For once in a very long time, the Black Stars of Ghana head into the AFCON without the normal “favourites tag”. Also, they head into the tournament without a lot of “national pressure” as most Ghanaians have already “given up” on the team’s ability to annex the AFCON trophy which has been elusive for 37 years. There isn’t that boisterous “national vibe” that mostly precedes any game involving the Black Stars.

Since the last time Ghana won the trophy (1982), the story of near misses has been enthralling – and frustrating. Ghana’s pre-tournament build up was also a blockbuster of its kind – Asamoah Gyan retired from the team over captaincy issues, the President intervened, Asmoah Gyan then rescinded his decision to retire from the team. Also, we head into the tournament without a factual knowledge of the budget being used for the tournament……but there are hot rumors that the budget ranges from 8-15million dollars…………

Then out of the blue, Asamoah Gyan and his “boys” ventured into acting, mimicking Berma Bediide and Christiana Awuni’s popular comedy skits…..then their JAMA sessions after training began going viral. The players have just being doing their best to ensure that they aren’t mentally overburdened with the task ahead.

The truth is that there is disbelief and unconcern from the once upon a time, caring Ghanaian football faithfuls……

“Now eh, make we enter the football inside proper”. Honestly, our preparation for the tournament hasn’t being great – we failed to score in games against Namibia amd South Africa. Friendly matches are just what they are, friendlies and it affords the coach the opportunity to try out new tactics, strategies and formations and a look at only results isn’t a fair way to analyse friendly matches.

From interviews with captain Andre Ayew and coach Kwesi Appiah, we get the notion that the unity and focus within the team is immense. The gaffer even further described the acclimatization camp in Dubai as the most peaceful.

More so, the most notable factor in our quest for AFCON glory is that Kwadwo Asamoah gets to feature – this time, not in defense but in the midfield. Since his retirement, Stephen Appiah’s boots has been very difficult to fill…..but Kwadwo Asamoah has been presented with the perfect opportunity to step into the glittering boots of the “El Capitano”.We need someone with a little bit of finesse and panache to give the team a little bit of unpredictability and that’s none other than Kwadwo!

Some of the players also see this AFCON as their “last” chance to win something for not only the nation but also, for themselves. Despite the tag as minnows, the Black Stars definitely have something up their sleeves and with the apparent switch to the 4-2-3-1 formation, Kwesi Appiah has laid down the foundation to ensure that the players play their best football.

The gaffer, Kwesi Appiah may just have ignited the Wohlwill process which will ultimately see him strike refined gold with the underachieved Stars.

Source: Baiden Gideon/