This is probably the first time I have had nothing critical to say of Black Stars’ coach Kwasi Appiah since he assumed the reins of leadership of the Ghana Senior National Team. And that is no normal happening, if you knew how critical I could be and the illimitability of my insatiability. And I happen not to be the only one who is thus with their football; I am after, all a Ghanaian soccer fan and in a country where most are coaches, this is only normal.
I had the confidence in the team to win this fixture, pre-match. But the main concern was the distance we could put between ourselves and the Pharaohs by the 90th minute. Tentatively, I was predicting a 2-goal margin win. Now, I have to contend with 5!
And the pleasure is even more intoxicating considering the heartbreak Egypt put us through in Angola, stealing the Cup of Nations trophy from right under our noses. This victory goes a long way along the path to righting that wrong. But I’m never really going to consider the slate wiped clean until we take a trophy from them somewhere along the future, too.
Essien, was once again fabulous (Mourinho should be giving him more playtime because he still looks quite the package). That delightful dribble in the box taunting the veteran Gomaa who couldn’t help but put the ball in his own net was downright tasty. Our left flank was airtight thanks to our full back who played as if he was Opare-ating on solar batteries. Sulley was a class act. And Gyan once again demonstrated why for me, he is always going to be the most consistently influential national team player in recent times. (I’m sure you’re already thinking about his penalty miss at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, but relax I’m getting there). And Waris…well if he keeps showing that boundless energy and movement up front, he will doubtless be here to stay.
I have absolutely no critique of Kwasi Appiah to note now. Not really. Definitely not after a 6-1 whopping of the former African Champions. Instead, I’d like to state my #olelefact.
Ok. Honestly I have one teeny tiny plaint. It comes in the form of Richard “Olele” Kingson. I cannot fathom (and indeed I refuse to fathom) why Ancient-of-Days should be called up ever again even as a reserve goalkeeper. The sight of him makes my heart ache. In the worst of ways. The reason is simple: 2010 FIFA World Cup Quarterfinals.
Imagine a veteran goalkeeper fumbling the ball in the most comical of fashions during the group stage match versus Australia. As though that wasn’t enough, he waits until we are right on the verge of making history then he gifts a goal to Forlan! Really, how many goalies will concede a goal from a 30-yard-ish freekick taken that close to the touchline by forming a wall and then electing to switch positions right before the kick is taken so that the ball enters the goal at exactly the same spot just vacated? I’ve looked at the goal over and over again and I still can’t accept the excuse that the ball changed direction mid-air to warrant our conceding that goal.
Oh, and not so long ago, he had this interview where he has the balls to admit that he couldn’t see properly in some parts of the game because a shot had wound up in his face in the course of the game. How galling! How about shutting up after such a show of personal ineptitude?! Maybe we should have seen the signs early on as far as AFCON 2008 when he hurt his ribs and yet refused to come off.
Most Ghanaians didn’t see and still don’t see it that way and will unceasingly blame Gyan for that last-minute penalty miss, forgetting that had we not conceded so cheaply we wouldn’t have needed a penalty to make the semis. Also, really, what was so bad about the penalty? He had Muslera dead to rights only for the ball to careen off the crossbar.
We say proverbially that it is the water-carrier who breaks the water pot. I feel that statement aptly applies to Gyan who is almost always in the mix when anything substantial occurred for the national team. But it would never apply to Olele. How on earth did he successfully let that ball in?!
In short, Kingson is done. Now, he is as good as a relic to be shelved, occasionally taken up but only to dust him up, and then shelved again.
He is old, almost as old as my father!
He’s been average at best since the last AFCON.
Since 2010, he’s been a nightmare!
The hapless ‘keeper couldn’t even compete with Blackpool’s Gilks who’s not any better!
Even worse, is the fact that he hadn’t played for two year until his recent stint with Cypriot 1st Division club Doxa Katokopias.
I pray Kwasi Appiah to spare me the immediate fright and near-cardiac arrest seeing Kingson in Blacks Stars apparel inflicts on me. Let’s give another goalie a chance even if it is to warm the bench and do no more than train with and blend into the team.
It’s no light affair that twitter and facebook are swarming with copious #olelefacts since Olele was named in the squad for this fixture. And it is only fitting, by way of signing off on an otherwise altogether wondrous evening of Black Stars action with one of the newest of those facts. I hope whoever gets a say in making up the squad doesn’t only see the funny aspect of #olelefacts but the underlying threat of implosion (yeah, I hate the guy) picking him now represents. He is after all (according to his own facts of course), a contemporary of Moses. See above on shelving the relic.
Post match interview with Olele
Presenter: Olele, how are you feeling right now after this massive win?
Olele: You know, the jubilation reminds me of when Moses, Joshua and I crossed the Red Sea
It is supposed to be funny! Seriously!
On a more serious note, thank you Black Stars. Now I can put more steam into saving for Brazil. We’re gonna go sip coconut water by the sea and watch scantily clad beauties on the beach. Who cares about soccer?!