In a bold critique of Chris Hughton’s coaching decisions, former Black Princesses head coach, Robert Sackey, didn’t mince words when expressing his disapproval of Andre Ayew’s inclusion in the starting lineup against Comoros during the second Group I game on Tuesday in Moroni.
Despite being sidelined in the initial group game against Madagascar, the 33-year-old, who recently signed with French Ligue 1 side Le Havre after a seven-month hiatus, failed to impress in the match against Comoros, sparking widespread criticism.
Sackey, in an interview with Asempa FM, underscored Ayew’s undeniable leadership qualities but vehemently argued that it was a blunder for the technical team to start him against Comoros. He stated, “There is no doubt about his leadership qualities, but it was wrong for the technical team to start him. This is a player that has not played for about seven months, and so the decision was wrong.”
Continuing his analysis, Sackey contended that a more prudent decision would have been to introduce Ayew in the second half, especially when Ghana was in a winning position. “If he was introduced in the second half at a point when Ghana was winning, that would have been fair, but starting him in a game that you needed to win was wrong,” he added.
The controversy surrounding Ayew’s selection has sparked a broader conversation about player fitness and the strategic choices made by the coaching staff.
Despite Ghana currently holding three points after two games, the decision to start Ayew has prompted discussions about finding the right balance between experience and match fitness in pivotal encounters.
As Ghana gears up to face Mali in their next group game scheduled for March 2024, the aftermath of the Comoros match and the ongoing debate surrounding Ayew’s involvement are poised to influence future lineup decisions and stimulate discussions within the football community.
The incident serves as a reminder of the delicate balance coaches must strike between relying on seasoned players and ensuring optimal performance based on current form and fitness levels.