The Observer (Kampala)

3 February 2013

Uganda: Ghana Looking Good but Gyan ?still the Same

One game at a time would be the perfect description of how Ghana have gone about their business at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.

And without much fuss, they find themselves in the semi-finals with a pretty good chance of winning a fifth title. Clearly, the fact that Ghana has used so many non-descript players to reach this far like quarter-final two goal hero, Mubarak Wakaso is simply admirable. In fact, other youngsters like Christian Atsu have made us forget about the likes of Sulley Muntari and Michael Essien.

The total team ethic in this Ghana team is probably one of the best you will ever see in modern times. That said, the efforts of these new players has cast a shadow on team Captain, Asamoah Gyan. But this didn't stop him from celebrating his single goal at the tournament, the opener against Niger in such a mocking. By putting his finger to the lips as he raced off to celebrate, he was signalling his critics to 'shut up'.

It is unlikely that his gesture hit on fertile ground. That goal, good as it was didn't make Gyan into the new Didier Drogba or Samuel Eto'o of African football. He still remained the very average striker that can only be talked about in the same light as many defenders that have graced football on the big stage of the Nations Cup.

It will indeed take a lot for Gyan to prove that he is a classy player; not after costing Ghana once too many times when it matters most. At the 2012 Afcon he was the villain before which he had failed to stand tall at the 2010 World Cup. As if that isn't enough, his time in European football never turned out to be a fairytale for him to be the kind of player on high demand.

But interestingly, that fact hasn't stopped him from having a little airs around himself, which isn't good. He would better be placed remaining meek and humble other than insinuating anything that could be read into as being provocative.

The truth is that Ghana's run to the semi-finals has had just as much to do with the rest of the 10 players around him, other than him being the team's go-to guy. Hypothetical as it may be, with or without Gyan, Ghana would have been the team they are now.

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