After their surprise performance at the African Cup of Nations in January, I vowed that I will never underestimate the Black Stars again. This was after they had forced me to eat tray upon tray of some pretty unpalatable humble pies. The taste still lingers on my emotional palates.
With the World Cup in South Africa just a few days away, I haven’t been able to muster sufficient confidence to go all out in rooting for the Black Stars.
Michael Essien can’t play because of a broken limb.
Old man Stephen Appiah, is surprisingly in the squad even though he played for only 90 minutes in the whole of the just-ended season.
Veteran, Richard Kingson, who has been warming the benches at Wigan (didn’t play for the club the whole of last season) is going to South Africa and he’s supposed to be the nation’s safest pair of goalkeeping hands.
Defender, John Mensah, doesn’t appear to have fully recovered from a niggling injury.
And to cap it all, there are doubts about team harmony after Laryea Kingston’s alleged bust-up with Coach Rajevac following the decision to drop him from the squad.
The team, however, has a fair sprinkling of youthful and skillful but inexperienced players whose only strong point is an unalloyed ambition to beat the world.
That’s good. Very good. But it’s not enough.
The team we are sending to South Africa may only be able to beat Australia. But they can’t beat Germany and they will definitely struggle against Serbia.
This is the World Cup. It’s not the African Cup of Nations where an ill-prepared Black Stars triumphed over even worse underperformers like Burkina Faso and Angola to make it to the finals.
So I am sorry but I am left with no choice than to break the vow I made in January. I can confidently say that I have no confidence whatsoever in this World Cup squad that Milovan Rajevac has named. It’s not his fault, is it? The problem is that we don’t have a team.
The one we sent to Germany was better and even so, they couldn’t even make it beyond the second round. Sad to say but this one will not make it past the first. I will wager my meagre June salary on that.
Who is up for a bet?