After another heartbreaking semis defeat at the just ended Nation’s Cup in Gabon, the Black Stars have been forced back to the drawing board in preparation for Cameroon 2019. The four time African champions will be chasing their first trophy in 37 years when they head to Yaounde for the 32nd edition of the tourney should they make the mark from the qualifiers.
A postmortem review of the biannual event in the Ghanaian perspective however revealed that a number of the deceptive Black Stars can lead the crusade for the first trophy since 1982 given the nod. The outstanding display of the Cameroonian side only confirmed the need for a return to youthful side.
In post for the Black Stars at the just ended tourney was Razak Braimah in the opening five games including the painful semis set back. A cameo outing for young goalie in Richard Ofori however signaled a change of era. The exploit of the Wa All Stars goalie however hinted at the arrival of a new custodian for the Black Stars post. If the victorious Indomitable Lions can entrust their post into the hands of a 21 year old Fabrice Ondoa, why not the Black Stars? Ofori has been voted the best player in the Ghana Premier League for the past two years.
The retirement of Laryea Kingston from the Black Stars has left the right wing position virtually vacant. The cameo outing handed to Samuel Tetteh however hinted at the return of a genuine winger. The Austria based goal poacher combines devilish crosses with burst of pace down the flank. His unique talent was depicted in the Austrian second tier where he found the back of the net on 10 occasions in 21 appearance.
The vulnerable nature of the Black Stars midfeild remains one of the weakest link in the team in the post Appiah generation. The inclusion of Athletico Madrid energetic midfielder, Thormas Teye Partey, however reminded Ghanaians of the days of Micheal Essien and Stephen Appiah. Thormas Partey earned himself some global respect whiles with Almeria en route to Madrid and has since blossomed into one of the key pillars in the set up of Diego Simeone. The Ghanaian must be handed the defensive hub of the Black Stars of the team is to rekindle it’s water tight days. A ratting of 8/10 is not bad for the Madrid based hard tackler and the Black Stars 1-0 defeat in the third and fourth place game can be attributed to the late sub handed to the Rojiblancos man.
As one of the two players from the Ghanaian side to have made the team of the tournament, Daniel Amartey, has surely inked his name into the heart of the football fraternity. The 21 year Foxes utility defender can play across the back, as a midfield hub or even a double pivot per his outstanding performance at the just ended tourney. He must be handed a starting role in the next edition as the chase for the first trophy in 37 years continues.
Unknown before the tourney, stoutly built German based midfielder, Bernard Tekpertey, showed promising signs of a genuine forward. The Shalke 04 prodigy headed to Gabon with only one start under his name at club but his cameo against Burkina Faso might just seal him a place in the team. The unlucky Ruhr based midfielder came inches to opening his international account only to miss by inches. Another two years on the international scene could make him a feared forward for the Black Stars.
Christian Atsu and Jordan Ayew inked their names into the team once again but were expected to do so. Their performance was long expected and as such cannot be included in the list of new recruits from the tourney.