Shockingly, Avram Grant dropped Majeed Warris. He dropped the Black Stars most in-form player. Yes he had a drought but the last month saw a remarkable change in fortune.
Also, the team doesn’t have the blessings of the Ghana Premier league but it still represents a strong squad; Strong enough to put the icing on the cake for the Ghana at 60 celebrations; Strong enough to break the AFCON curse. It is littered with a lot of experience, a lot of budding talent and a lot of hard workers. They will need to be tactically sound to overcome their flaws. They will need a little stardust to finally become the new kings of Africa.
Goalkeepers : Still Searching For The Next Olele
Razak Braimah: Massive tournament for Spiderman. The absence of Adam Kwarasey means he is in a very comfortable lead in the goalkeeping department. Ooops, hope I didn’t jinx it.
Fatau Dauda: Drafted in at the last minute, his overall experience is great to have around the squad. No matter what, he will always have that save against Cristiano Ronaldo.
Richard Ofori: China once tried to smuggle an outfield player in the 3rd goalkeeper slot. Just saying.
Defender : Perfect Balance.
Andy Yiadom: He fills the quota for Ghanaian with foreign accent. Other players before him include Junior Agogo, KP Boateng, Schluup and Kwarasey. He has played in the lower divisions of England so definitely knows the definition of grit. Afful gets a bit of competition for a change.
John Boye: He still has a bit more to do to totally wipe away that image of him kissing the bundle of money in Brazil. Maybe kissing the AFCON trophy could be that image.
Jonathan Mensah: Signing a new contract is always a boost for any player. Heading to America to join Columbus’ Crew as part of the new Kings of African Football won’t be bad at all.
Baba Rahman: The left back position used to suffer all sorts of chronic problems. It was so bad we had to draft our best midfielder – Kwadwo Asamoah – into that role for some time. Numerous cures have been tested but Baba Rahman looks like the most potent of the lot. AFCON 2017 represents the final test before this cure can go into Mass production.
Edwin Gyimah: No one likes a teacher’s pet and that is what Edwin Gyimah has become. The biggest Black Stars fans will struggle to spot him on the field. He has become the perfect bench warmer. Hi Edwin, it is not good enough.
Daniel Amartey: He is part of one of football’s greatest fairytales. He needs to play a starring in the next chapter of this never-ending Romantic Drama.
Frank Acheampong: He is one of the numerous players hailed as the Ghanaian version of Lionel Messi but in truth, he is more of a poor man’s Di Maria. He has the makings of an impact sub for this current crop.
Harrison Afful: In a generation that has Inkoom and Opare, Afful has excelled as the right back that lived up to his potential. The Black Stars will need him to go up a gear.
Midfield: Work, Work, Work, Work, Work
Mubarak Wakaso: He has everything to really become Sulley Muntari 2.0. The raking passes, the stunning strikes and those mistimed tackles. Needs to double up his game winning efforts for that accolade to be fully bestowed on him
Thomas Partey: Has joined the never ending list of the “New Essien”. Has shown glimpses here and there. The unforgiving Ghanaian jury will be watching.
Agyemang Badu: One minute he is hot, the next he is not. He is gradually reaching the zone where most people will not notice if he is dropped. Needs to have a big tournament.
Afriyie Acquah: Amanda will be watching. You might want to show her you’ve still got game.
Samuel Tetteh: The one true right footed winger in the team. Was nicknamed Zidane during his time with the Under 20 team. Even if he plays like a poor man’s Zizou then the Black Stars will be almost home and dry.
Ebenezer Ofori: His Wikipedia page has definitely had a lot of visits in the past week. The most important piece of information there is “ Ofori made his debut for AIK against Manchester United in a friendly in 2013”. The Afcon might provide him more worthwhile information for his wiki.
Attackers : The Gyan, The Present and The Future
Asamoah Gyan: Could be his final tournament for the Black Stars. What a career he has had for Ghana. He wants this trophy more than anybody and maybe he deserves it more than anybody.
Andre Ayew: Hasn’t had the season he would have expected. This tournament could represent a launch pad for a remarkable 2017.
Jordan Ayew: Needs to show up. Needs to show us why he is the heir to Asamoah Gyan’s throne. This could be his final audition.
Christian Atsu: Returns to the tournament he starred in two years ago. Ghana expects fireworks from his left boot.
Ebenezer Assifuah : He is only the second Ghanaian player to win the goal king at the Under-20 world cup. The other Ghanaian to have won that award is Dominic Adiyah. He needs to treat the “Why Adiyah Failed” manual as his bible.
Bernard Tekpetey: If he gets to make his debut in this AFCON it will be a baptism of fire and brimstone. He should remember that there is a thin line from Hero to Zero and normally that is where the 27million Ghanaian coaches set their camps.
From: Kwesi Asomadu