local game; with players knowing that a good perfor­mance from wherever they are could earn them a place in the national team.

Ghanaians must be made to feel part of the team. The current trend where it looks like the FA forces what they like through their throats must end. We need the Black Stars back but certainly not in this shape.

By Andrew Nortey

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