THE DEBACLE OF ISMAILIA

The dominant feeling of Ghanaian supporters after the 2-2 draw with Benin is not anger or disappointment but just one of shock, astonishment and confusion as to what exactly went wrong last night. The feeling among most fans before the game was that it was going to be an eventful game and it didn’t disappoint. The beginning of the end was when as early as 11:00 GMT the lineup for the game, starting at 20:00 GMT, was published. With that amateurish move, Michel Dussuyer and his team had well over 6 hours to prepare a counter approach for the game. Before the game, I told a friend in passing, that the lineup was released early to ensure that we recover from the heart problem it was bound to give before kick-off (I was right after all)

James Kwasi Appiah has failed Ghanaians yet again with a poor team selection, poor tactical decisions and generally poor decision making led to his undoing on the night. The decision to start an unlimited liability like John Boye was the most disastrous and ill-advised decision made on the night. Speaking as a fan in this case would lead to unnecessary criticism on certain issues, but one necessary criticism which needs to be laid squarely on the shoulders of the technical team is the inexplicable decision to substitute Samuel Owusu ( who ironically came on as a first half sub after an early injury to Thomas Agyepong), after John Boye’s red card. This decision is questionable considering the fact that an under performing Christian Atsu was still on the field. Kwasi Appiah’s posture, body language and general demeanor on the touchline is by no means inspiring. His posture on the night was similar to that of his predecessor, Avram Grant,and he has joined the Uninspiring Coaches Association. While it will be bad for the coach to second guess his decisions, accepting that bad decisions cost Ghana two precious points is clearly the first step towards preparing for the second group game

John Boye has always been in the limelight for one reason or another and it’s usually always negative. Last night’s performance is probably the worst performance ever by a player in the national shirt. Poorly-timed tackles, poor reading of the game, lapses in concentration and unprofessionalism are just a few of the words to describe that “performance.”At fault for the first goal, simply needlessly crossing the center line in the first minute of a tournament opener, an equally needless booking and an inexplicable red card for wasting time in the 55th minute of a game that was far from over. Nothing can justify this shambolic performance and the prayer of Ghanaians is that he doesn’t return to the lineup after his suspension is served.

While positives can be drawn from the game, the negative aspects cast a dark cloud over the whole game. The fear factor the Black Stars of Ghana used to posses is now gone completely and you can expect Guinea-Bissau to fancy their chances and as for Cameroon, we can only pray for a miracle…..

Your favourite noisemaker,

Dave……..

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