Beyond the Pharoahs…

By David Patrick Lane | February 5th, 2010 3 Comments

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Can Africa’s World Cup qualifiers respond and take their game to a higher level. There were precious few clues in Angola to suggest they could. One would tend not to identify Pussy Cats, Super Turkeys and Tuskless Elephants as World Cup winning species, but if Cameroon, Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire apply themselves like Black Stars they could move beyond the shadow of the Pharoahs and rediscover their fierceness.

The Black Stars were not predicted to shine in Angola. A significant number of their established names were injured or sulking. But with Milovan Rajevec, an old Yugoslav in command of the x’s and o’s, and a squad of U20 World Cup winners to choose from, folks should not have been so surprised. There has been plenty of talk of those who filled the boots of Appiah, Essien, Mensah and Muntari. Agyemang-Badu, Asamoah, Ayew and Inkoom are now household names, the equal of any Pharoah or sulking star. Ghana’s graduates will give pause to Australia, Germany and Serbia, who should note the Pharoahs may not have been so pleased with themselves if Rajevec had also introduced goalkeeper Daniel Adjei and centre forward Dominic Adiyah. Ghana were just an Adjei fingertip and an Adiyah toe poke away from closing down the party at Club Pharoah.

So how will Les Éléphants, Les Lions Indomptables and Super Eagles respond to their inglorious exits from Angola? Will they promote from their junior ranks? Will they advertise for an old partizan with a chalkboard? They could do all of the above, but nothing will change for them if the likes of Drogba, Eto’s and Yakubu don’t believe.

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3 Comments

2010 World Cup Football Shirts

February 10th, 2010 | 9:00 am    


The Black Stars did not play attractive football, but they did get the job done.

It will be interesting to see how far they progress in the World Cup- a group with Germany, Australia and Serbia won’t be easy to progress from.

Ndukwana

February 11th, 2010 | 4:13 am    


Black Stars’ coach was way too defensive in AFCON run. The Serbian boss believes in the dictatorship of results, but this won’t help in the World Cup in South Africa. the group is tough and Gyan and Asamoah (my favorite Ghana player) won’t have as much space to make things happen on the offensive end. Black Stars will benefit from having Essien and the others back, but I don’t see this making much of a difference in the end. Congratulations to Egypt for playing nice football, as evidenced in the cup-winning goal by Geddo! Pharaohs will be missed here in South Africa.

Davy

February 12th, 2010 | 6:08 am    


Ghana do have a tough group, but the Black Stars are getting into the habit of stepping through trickiness. Moreover, the players are now familiar with proceeding into the later stages of tournaments.

You can criticize Rajevec, but he has allowed some of the talented upstarts space to grow. It is now a matter of how he stitches the team together in South Africa.

Essien is more important to Ghana than Drogba is to Cote d’Ivoire or Eto’o to Cameroon. Despite the progress, much will rely on Essien. He is super effective and won’t be dominated by other midfield players in Group D. If Rajevec is brave enough to drop Kingson and Gyan and replace them with Adjei and Adiyah, Ghana can win games they otherwise would lose.

Cote d’Ivoire, Cameroon and Nigeria may yet find their flash, but they didn’t use the opportunity that was the AFCON to expose some of their brighter prospects.

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