Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Yes we Gyan’

My criticisms of Ghanaian striker Asamoah Gyan is well known to everyone. I’m one of the least supporters of him. He is the luckiest striker this country has ever had especially when one compares him to that of Tony Yeboah or Prince Polley, all former national stars. They were heavy weights upfront especially Tony Yeboah.

His feet knew the goal post more than any striker in my life time. Asamoah Gyan does not come anywhere close to him and I stand by that. I literally roasted him after Ghana exited the World Cup at the quarter final stage, thanks to his rush to miss kick a penalty which could have taken the country to a historic semi final berth. I spent days cursing him on my facebook page. Like most Ghanaians, I thought he let us down by that judgment. I tore him apart with such viciousness that a friends began pleading for me to cease fire.

He has a love and hate relationship with football fans and for a striker who is wasteful upfront, he has equally stood up to the plate when all looked bleak. His exploits at Angola 2010 back in January was one of such. There are many instances to put to as both his bright and dark moments with football fans. However, what matters the most at the moment is his recent performance for his English club, Sunderland.

The man has become the star attraction for the BLACK CATS, since joining them after the World Cup. He arrived in England with huge expectation on his shoulders. The English Premier league is one of the hottest in the world. It has an unattractive following across the world, including Ghana.

The media are as vicious as the fine quality of the league. So most of us were worried about how they will receive Gyan especially when one considered that he scored less than 10 goals for his club, Stade Rennes in France prior to cross over to England.

But after some breath-taking league games and goal scoring moments everyone, including myself, are eating our humble pies. He has, without a shred of doubt, forced most of us to applaud him. He has scored in every league game he has since played for Sunderland and if the equalizer against Tottenham Hotspurs in London was something special, then the game against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge was glorious.

He spearheaded the attack of the Black Cats and they clawed their way into the hearts of Chelsea by thumping them 3 goals. It was an unbeliever spectacle. Sunderland beating Chelsea at the bridge? It’s a rather sick joke prior to the game. But the gospel truth is that Chelsea were reduced to rubbles by the cats.

Gyan had said before the game that he was going to beat Chelsea but most people thought it was the usual joke. Chelsea had not lost any game at home since last year’s February and if any club is to beat them, it should not be Sunderland. They were wrong. Gyan and his colleagues headed out of London with all smiles on their team bus, thanks to goals from Onuoha, Gyan and Ghanaian born British Danny Welbeck.

Gyan has been nominated for this year’s BBC African Footballer of the Year award and I just voted for him. I’m really campaign for him to win and I pray he wins, to cap a great year for 2010


  1. sorry to disappoint, but Asamoah Gyan is no and should be no African Footballer of the Year. He's not even a striker. I know, shocking! How dare I even think that? What lunacy?! Yes, and I'm sure there's more I could dream up later. But, no, I'll reiterate: Asamoah Gyan is not a striker. He's a modified winger who slotted into his position by default because we don't seem to breed strikers since Yeboah. All his goals this season have been gimme goals; easy, EASY, clean-up goals. When I was younger, we used to call his type atsu n'aye- someone does all the leg work and the last man reaps the dividends. Besides the 2nd goal against the U.S. at the World Cup, I have yet to see him create his own goal! He has a TERRIBLE strike rate (see Ghana vs Czech '06 and even the following Brazilian game)! All he is good at are headers and running hard to keep defenses accountable. Slot in a Drogba, Weah, Yeboah, Yekini, or Eto'o, and Ghana would've won the World Cup last June. The problem is you see flashes of imagined brilliance because he's bagged 4 or so goals in a short span. Chelsea have the same problem with Anelka. On paper they look brilliant, but when you watch them up-close, you realize they are only effective when others do all the leg work. Anelka is often easily dispossessed and lazy; Asamoah Gyan is often wayward and has a knack for kicking low shots straight to goalies when given clear paths to goal (again, see Ghana vs Czech). And he's also not 24, nor is John Mensah 28. I'm 30 and look far younger than either! Sooner or later father time will catch up to them, Gyan's goal tally will significantly dwindle, and Sunderland would soon realize he wasn't worth all that money.

  2. note- the comparison to current and long retired true strikers was merely to imagine each in their prime as we assume Gyan is now.