Without disregard for others’ opinions on the Black Stars, I believe we are a bit impatient. This lack of patience either springs out of forgetfulness, arrogance, or the refusal to acknowledge that we are still plodding out of prolonged poor form. We are being too rushed in our expectation of the Black Stars and coach Chris Hughton.
We are impatient because despite running down the team with selfish, ill-conceived, money-conscious decisions; imposing players on coaches and dabbling in flamboyant talk; not focusing on development, teamwork, and steady improvement; we suddenly rise to make demands as if all have been well with the team in recent months or years.
That we outclass unfancied opponents like the Central African Republic may be a natural feeling that emanates from a patriotic football fan but the Black Stars we see today are not the one we had in the 1960s, 1970s or 1982 when we last won an AFCON title. The Black Stars we presently have are not and have not proven to be that force that dismisses oppositions with brilliance in every department of the game.
We must step down on expectations. The team must be allowed to grow because whether we like it or not, in four matches, Hughton has still not found the right balance. This balance will come with time and continuous wins and we would scrape through some matches — even the best of teams do that at times. We should find no satisfaction in caustic reviews of this Black Stars – a budding team at many levels.
Except we are in a hurry to see success without getting some fundamentals right; a quality pool of players, meritorious selection, deep-minded technical handlers, and managers who would make professional decisions with national interest at heart; we must all calm down. Our best players in the current team are relatively young.
Like Kudus — the jewel and the others who have shown promise, they would all get better with time. Let me not be mistaken for accepting mediocre performance. All I am saying is, we are far from a cooked meal as a team. We should be in no hurry to eat. Continuous improvement is what we must seek, and that is the point Hughton makes.
“We have to take note of the team we have” he says. That is my point too. “We came to meet ten new players who had just been integrated into the side. There are injuries and fitness problems to some senior players too and all that adds up to the cohesion of our play…Cohesion will come with time. As we get to play more games, continue to improve, our play we will get there” adds Hughton.
If this is too hard to take, then we are not being fair to the team and even to ourselves. Let us commend the team for the AFCON qualification and be measured in our reviews as well as expectations as Hughton and his charges plot our path back to real success.