The news came as a shock to football fans and lovers of the football idol, but for some of us, it was no big deal and even support and respect the decision of the Al Ain striker. Gyan clearly stated why he was indefinitely quitting the Black Stars and all can be narrowed to the insults and castigations he received from Ghanaians.
It can be recalled that, the striker who was not fully fit for the AFCON tournament was forced into the Black Stars Squad. The one question that lingers on my little football knowledge mind is; why did we send a not fully fit striker to a tournament we wanted to win? Is it because we didn’t have hope in other strikers or we wanted to scare the defenders of our oppossing teams with the name ‘Baby Jet’?
Watching Ghana’s games, I could see Gyan was not fully fit but he was giving his best, he was honoring his nation at the expense of his career. This is something rarely seen with players coming from third world countries. Not long ago, AC Milan midfielder, Kevin Prince Boateng quit the Black stars because he thoght playing for club and country was having a negative health impact on him as a player, and that he chose his club over his country. Couldn’t Asamoah Gyan have done same?
Many football pundits argue that Sunderland striker who is on a year’s loan at Al Ain missed a penalty in South Africa 2010 that cost Ghana a semi-final bet which could have been the greatest achievement for any African country in the history of football. Some of these pundits couldn’t hold their cool and personally attacked the striker on various media channels because he missed a penalty again against Zambia in the AFCON tournament in Gabon. Their argument again is that he cost Ghana a chance of winning the African Cup after about thirty years.
It is sad that these so called football analyst easily forget that this same person scored not just any goal but breath taking goals to take us as far as we reached in all the tournaments. How could Ghanaians forget the goals he scored against USA in South Africa that got us to the quarter finals and his undoubted efforts that took the Black Stars to the final of Angola 2010. Even when the Black Stars were labeled underdogs against Nigeria in Angola, Gyan stood tall upfront and his only goal sent the tournament favorites packing.
Coach J.E Sarpong also thinks the media men should be blamed for Asamoah Gyan’s international retirement. “Ghanaians talk too much in this country”, he says. And I respectfully agree with him.
One problem with Ghanaian football fans is that they are always after a win and if unfortunately a loss comes, they start calling for people’s head. It was surprising to hear people say Asamoah Gyan should be sacked from the Black Stars because he was hindering the progress of the team. I am pushed to believe that the apologetic striker took that as an advice and decided to leave the team himself.
I guess the striker couldn’t take it anymore when the President joined other football fans to mock him and the entire black stars team by saying the team needs to go for penalty taking lessons. Did it really have to go that far? This and other attacks on the Striker via social sites and sports sites forced that striker to come up with this decision. Even if Gyan continues to play for the Black Stars, i think he won’t be in the right psychological frame and that would cost Ghana more than people think the striker has already caused.
Al Ain fans showed a sign of maturity when they happily welcomed their striker back from the AFCON tournament. It was a sign of saying, if your country wants you no more, we are here for you.
I therefore believe it is about time Asamoah Baby Jet Gyan concentrated on his club and help Al Ain to win the UAE league. But until the striker ends his indefinite retirement, we can only hope for equally good strikers who can fill his boot and live up to the loyalty he showed his county.